Sorry to Bother You

Rated R 105 minutes 2018

Why hasn’t Boots Riley been making movies before this? The filmmaking debut of Oakland rapper-songwriter-activist Riley makes pointed fun of a variety of big bads — ordinary racism, the crimes of big business, gentrification, obnoxious TV commercials, etc. — and almost every comic dart he throws at his target hits the bulls-eye, as a smart, frustrated young Black man (Lakeith Stanfield) and his ditto girlfriend (Tessa Thompson) try to earn enough money to keep living in an Oakland that no longer seems to want them. Riley’s writing is sharp and angry and the acting is first-rate. This is the rarest of socially aware satires, a nimble, non-clichéd, brilliantly ironic basket of indignation that doubles as a comic catalog of the horrors of 21st-century urban life. Also with Terry Crews, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer, Jermaine Fowler, and Michael X. Sommers. Highly recommended (105 min., 2018, rated R).

Film Credits

Director: Boots Riley

Producer: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Charles King, George Rush, Jonathan Duffy, Kelly Williams, Michael Chow, Michael Shen, Kim Roth, Poppy Hanks, Philipp Engelhorn, Caroline Kaplan and Gus Deardoff

Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Kate Berlant, Michael Sommers, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer, Robert Longstreet, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Lily James, Forest Whitaker, Rosario Dawson and Shelley Mitchell

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