The Reel Review
This is a matter-of-fact, three act portrait of Chiron: act one, as a young Miami boy attempting to survive his crack-addicted mother, then, act two, as a teen battling neighborhood bullies as he struggles with his sexual identity.
It is heartbreaking as you realize nearly everyone in Chiron’s life has or will fail him, leaving him with scars that will shape his adult life (act three).
The story’s gritty, realistic feel could have benefited from some editing and the actors playing teen and adult Chiron are so physically different it detracts from the powerful, important story. (Janelle Monáe was a nice surprise, however.) Still, this haunting, thought-provoking film will linger in your mind long after you see it, making it among the year’s best.