The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013)
Two youths from the Brooklyn projects attempt to fend for themselves on the streets after their parents are arrested in this urban drama from director George Tillman, Jr. (Notorious, Faster). It's summer in New York City, and 14-year-old Mister (Skylan Brooks) is hungry. His irresponsible mother unable to hold down a job, Mister's situation goes from bad to worse when she is taken into custody, and child protective services attempts to track him down. Meanwhile, nine-year-old friend Pete finds himself in the same sinking boat. Together, Mister and Pete search for sustenance while attempting to avoid the violence that plagues their neighborhood. All the while Mister grows to feel invincible, never realizing that it's his vulnerability - not his youthful bravado - that's truly his saving grace. Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Mackie, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete
A gritty, sometimes downright heartwrenching story of two young boys left to fend for themselves for weeks during a boiling-hot summer in a Brooklyn housing project.
Pitched fascinatingly, at times uneasily, between misery and uplift, "Mister & Pete" tells the story of an endlessly resourceful child who survives the unimaginable over one long summer.
They may be tiny little kids, but they deliver outsize performances.
"The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete" is a moving bit of mischief and mayhem that will break your heart, give you hope, make you laugh, possibly cry.
Dizon and Brooks are wonderfully natural actors, and their characters' bond becomes like that of brothers, with Mister looking out for Pete, at first grudgingly and ultimately with real affection.
What day-to-day struggles do kids in need face? George Tillman Jr.'s "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete" addresses many of them within a self-contained but successful story.
At its best, the movie is emotionally rapturous, helped along by Brooks's incredible talent. At its worst, while it avoids falling into poverty porn (to my judgment, at least), it runs into a kind of hysteria of putting children in danger.
The expressive performances of the two young protagonists helps to smooth over the rough spots in a script that too often turns sappy and heavy-handed.
Mister and Pete are, as the title goes, inevitably served up defeat at practically every turn, but ultimately it is outweighed by the strength and resilience the pair come to consistently display in the oppressive face of it.
Even more welcome than its unusual story content is its humanistic impulse: It comes from a place of respect for its characters and belief in their dignity; by extension, it offers these same courtesies to its audience.
[Sklyan] Brooks's performance as Mister... the best child performance of 2013.
A wonderful document of inner-city oppression and two young actors' beginning steps, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete struggles to establish a cohesive center, and ultimately fumbles any tension on the path toward its title's possible fate.
A picture which proves it's hard in the 'hood not only for pimps, but for kids, too.
...might be compared to any number of movies... [but] I've ever seen anything quite like it. Though the script affords plenty of opportunities to default to sentimentality and sweet resolution, the characters seem to resist the easy and usual ways.
This isn't a grim wallow in the depths of poverty. There's hope here and it's earned, not forced.
Proves to be as awkward as its title thanks to its uneven screenplay and tone, and questionable casting in supporting parts.
There is a bold joy in the film, which can be credited to Mister and Pete, played wonderfully by Skylan Brooks and Ethan Dizon. Their childlike innocence but adult sensitivities gave the flick an undeniable heart.
Audience Reviews for The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete
Realistically portrayed drama of the life in the disadvantaged suburbs of America directed by George Tillman, Jr. and written by Michael Starrbury , can bring tears even without melodramatic elements in it. Presenting Skylan Brooks (Mister) and Ethan Dizon (Pete) in the title roles nd casting Anthony Mackie, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks and Jeffrey Wright, the director made simply perfect team. As a genre, I will classify this movie as a coming of age story of two inner city boys. They were left to fend for themselves over the summer after their mothers are taken away by the police for drug possession and prostitution.
The movie concentrates on the two boys who are forced to forage for food while dodging child protective services and the destructive scenarios of the Brooklyn projects. They are faced with more trouble than any child can be expected to bear, and the fragile but resourceful Mister nevertheless finds strength in an idea from a movie, that he can be an unstoppable force against seemingly unmovable obstacles if he believes in the success...
There are plenty of sad and disturbing moments in this movie, but all of them managed to become inspirational and uplifting, because the director offered a glimpse of hope in the continuously degrading American society, especially for the poor. The brotherhood of Mister and Pete was something to make note, as well as the answers on the entire question of morality when people are forced to making ends meet. The film exposes the lack of real role models for the children in the society where the only value is the almighty dollar, and the authority figures were presented as menacing instead of helpful at times.
If you are ready for a dark movie with its moments of humour and lots of charm, while enjoying the innocence and cuteness adjusting to difficult moments of life, please, check this one!
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