The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete (2013)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
User Ratings: 4,204
Movie InfoTwo 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.
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