Beyond the Lights | Chicago Reader

Beyond the Lights

Rated PG-13 116 minutes 2014

An LAPD officer (Nate Parker) rescues a rising hip-hop star (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) from a suicide attempt, and the two enter into a love affair, angering both the cop's father (Danny Glover), who wants his son to run for city council, and the singer's domineering mother-cum-manager (Minnie Driver). This backstage drama neatly fuses crowd-pleasing romance with a critique of celebrity culture; the lovers connect primarily because they're both fed up with public scrutiny. Writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) employs plenty of well-worn melodramatic devices, but sincerely; the characters' emotions ring true even when the story feels far-fetched.

Film Credits

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood

Producer: Stephanie Allain, Ryan Kavanaugh, Amar'e Stoudemire, Reggie Bythewood, Tucker Tooley, Matt Alvarez, Robbie Brenner, Ron Burkle and Jason Colbeck

Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver, Danny Glover, Colson Baker, Darryl Stephens, Elaine Tan, Isaac Keys, Tyler Christopher and India Jean-Jacques


Beyond the Lights

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