Beyond the Lights | Chicago Reader

Beyond the Lights

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.



  • Gina Prince-Bythewood


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


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

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