Grackles review Queen and Slim

Directed by Melina Matsuokas

Reviewed by Scott Ray and Charlie Riccardelli 

In Queen & Slim, Melina Matsuokas makes her feature film debut following the titular characters on a cross-country run on the lam as they are forced to evade the law after killing a police officer in self-defense during a traffic stop gone wrong. This wildly ambitious feature manages to update the classic getaway film and also seriously examines police violence towards people of color in America, while simultaneously taking the time to delicately track the doomed budding romance between the two title characters. This is Matsuokas’s first feature film, though she is the director of more than 30 music videos and recipient of two Grammy’s and four VMA’s.

The story begins with Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) on a first date that isn’t going very well. If things had gone differently, there probably wouldn’t have been a second date. When Slim is pulled over on the way home for dubious reasons, the traffic stop quickly spirals out of control, ending with Slim defending his and Queen’s life by killing the officer. From there, Queen and Slim hit the road, heading for New Orleans and beyond hoping to evade the law by any means necessary.

Scott Ray: I love a film with a good, long, c