Movies

Movie Review: ‘The Book Of Clarence’

The Book of Clarence -Clarence (LaKeith Stanfield)

The Book of Clarence – Jeymes Samuel’s bold new version of a timeless Biblical-era epic made a $2.5 million debut at the box office over the weekend.

The Book of Clarence Movie Poster

About The Film

Streetwise but down on his luck, Clarence (LaKeith Stanfield) is struggling to find a better life for his family, while fighting to free himself of debt. 

Captivated by the power and glory of the rising Messiah and His apostles, he risks everything to carve his own path to a divine life and ultimately discovers that the redemptive power of belief may be his only way out.

The film is executive produced by Garrett Grant and produced by Jeymes Samuel, Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, James Lassiter, and Tendo Nagenda.

The film stars LaKeith Stanfield, Omar Sy, RJ Cyler, Anna Diop, David Oyelowo, Michael Ward, Alfre Woodard, Teyana Taylor, Caleb McLaughlin, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, James McAvoy, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

‘The Book Of Clarence’ Review

According to most reputable divinity and data-gathering websites, Christianity is the number one organized religion in the world, boasting over 2.6 billion members of the faith.

While there are divisions and sub-divisions of the creed, all recognize the sole driving force behind their affinity – Jesus Christ.

The New Testament of the Holy Bible chronicles his life, death, and resurrection.

His love for humanity is as grand as the miracles he performs.

To accept the Messiah into your life is to have everlasting life, according to the Christian faith.

Jesus is the way.

Not everyone feels this way, however.

Yes, some individuals believe none of Christ’s tales.

You also have those of the Christian faith who exploit their members for financial gain and popularity.

It’s enough to make a person shout, “Good Lord!”

In the new movie, “The Book of Clarence”, a man of little faith attempts to duplicate Jesus’ miraculous works to make money money, make money money money!

Is this film heaven sent, or does it need divine intervention? Let’s go!

Jesus walk! God show me the way because the devil’s tryna break me down!

The Book of Clarence” stars LaKeith Stanfield, Omar Sy, RJ Cyler, Teyana Taylor, and many others.

The film is set in A.D. 33 Jerusalem and Stanfield plays Clarence, a destitute hustler who, after a costly mistake, must find a way to come up with cash – or else!

Upon seeing all the hoopla surrounding Jesus and his popularity, Clarence devises a plan to capitalize off the son of God’s fame by convincing the townspeople that he is another Messiah with the help of his homies, and the shenanigans ensue.

When producing a film about or concerning Christ, especially a comedy, one must anticipate, no, one must welcome backlash.

Director/Writer Jeymes Samuel and producer JAY-Z must’ve polished their Amor of God for this flick in preparation for a holy war with audiences.

I’m not here to pass judgment on souls, but I am gonna pass judgment on this movie.

With that being said, surprisingly, I found it to be quite enjoyable – and socially conscience. Whaaaat???

As far as performances go, the cast was solid.

Stanfield always puts on a show and keeps it going in his role as Clarence.

Yeah, he’s a troublemaker, but at his core, he wants to do the right thing, he just goes about it in the wrong, uh, seriously wrong way.

I think once you understand Clarence’s plight, the film’s subplot will begin to subdue any preconceived ill-will you have about the film as a whole.

I ain’t saying it will stop it, just subdue it.

The Book of Clarence-Clarence (LaKeith Stanfield), Barabbas (Omar Sy) and Elijah (R.J. Cyler)
Clarence (LaKeith Stanfield), Barabbas (Omar Sy) and Elijah (R.J. Cyler)

Clarence’s friends Eijah (Cyler) and Barabbas (Sy) are ride-or-die for him.

They’re both excellent, especially Barabbas.

His story shines the most throughout the film.

He is “immortal” (you’ll see what I mean when you watch it).

Teyana Taylor plays Mary Magdalene and although she doesn’t have much screen time, she owns that time when seen.

The Book of Clarence- Mary Magdalene (Teyana Taylor)
Teyana Taylor as Mary Magdalene

Many characters do fight for screen time because there are just so many actors that it almost feels like you need an 8 am service and 11 am service to appreciate their talent.

Nonetheless, all of them create memorable experiences.

Notable scenes include Clarence’s meeting with Mary and Joseph (hilarious!), the transformation of a homeless man played by Benedict Cumberbatch (VERY hilarious), and various encounters with Roman guards.

The lengths Clarence goes to con his followers undermines everything the true Messiah attempts to teach and it’s truly unsettling, but, even in a mess, there lies a message.

Ok, I know many are calling “The Book of Clarence” blasphemous, even those who haven’t seen it.

That declaration is up to the viewer, but I’ll say that since it’s a comedy, the plot of this film is going to mock Jesus and upset many of the Christian faith.

This film is also about redemption and salvation and by the end, the director hopes that you see it.

If I had to sum it up, I’d say it’s the biblical equivalent of “Friday”.

The Book of Clarence” turned out to be more entertaining than I thought, so I’m giving it a Morning/Midday Co-sign.

Some will like it, some will hate it, and all will talk about it.

Can I get an Amen? No? Aiight, I won’t push it.

Did you check out the film over the weekend?

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