New in Theaters:
In writer/director Dee Rees’s genuinely felt feature debut, her teenage heroine is so hidden from the world that she can’t even find herself. The film opens in a smoky, neon-streaked nightclub where a stripper undulates on a stage to the shouts and flung dollar bills of the women watching. Although Alike (Adepero Oduye) is ostensibly there to express herself in a way that she can’t at school or in front of her church-going mother, she seems no more comfortable there than she does bottled up at the family dinner table. Rees’s point isn’t hard to cipher — Alike’s being closeted is about much more than her sexuality — but she parses it with intelligent, feeling complexity in a film that could have covered itself in cliché…
Pariah opens this week in limited release. You can read my full review at filmcritic.com.