Black or White 2014

Critics score:
40 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Wesley Morris, Grantland: This is a tiresome interracial custody dramedy in which white non-guilt righteously dukes it out with black melodrama. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Despite excellent performances by Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and other cast members, Mike Binder's racially tinged custody battle drama "Black or White" never achieves much in the way of dramatic credibility. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Good acting and plenty to think about, but a better director than Mike Binder would have made a better film. Read more

Scott Foundas, Variety: Kevin Costner shines in Mike Binder's disappointingly dull and safe-playing race relations drama. Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: Binder, who once made lowbrow comedies but now specializes in middlebrow dramedies, is in several leagues over his head with this story ... Read more

Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic: A movie that's every bit as oversimplified and obvious as its title. Read more

Peter Keough, Boston Globe: Despite the best of intentions, a career-best performance from Kevin Costner, and outstanding work by Octavia Spencer and child actor Jillian Estell, "Black or White" succumbs to some of the same stereotypes it tries to dispel. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: This is undeniably well-intentioned, though, and the players are sensitive and sincere. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: It may be helpful - or vexing - to think of "Black or White" as the great grandchild of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: "Black or White" stumbles even as it tries to move forward. Read more

Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter: A broad but touching dramedy about the racial barriers that divide us and the family ties that bind. Read more

Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times: The filmmaker and his on-screen proxies boldly go places our national discourse desperately needs to go, yet rarely does. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: A solid cast, but the racial issue is so poorly presented that the film feels unintentionally offensive. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Costner deserves credit for continuing to make - or, at least trying to make - grown-up movies. But he's undercut at almost every point here by director Mike Binder ... Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Sometimes flawed material can be saved by great performances and good intentions. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: "Black or White"... is notable for what it doesn't try to do. It doesn't assess America's racial attitudes based on the headlines of the day or use its story... to placate or to inflame. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Oh, the bathos! The loony wrongheadedness of the screenplay! Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The film is by no means perfect and its goals are undermined by a sloppy climax and conclusion but it avoids preaching while providing fodder for thought. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Kevin Costner gives everything he's got to the role, but writer-director Mike Binder, who worked beautifully with Costner on 2005's The Upside of Anger, finds himself on the downside of juggling stereotypes. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: The movie is appealing enough to make you want to believe it, even when you don't. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A well-intentioned, white-perspective drama like "Black or White" isn't going to change the world, but it might change the terms of an overdue conversation. Read more

Inkoo Kang, TheWrap: "If I were as unfair as director Mike Binder is to his African-American characters, I'd say this project is a white filmmaker's rationalization to have a white character occasionally say (and certainly think) the N-word while raising a black child." Read more

Liz Braun, Toronto Sun: Costner's performance really is powerful. What it all means remains a mystery. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: If only Black or White spent more time in the gray zone. Read more

Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice: Not since the last Dinesh D'Souza flick has a movie seemed so eager to tell us who are the good black people and who the bad ones. Read more

Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture: Black or White isn't so much an offensive movie as it is a pointless one. Read more

Stephanie Merry, Washington Post: The title suggests there are no easy answers. So why does everything feel so tidy? Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Talk about tin ears. "Black or White" comes off as the product of clouded eyes, sour stomachs and addled brains. Read more