Rated: R
Release Date: 11/05/2021
Production Company: Netflix

Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Lakeith Stanfield, RJ Cyler, Danielle Deadwyler Deon Cole and Edi Gathegi.

Director: Jeymes Samuel. Producers: Jeymes Samuels, Jay-Z, James Lassiter and Lawrence Bender. Executive Producer: G. Mac Brown. Screenwriters: Jeymes Samuel and Boaz Yakin. Cinematographer: Mihai Malaimare Jr.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Jeymes Samuel, aka, “The Bullitts” made his mark as a London born singer/songwriter and producer who worked as the executive music consultant alongside Baz Luhrmann and Jay-Z on the 2013 movie “The Great Gatsby.” That same year, Samuel directed his first western “They Die by Dawn” which debuted to appreciative audiences at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas.

However, it’s Samuel’s follow-up movie “The Harder They Fall"-- which he directed and co-wrote with Boaz Yakin (“Now You See Me 2”)--that is making quite a splash.

“The Harder they Fall” is currently streaming on Netflix and this one isn’t your typical western. In fact, it’s unlike anything you’ve seen on the big screen before. Samuel’s fictional, revisionist tale is loosely based on actual cowboy characters of the 19th- century American west.

The movie features a star-studded, all-black cast led by Oscar winning actress Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk” and “One Night in Miami”), and not surprising, a booming and eclectic soundtrack of reggae and hip-hop smoothed out on an R&B tip.

In “The Harder They Fall” Nat Love (a remarkable Jonathan Majors, “Da 5 Bloods,” “Creed III” and TV’s Lovecraft Country”) is an outlaw now seeking revenge on Rufus Buck (Idris Elba, “The Suicide Squad” and “Concrete Cowboy”) and his partner who burst into Nat’s house when he was a kid and killed his parents as he watched in horror. They even carved a cross into Nat's forehead.

Nat’s wild posse consists of sharpshooter Bill Pickett (a terrific Edi Gathegi, TV’s “For All Mankind”), quick-on-the-draw whippersnapper James Beckwourth (a delightful RJ Cyler, Netflix’s “War Machine”), a tough as nails bouncer named Cuffee (a fabulous turn from Danielle Deadwyler, “Watchmen” and “The Devil to Pay”), Nat’s love interest, “Stagecoach” Mary Fields (a scene-stealing, Zazie Beetz, TV’s “Atlanta”) and even a famed lawman Bass Reeves (San Francisco State University’s finest, Delroy Lindo, “Da 5 Bloods”) who wants Rufus too.

Not only are they up against Rufus who has just been sprung from jail, but others from his Crimson Hood gang, like gunslinger Cherokee Bill (a sensational LaKeith Stanfield (TV’s “Atlanta”) and the ferocious Trudy Smith (a stunning Regina King).

The bullets start to fly when Love’s crew unknowingly steals $25,000 of Buck’s money and must pay the piper. You don’t want to betray Rufus, just ask Marshal Wiley Escoe (an exceptionally good Deon Cole, TV’s “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish”) who suffers a brutal and humiliating public beating by him.

There are plenty of folks to root for in this one, but personally I liked them all and particularly enjoyed seeing Regina King as a straight up badass.
“The Harder They Fall” is a brazen, campy, and violent romp that brings a welcome new look to the Old West.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM. However, this Friday, Nov. 5 I will be off-air and returning on Nov. 12.

Watch This Trailer For "THE HARDER THEY FALL"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Book Of Numbers Title: Book Of Numbers
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 81
Production Company: AVCO Embassy Pictures
Director: Raymond St. Jacques
Director of Photography: Gayne Rescher
Screenwriter: Raymond St. Jacques
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: As a kid growing up in San Bernardino, California, I remember this cute, curly-headed, green eyed young guy coming over my family’s house with his handyman/electrician father to do some repair work. Little did I know the shy teen would become an iconic TV star.

Yeah, Philip Michael Thomas who played Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs alongside Don Johnson in the...
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