Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 09/16/2022
Production Company: Sony Pictures Releasing

Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch,
Sheila Atim and John Boyega.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood. Producers: Viola Davis, Mario Bello, Dale Butler, Cathy Schulman and Julius Tennon. Executive Producers: Peter McAleese. Screenwriters: Maria Bello and Dana Stevens. Cinematographer: Polly Morgan.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Viola Davis’ fiery performance in "The Woman King" should ignite the box office. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Beyond the Lights" and TV's "The Old Guard"), "The Woman King" is a powerful and historical drama.

The movie is set in the 1820s and is loosely based on true events about the Agojie, a fearless, all-female group of warriors that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey and King Ghezo (a terrific John Boyega, "Breaking" and "Attack the Block 2") from tribal warfare by the Oyo Empire as well as European enslavement.

Nanisca never shows any fear. She is someone you'd never want to cross. Yet, her love for her unit is unwavering and a huge reason she is so respected. Even King Ghezo recognizes Nanisca's intellect and strength and places her high above the rest of his stable of wives.

Nanisca has trained her warriors well. Among the best of the bunch is Izogie (a sensational Lashana Lynch, "Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness" and "No Time to Die"), who is also a force to be reckoned with. So is Nanisca's confidant, Amenza (an excellent Sheila Atim, "Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness").

Nanisca's world is shaken when a young, rebellious trainee named Nawi (a stunning Thuso Mbedu, TV's "The Underground Railroad") is forced to join the ranks. It turns out Nawi is a good fit for the group because she has no desire to have a man own her as a wife. Her abusive background has a lot to do with her stance. However, things start to change briefly when she lays eyes on Malik (Jordan Bolger, "The Book of Boba Fett"), a handsome young man of European/Dahomey descent.

Nanisca sees something in Nawi. She can be a great warrior but getting her to straighten up and fly right is quite a challenge. Nawi wants to do things her way yet must learn the hard way to do them correctly. The more time Nanisca and Nawi spend together, the more they learn about each other.
There is a shocking twist involving them that leads to an epic battle and displays Nawi's heroic fighting skills.

"The Woman King" is much more than just a story of good triumphing over evil. Screenwriters Dana Stevens ("Fatherhood") and Maria Bello (TV's "NCIS") don't shy away from showing the brutal effects of European colonialism along with the Dahomey's questionable role in supporting slavery.

"The Woman King" is a creative, fascinating, and wildly entertaining movie. The cast--led by Davis who also co-produced the film--is absolutely superb.

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.

Watch This Trailer For "THE WOMAN KING"

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


Year Released: 1971
Running Time: 73
Production Company: Screen Gems/Sony
Director: Buzz Kulik
Director of Photography: Joseph F. Biroc
Screenwriter: William Blinn
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: In honor of legendary actor James Caan who died July 6 at age 82, is re-running part of its Old School Video Pick review of "Brian's Song" which Caan starred in as Chicago Bears football great Brian Piccolo.

By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs, Editor-In-Chief

"Brian's Song" tells the remarkable story of the friendship between Piccolo and Gayle...
Prior to his movie and television career, James Caan made his Broadway debut alongside Peter Fonda and Darren McGavin in which 1961 Broadway play?
Blood, Sweat and Stanley"
“The Best Man"