Matt Heiser’s review published on Letterboxd:
I was really excited to watch Moonlight, as I had seen it at the top of end year lists of several movie critics I follow closely. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed, as I found the story and characters to be nothing very new or intriguing. I think the main problem comes from the general introverted nature of the main character. The low-key, under the surface abuse and anger Chiron has is totally understandable, but cinematically just wasn't that interesting. It doesn't help that the most interesting relationships (and acting presences) in the film disappears less than a third of the way into the movie, and of course I'm talking about the relationship between Mahershala Ali and Janelle Monáe with young Chiron. The former two unfortunately just disappear, and their presence was sorely missed. Unfortunately there wasn't much to replace it; I thought the crack-head Mom role has been done to death already (even specifically what the film does with it), and the relationship between Chiron and Kevin also never really interested me that much (perhaps because I just never "got" the character of Kevin - I just don't see enough of where he's coming from as a character). I understand that the movie is also celebrated for having a gay, black male main character, but the story itself wasn't that compelling to me. I guess I was also over-hyped from all of the acclaim Moonlight is getting - from being a lot of people's #1 picks for 2016 I was expecting a beautifully filmed (looks fine, but doesn't stand out) movie, with an incredible story (too low key and not that compelling for me), with great characters (there's depth to them, certainly Chiron, just again it's too low key, and leave parts of the film kind of boring), but it just left me feeling like I've seem enough of this before, and the movie doesn't do any of it exceptionally.