The Woman King

The Woman King ★★★★★

Well, if Wakanda Forever ends up not being good, I now know we’ll still at least have one awesome film about African warriors this year.

The Woman King, inspired by true events of the 1800s, features the Agojie, an all-female unit of warriors who protect the African Kingdom of Dahomey. Some are former captives of the kingdom, and others, like young adult Nawi (Thuso Mbedu), are those who fail fall in line with the kingdom’s usual roles for women. General Nanisca (Viola Davis) leads the training of the newest wave of potential recruits, including Nawi. They’re put to the test when relationships with other kingdoms become strained, partially because their own king (John Boyega) wishes to change Dahomey’s involvement in the European slave trade. Alliances get tangled, tensions boil over, blood is shed, and Nanisca is forced to confront a past that comes back to haunt her.

If I could only use one word to describe The Woman King as a historical action epic, it would be “quintessential”. Everything about it, from the layered arcs, to the intriguing themes, to the perfectly realized environments, to the exciting, emotional action, is all absolutely quintessential. The Woman King may not have quite the same level of universal appeal as, say, Top Gun: Maverick earlier this year, due to its extreme violence and slower pacing, but it’s a similar level of crowd-pleasing. I think a vast majority of people who go out and see it are going to be similarly enthralled from start to finish, in its biggest, bloodiest moments and its smallest, quietest moments. And when I say “go out and see it,” I mean head to the biggest theater screen you can find to experience the film in all of its glory.

This is an all-encompassing powerhouse that gives you everything you’d want, and it does so in a fresh, raw, masterful way. It's one of my favorite films to come out in the past few years, and I’m going to be singing its praises constantly to make sure it gets the recognition it richly deserves.

Read my full review here!

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