Monster review – Kelvin Harrison Jr anchors wrenching Netflix drama

Another standout performance from the young actor lifts a sturdy, if at times uneven, tale of a teen unknowingly caught up in a crimeAlthough it screened back at the 2018 Sundance film festival, stark Harlem-set drama Monster about a black teen swallowed up by a cruel legal system, remains just as timely in 2021, a story of a grim predicament that would probably feel similarly relevant in another three or even six years down the line.

Strange that it’s gathered dust for so long, less a sign of its quality and packed cast (many of whom have grown in stature since) and more perhaps of the time of its premiere, nestled alongside two other dramas covering crudely similar ground (Blindspotting and Monsters and Men), finding itself swallowed up by an industry still only willing to give black stories a small piece of the pie.Related: Stowaway review – a devastating dilemma

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