A United Kingdom Screen 80 of 5 reviews

A United Kingdom

2016

A United Kingdom Poster
  • A United Kingdom, though occasionally tugging too hard on the heartstrings, especially through its soaring score, is an impassioned example of storytelling, determined to set the record straight. In highlighting the injustices of the past, the film speaks loudly about the challenges to freedom existing in the UK and further afield today. Relying heavily on electric performances from its leads, Oyelowo and Pike, both of whom sizzle on screen, A United Kingdom is historical drama at its best.

  • There's a decent thriller here, and with or without dramatic heightening, A United Kingdom — whose title may legitimately be read as sardonic or sentimental — is a remarkable tale of chicanery and serial betrayal... This enormously satisfying story honors the smiling, courageous couple we see in a photo behind the closing credits.

  • The best reason to see “A United Kingdom,” however, is the performance by Mr. Oyelowo, who is also one of the film’s producers. As written by Mr. Hibbert, Seretse Khama is a character of stock wisdom and nobility... But Mr. Oyelowo, who is one of the best actors working today onstage or onscreen, imbues his portrayal of Seretse with a disarming delicacy and vulnerability that make the strengths he is later forced to show all the more convincing. It is remarkable, genuinely riveting work.

  • A high-stakes romantic melodrama of this nature won’t be to everyone’s tastes – its ‘feelgood’ freeze-frame ending is predictably saccharine. Yet, Asante’s take on the genre still offers a few subtle twists. In many ways, Asante’s feminine perspective is the most interesting thing about the film: she gives voice to otherwise secondary female characters.

  • The care that went into minute observations, as well as the intelligence of the macro view of institutionalized inequality, elevates the film above the mawkishness or dreary didacticism that characterize too many of its peers.