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Moonlight (2016) Review

Emotional Tale That Captures Three Episodes of Life

A good character study is one that will show the main character in their happiest and most painful moments of their life. Moonlight is a unique film that captures the protagonist at three of the most influential periods of his life.


Moonlight tells the story of Chiron, a young male growing up in the slums of Miami, Florida. Chiron is trying to find his place in life while also dealing with the idea of being gay and having a mother (Naomie Harris) who is a drug addict. The film shows Chiron in three periods of his life: a kid (Alex R. Hibbert), a teen (Ashton Sanders), and an adult (Trevante Rhodes).


The three actors who portray Chiron are all fantastic. They do a great job at giving him character and really revealing his characters personality to the audience. The most intriguing section of the film is during his life as a teenager. This is the section where we really get to see Chiron develop and discover who he really is.

The supporting characters are also fantastic. Mahershala Ali does a great job as a role model for Chiron as a little kid. He helps to take care of Chiron as Chiron does not really have a parental figure. Naomie Harris is also really good in the movie. She loves Chiron, but she can't beat her drug addiction in order to actually be a good mother. She has a lot of unsettling scenes in this movie.


Barry Jenkins does a great job directing this movie. Many of the scenes in this movie are shot very well and there is definitely a lot of symbolism in this movie that can be put up for interpretation. The movie looks great and every performance is made even better by the direction. The score in this movie is also really good. It's very low and it provides a certain dramatic flair to the movie.

The one problem with this movie though is that the third section of the movie with Chiron as an adult is definitely the worst part of the movie. The last 30 minutes seem to go on for a very long time. There is a scene that takes place in a diner and it lasts for such a long time. It did get a bit boring and it could have been cut down a lot.

Final Thoughts

Moonlight is still a very thoughtful and inspiring story that is definitely important in terms of addressing certain issues in current society. It may not be able to end on a high note, but the movie as a whole is definitely something to be seen.

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Rating: 8.5/10

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