Black and Blue (2019 film)

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Black and Blue
Black and Blue poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDeon Taylor
Produced by
  • Sean Sorensen
Written byPeter A. Dowling
Music byGeoff Zanelli
CinematographyDante Spinotti
Edited byPeck Prior
  • Screen Gems
  • Royal Viking Entertainment
  • Hidden Empire Film Group
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • September 21, 2019 (2019-09-21) (Urbanworld)
  • October 25, 2019 (2019-10-25) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million[1]
Box office$22.7 million[1][2]

Black and Blue is a 2019 American action thriller film directed by Deon Taylor from a screenplay by Peter A. Dowling. The film stars Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Frank Grillo, Mike Colter, Reid Scott, and Beau Knapp, and follows a rookie police officer who goes on the run after she witnesses a murder.

The film had its world premiere at the Urbanworld Film Festival on September 21, 2019 and was released in North America on October 25, 2019, by Screen Gems.


U.S. Army veteran Alicia West (Naomie Harris) returns to her hometown in New Orleans where she is recruited into the city's police department. Alicia is reminded by her new partner Kevin Jennings (Reid Scott) about the differences of residing in the community she grew up in and the police department.

In order for Jennings to get home to date night with his wife, West takes his place in a double shift with another member of the force, Brown. He gets a call in the middle of their shift and they head over to meet with his CI in an abandoned building where he tells her to wait in the car. Alicia hears gunfire coming from the building where Brown went in and heads over, armed with a Glock pistol and a vest fitted with a body camera. There, Alicia witnesses detective Terry Malone (Frank Grillo) and his men murder an unarmed drug dealer. When Malone attempts to explain away the situation to her, the other, Smitty (Beau Knapp), panics upon seeing Alicia's body cam and shoots at her, causing Alicia to fall through the floor onto the ground below.

A wounded Alicia escapes while she is being tracked by Malone and his men. When a fellow police officer arrives, Alicia realizes they are working with Malone, forcing her to hide out in the store of Milo Jackson (Tyrese Gibson), a member of the community who is reluctant to hide her. She tries to get help from her partner, Jennings, but she finds out that he is one of the cohorts and she runs away from him. Meanwhile, Malone blames West for the shooting and manipulates criminal kingpin Darius into putting out an open bounty on West because one of the kids that Malone murdered was Darius' nephew. While recovering in Milo's home, Alicia has a gun pointed at her head by Missy's son. Alicia then learns that Darius put out a bounty on her and that the whole community is tracking her down. Alicia manages to escape, but a wounded Milo is left behind and is captured by Darius. Darius tortures Milo, but Milo refuses to divulge where to find Alicia. Alicia records herself and hides her body cam in an abandoned house. Alicia then exposes herself where Darius does business. She convinces Darius that she has proof that Malone killed Darius' nephew. One of Darius' henchman hacks into Alicia's body cam where the footage is downloaded, and after viewing the footage Darius is convinced that Malone is his nephew's real killer. Malone and his enforcers arrive to track down Alicia; during the ensuing chaos, Darius is killed by Malone, and Brown is killed by Smitty, who is in turn killed by West. West gives the body camera to Milo so that he can sneak into the police station and upload the footage, while she stays and tries to outrun Malone, who is trying to kill her.

There is a standoff between Malone and West with the whole black community looking on. When West gets the upper hand, other police officers arrive and tell her to put down the gun. At the same time, the captain gets the footage and radios SRT to get them to stand down and tells them that West is innocent. Malone tries one last time to kill her, pretending she has a gun, but her partner, Jennings, shoots him in the chest and incapacitates him.

Malone is arrested and West's name is cleared, earning her the respect of her fellow police officers, as well as the community.



In August 2017, it was announced Screen Gems had acquired Peter A. Dowling's spec script Exposure, and Sean Sorensen will produce the film under his Royal Viking Entertainment banner.[3] In August 2018, it was announced Deon Taylor would direct the film, and Roxanne Avent will serve as an executive producer under her Hidden Empire Film Group banner.[4] In December 2018, Naomie Harris joined the cast of the film, which was retitled from Exposure to Black and Blue.[5] In January 2019, Frank Grillo, Reid Scott, Tyrese Gibson, Beau Knapp, Mike Colter and Nafessa Williams joined the cast of the film.[6][7] In March 2019, James Moses Black joined the cast of the film.[8] In April 2019, Frankie Smith joined the cast of the film.[9]


Principal photography began on January 16, 2019,[10] and concluded on February 28, 2019.[11] The movie was shot using CineAlta cameras, Sony α7S II and Sony Xperia 1 smartphones.[12] All these devices are marketed and manufactured by Sony, the parent company of Sony Pictures and Screen Gems.


Black and Blue had its world premiere at the Urbanworld Film Festival on September 21, 2019.[13] It was released on October 25, 2019.[14] It was previously scheduled to be released on September 20, 2019.[15]


Box office[edit]

In the United States and Canada, Black and Blue was released alongside The Current War and Countdown, and was projected to gross $8–11 million from 2,062 theaters in its opening weekend.[16] It made $3.1 million on its first day, including $675,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $8.3 million, finishing sixth; social media monitor RelishMix said the low figure was blamed on audiences being "bored with this type of cop thriller".[17][18] In its second weekend the film fell 50% to $4.1 million, finishing eighth.[19]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 51% and an average rating of 5.4/10, based on 92 reviews. The site's critics consensus reads, "Black and Blue is elevated by Naomie Harris' central performance, even if the end result suffers from a simplistic treatment of topical themes."[20] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 54 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[21] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale, while those surveyed at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 80%, including an average 4 out of 5 stars.[17]

Candice Frederick of TheWrap wrote, "Black and Blue is chock-full of heart-pounding car chases and suspenseful moments that are certain to entertain mainstream audiences, but the film falters when it attempts, beyond its title to reflect a necessary and under-discussed conversation about societal issues."[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Black and Blue (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  2. ^ "Black and Blue (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  3. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (August 21, 2017). "Screen Gems Lands Bodycam Cop Thriller Spec". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  4. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 28, 2018). "'Traffik' Director Deon Taylor Boards Screen Gems' Bodycam Cop Thriller 'Exposure'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  5. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (December 10, 2018). "Naomie Harris To Topline Cop Thriller 'Black And Blue' For Screen Gems". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  6. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (January 11, 2019). "'Black And Blue': Frank Grillo, Reid Scott, Beau Knapp To Co-Star In Screen Gems Cop Drama". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  7. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (January 23, 2019). "Mike Colter, Nafessa Williams Join Sony's 'Black And Blue' Thriller Starring Naomie Harris". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  8. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 5, 2019). "Dania Ramirez Journeys To 'Jumanji' Sequel; James Moses Black Books 'Black And Blue'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  9. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (April 2, 2019). "'Hell on Wheels' Star Angela Zhou Joins 'Promising Young Woman'; Ron Funches Cast In 'Sylvie'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Taylor, Deon (January 16, 2019). "Wow!! Today was the first day of our film, #Blackandblue and when, I say she killed it!!!!". Instagram. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  11. ^ Taylor, Deon (February 28, 2019). "Last day!!! Wow! @tyrese @naomieharris !!! GEEZ THIS WAS A INCREDIBLE JOURNEY!! #sony #sonysceengems #hiddenempirefilmgroup🔥🔥🔥 BLACK AND BLUE IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE SEPT 20!!!!! Ummmmmm yeah!!!! 🚀🚀🚀". Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  12. ^ Sony Xperia (2019-02-25), Official Sony Press Conference – Sony MWC 2019, retrieved 2019-07-28
  13. ^ "Black and Blue". Urbanworld Film Festival. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  14. ^ Haring, Bruce (May 10, 2019). "Cult Classic Sequel 'Zombieland 2: Double Tap' And Cop Drama 'Black And Blue' Move To Late October Releases". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  15. ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 25, 2019). "'Morbius' & 'Ghostbusters' Solidify Summer 2020 Release Dates". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  16. ^ Jeremy Fuster (October 22, 2019). "'The Current War' Finally Enters Theaters on Quiet Box Office Weekend". TheWrap. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  17. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 26, 2019). "' Joker' & 'Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil' In Fight For No. 1 With $18M+ During Sleepy Pre-Halloween Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  18. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (October 27, 2019). "'Joker' Reclaims No. 1 Spot on Box Office Charts". Variety. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 4, 2019). "How 'Terminator: Dark Fate' Conked Out With $27M+ & Why 'The Irishman' Is Not A Missed Strategic Opportunity – Box Office". Deadline. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  20. ^ "Black and Blue (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  21. ^ "Black and Blue Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  22. ^ Candice Frederick (September 22, 2019). "'Black and Blue' Film Review: Naomie Harris Plays a Conflicted Cop in By-the-Numbers Drama". TheWrap. Retrieved October 21, 2019.

External links[edit]