Knucklehead (2015 film)

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Knucklehead 2015 poster.jpg
Directed byBen Bowman
Produced by
Written by
  • Bryan Abrams
  • Ben Bowman
Music by
  • Mike Shobe
  • Benjamin Wright
CinematographySoopum Sohn
Edited byKatie Ennis
Imaginary People Productions
Distributed byRLJ Entertainment
Release date
CountryUnited States

Knucklehead is a 2015 American drama film directed by Ben Bowman. It premiered at the 2015 BAMCinématek New Voices in Black Cinema festival.[1]


Convinced that prescription drugs can cure his mental disorder, a neighborhood eccentric (Gbenga Akinnagbe) ventures out of Brooklyn’s housing projects to escape his controlling mother (Alfre Woodard), and to find the one doctor who he believes can treat him.



The film premiered as the opening night film at the BAMCinématek New Voices in Black Cinema festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on March 26, 2015.[2] It was scheduled for release in the U.S. and Canada in late 2016.

Critical reception[edit]

Colin Covert gave the film a positive review in Newsweek, writing: “Deftly combining melancholy, tragedy and sly humor, the story is engineered so its gripping drama dovetails neatly with the lead's starry-eyed optimism and the likability of sundry supporting characters. As if juggling chainsaws, Bowman delivers a film that is both troubling and comically upbeat“[3]

John Defore at The Hollywood Reporter praised the cast, citing Gbenga Akinnagbe for his “sympathetic performance” as the mentally challenged Langston, “in a film that will attract attention more for a brutal turn by Alfre Woodard as his controlling mother.” Justin S. Myrick is called out for his portrayal of Arthur, Langston's young friend with, "a smartass spark that animates scenes and balances the bleak situation at home."[4] It was scheduled for a late 2016 release in the U.S. and Canada.[5]


Awards and nominations
Association Date of ceremony Venue Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Dances With Films June 6, 2015 TCL Chinese Theatre Industry Choice Award Knucklehead Won [6]
American Black Film Festival June 14, 2015[7] New York Hilton Midtown VH-1 Audience Award Knucklehead Won [8]
Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Film Festival April 24, 2015 Saint Anthony Main Best Narrative Feature ("MN Made") Knucklehead Won [9]
Baltimore International Black Film Festival October 11, 2015 Charles Theatre Best Narrative Feature Knucklehead Won [10]
First Time Feature Director ("Oscar Micheaux Award") Ben Bowman Won
Black Reel Awards February 20, 2016 Washington, D. C. Outstanding Independent Feature Knucklehead Nominated [11]


  1. ^ "A Mother's Clutch Makes Its Mark". New York Times. March 21, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  2. ^ "Knucklehead". Brooklyn Academy of Music. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  3. ^ "This 'Knucklehead' Will Make You Laugh, and Cry". Newsweek. May 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "'Knucklehead': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. March 27, 2015.
  5. ^ "Knucklehead (2015) - Release Info". iMDB.
  6. ^ "Clay Riley Hassler's 'Homeless' Wins Top Prize at Dances With Films Festival". The Wrap. June 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "2015 Winners". American Black Film Festival.
  8. ^ American Black Film Festival Editors (June 14, 2015). "2015 Winners". American Black Film Festival. Retrieved August 7, 2016.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "Baltimore International Black Film Festival".

External links[edit]