The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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Friday, March 27, 2020

The Banker




Director: George Nolfi Studio: Apple

MOVIE REVIEW: The Banker

The Banker is an interesting, but fitting title for the story and the characters’ roles as African American bankers. The film is based on the true story of Bernard Garrett, a banker hailing in the 1950s or 1960s. Director George Nolfi steps into his game to helm this historical film with Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson co-starring with each other as the first African American bankers in the film.

Supposedly, the film was meant to be released somewhere in late 2019, but for some strange reason, was pushed back to sometime in the spring, before shifting its decision to release on Apple TV Plus due to the allegations of sexual harassment from the Beonard Garrett Jr., the co-producer of the film and the son of the real Beonard Garrett. Therefore, he was removed from the film’s project and was uncredited.

Here in the film, we have Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) who are two African American entrepreneurs living in the 1950s. Their main goal is to pursue an American dream by becoming what they want to be by becoming a janitor and chauffeur. They both become successful, though the main conflict is they have been threatened by the attention of the federal government.

While the film serves as a bio-topic for both civil rights and the racial discrimination, director Geroge Nolfi has a done a outstanding job of keeping the pace of the characters, the actors, and the historical setting to maintain its accuracy for that period. He even uses his American history knowledge and the intellect of the American economy to understand what the film explains perfectly when it involves racism and economical struggles. Even when the director overworks with the film, his time and money is well spent on the costumes, which really add bonus points to the film.

The main piece of the film that is highly enjoyable to see is the chemistry between Anthony Mackie’s character Bernard and Samuel L. Jackson’s character as Joe. Their relationship increases more character development, more accuracy, and more structural integrity to the film as this adds much depth for the film’s flavor. Not to mention that they both appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, starring with Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson.

Also appearing are Nia Long as Bernard’s wife, Eunice; and Nicholas Hoult, which both of them are just as perfect and easy to watch for anyone looking for fresh streaming content.

Overall, The Banker is a good movie, if not enjoyable. I enjoyed every aspect of the film the director has done so far. Feels like it’s a good film for both social studies students and history-major students and teachers. Mackie and Jackson both nailed it together on their respective roles (NOTE: I also met Anthony Mackie in person in the summer of 2019). And that’s all there is to it, I can't complain much, it’s just that it’s a good film to watch while you’re at home or studying history during class or anything that has something to do with race or economical issues. The Banker is worth investing your time.


GRADE: B-

(Review by Henry Pham)


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