‘Sing Sing’ is the Best Movie of the Year (Thus Far) – Review

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Sing Sing‘ is the Best Movie of the Year (thus far) and A Testament to Redemption and Resilience of Those Incarcerated while Freeing their Minds and Reconnecting with Their Souls.

In the realm of cinema, there are stories that entertain, stories that provoke thought, and then there are stories like ‘Sing Sing‘, which transcend mere entertainment to touch the soul, which I greatly appreciate the Orange County Film Society for setting us this screening.

Directed by Greg Kwedar, ‘Sing Sing‘ emerges not just as a film, but as a beacon of hope and a testament to the transformative power of art, something A24 Films has become synonymous with high quality, thought-provoking independent films.

Set within the confines of Sing Sing Correctional Facility, the film chronicles the journey of Divine G (Colman Domingo), a man wrongfully imprisoned yet finding solace and purpose through theater. Alongside him are a remarkable ensemble of actors, all formerly incarcerated except for Domingo and Sean San Jose. This fact alone lends ‘Sing Sing‘ a profound authenticity and depth rarely seen in mainstream cinema.

At its heart, ‘Sing Sing‘ is Clarence Maclin’s story, both on and off screen. A wary newcomer to the prison theater group, Maclin’s character mirrors his real-life counterpart, whose own play serves as the basis for this deeply moving narrative, which began with a short film entitled, ‘Unlocked: The Power of the Arts in Prison‘ from 2021. The film does more than portray his journey; it stands as living proof of rehabilitation and the human capacity for change.

“We’ve worked on this movie for over seven years, and every time I meet a new RTA participant or alumnus, I grow more confident that this is one of the most unique and transformative programs that I’ve ever encountered,” says Director Greg Kwedar, reflecting on the profound impact of the Rehabilitation Through the Arts program, which inspired the film.

Sing Sing‘ not only sheds light on life behind bars but delves into the complexities of human emotion, the quest for redemption, and the healing power of community. The performances are raw, authentic, and deeply affecting, thanks to the firsthand experiences and talents of the cast. Each actor brings a unique perspective, enriched by personal struggles and triumphs, making their portrayals resonate with a rare authenticity.

Colman Domingo’s portrayal of Divine G is nothing short of mesmerizing, capturing the resilience and dignity of a man who refuses to be defined by his circumstances. Alongside him, Sean San Jose, who’s character Mike Mike is almost as powerful as Domingo’s, delivers a poignant performance that underscores the importance of solidarity and camaraderie in the face of adversity.

‘Sing Sing’ is not a film about incarceration; it’s about the universal human experience—of hope, of resilience, and of the enduring power of art to heal and transform lives. It challenges us to reconsider our preconceptions and to see beyond labels, reminding us of the shared humanity that binds us all.

In a year flooded with under performing prequels and sequels, ‘Sing Sing‘ stands tall as a defining masterpiece. It’s a film that not only entertains but also educates, inspires, and leaves an indelible mark on the heart. As we reflect on its impact, one thing becomes clear: ‘Sing Sing‘ isn’t just the best movie of 2024 so far; it’s a timeless testament to the triumph of the human spirit.

A24 Films’ ‘Sing Sing‘ opens in select theaters on Friday, July 12, 2024 and nationwide Friday, August 2, 2024.



Sing Sing‘, is a must-watch for its powerful storytelling, outstanding performances, and its profound message of hope and redemption through art, expression and freedom of ones right to create.

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