Critic Consensus: Antebellum fails to connect its images with any meaning, making for a largely unpleasant experience lacking any substantial scares.
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Critic Reviews for Antebellum
The style of the direction is so lurid and the performances are so florid that they become ends in themselves and never mind the message no matter how timely it is in the current climate.
With luck, Monáe will be cast in more roles as smart as she is. This one is merely clever - a grimly "provocative" entertainment whose greater meanings are gone with the wind.
It loads up on visceral scares and disturbing imagery in service of a shallow film that feels like a gory theme-park ride showcasing the horrors of slavery.
Even if we didn't live in a country where a shockingly large fraction of people think Confederate monuments are A-O.K., Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz's Antebellum would resonate like the boom of a Union Army cannon.
A well-made drama on slavery's horrors builds to an exasperating ending...After all the sadistic violence, the big twist is a big bust.
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