Selah and the Spades (2020) - Rotten Tomatoes

Selah and the Spades2020

Selah and the Spades (2020)



Critic Consensus: A smart, well-acted, and refreshingly messy coming-of-age story, Selah and the Spades suggests a bright future for debuting writer-director Tayarisha Poe.

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Movie Info

In the closed world of an elite Pennsylvania boarding school, Haldwell, the student body is run by five factions. Seventeen-year-old Selah Summers (Lovie Simone) runs the most dom-inant group, the Spades, with unshakable poise, as they cater to the most classic of vices and supply students with coveted, illegal alcohol and pills. Tensions between the factions escalate, and when Selah's best friend/right hand Maxxie (Moonlight's Jharrel Jerome) becomes distracted by a new love, Selah takes on a protégée, enamored sophomore Palo-ma (Celeste O'Connor), to whom she imparts her wisdom on ruling the school. But with graduation looming and Paloma proving an impressively quick study, Selah's fears turn sin-ister as she grapples with losing the control by which she defines herself.


Lovie Simone
as Selah Summers
Jesse Williams
as Headmaster
Evan Roe
as Two Tom
Kayla Caulfield
as High School Student
Christy Coco
as Morgan M.
Kevin Mambo
as Mitchell
Melissa McMeekin
as Mrs. O'Reilly
Zachariah Supka
as Track Star
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Critic Reviews for Selah and the Spades

All Critics (109) | Top Critics (34)

It has a woozy, suggestive grip, dangling some questions, answering others. It isn't slick. It's singular - and Poe is clearly a name to watch.

November 27, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Poe's feature debut, though, has a style all its own, spare but rich and able to make the umpteenth teen movie we've all seen feel fresh.

April 28, 2020 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Poe - a new kid on the block who already feels like a major talent - calls a spade a spade but manages to be dreamily oblique, right to the end.

April 21, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's impassioned, informed and sometimes furious work that could find Poe being name-checked herself not too long from now.

April 21, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Tayarisha Poe's empowerment of women, dissection of Black Excellence, and modern sensibility toward adolescent sexuality makes for an edgy feature debut.

April 21, 2020 | Rating: A | Full Review…

It's closer to horror than the usual lightweight fare one finds in the genre.

April 20, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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