2 Best Movies to Watch by Aubrey Joseph

Staff & contributors

Based on the real-life experience of director Elegance Bratton, who was himself a Black gay marine soldier during the “don’t ask, don’t tell” period in the US, The Inspection documents the behind-the-scenes cruelty that goes on in training the armed forces. Specifically, it inspects how institutions like the marines are hardwired to promote a certain kind of masculinity and how people like Bratton, perennially in the margins, respond, react, and fight back. 

It’s moving and artful but also lighthearted and humorous, finding light even in the darkest corners. It’s self-contradictory that way, but the film is all the better and nuanced for it. Gabriel Union’s performance is also worth noting here; in a career-defining turn, she transforms into a character at once so hateful and loving, you’ll be hard-pressed not to give her your full attention onscreen.

Genre: Drama

Actor: Aaron Dominguez, Andrew Kai, Aubrey Joseph, Becky Boxer, Bokeem Woodbine, Daniel Williamson, Eman Esfandi, Gabrielle Union, Jeremy Pope, McCaul Lombardi, Nicholas Logan, Raúl Castillo, Steve Mokate, Tyler Merritt, Wynn Reichert

Director: Elegance Bratton

Rating: R

, 2024

If there's one thing that Bosco does that's really worth admiring, it's that it works around its lower budget much for effectively than many other films its size. It would be easy to make a prison drama—set mostly between bare walls and corridors—look cheap, but this one clearly puts in the effort to communicate how its protagonist views his claustrophobic surroundings, instead of just aiming for bland realism. That said, the story Bosco tells unfortunately doesn't display the same tightness and elegance. The film tries to articulate itself in a more poetic way but it just ends up being too clean, too measured versus the reality of prison life. And whichever supporting characters pop up are far too underdeveloped to complete the world being presented to us.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Aubrey Joseph, Brandon Rogers, D.C. Young Fly, Jim O'Heir, John Lewis, Nikki Blonsky, Theo Rossi, Thomas Jane, Tory Lanez, Tyrese Gibson, Vivica A. Fox

Director: Nicholas Manuel Pino