Film review: ‘All Day and a Night’

by Xion Abiodun

Since quarantine has been going on, many of us have been surfing through streaming services trying to find interesting shows and movies. During this time I saw a title that caught my eye: “All Day and a Night.” A young man who ends up getting life in prison reflects on his decisions that got him there. On top of that, it’s a Netflix original that’s based in Oakland, California. OK, so I have to watch, I thought to myself. 

As a film critic, I will say it is a great movie. The storyline was excellent and the acting was great. The scene changes were nice and the way the director flashed back and forth in the life of Jah, the main character, was very creative. 

. . . did not give me an Oakland vibe at all, as someone from East Oakland.

One thing I did not like about the movie is that it had a scene that really, really reminded me of the movie “Baby Boy” [the 2001 John Singleton film that debuted Taraji P. Henson and Tyrese Gibson]. The scene was copied straight from that movie and was not necessary to put in this new film. 

“All Day and a Night” did not give me an Oakland vibe at all, as someone from East Oakland. One thing that bothered me was that the slang and the Bay Area accent was off and you could tell. Many things in the movie looked very unnatural or forced. If I was not from Oakland, I’m pretty sure I would overlook these things, or wouldn’t even notice them.

“The movie was OK, but it really didn’t grab my attention that much.” said Keseana Sanders, from East Oakland. Keseana expressed that it wasn’t the Oakland we know and see. She also stated that she wouldn’t watch it again by choice, and that if the movie was not based in Oakland, she might have liked it.

Kenia Rivera from East Oakland stated that she enjoyed “All Day and a Night.” “I like the fact he kept it real throughout the movie even though he ended up losing it all in the long run. It is realistic, just not East Oakland realistic.” She expressed that it wasn’t “East Oakland” realistic because Jah kept letting another man in the movie disrespect him and it ended up making him look like a sucka.

Vasati Vaioleti is also from Oakland and she said she liked “All Day and a Night.” “I really loved how it shows how different Oakland is and how it’s surrounded around Jahkor’s life because it shows the emotional rollercoasters throughout his life.” She also stated that she would not change anything because everything went so well together. 

Xion Abiodun

Overall, I think the movie was great. I would definitely give it 4 stars out of 5. The only thing I would change about it is where it was based. I think what people need to consider is that at the end of the day it is still Hollywood and for that reason it will not be “real Oakland.”

Xion Abiodun is a student at Madison Park Academy and can be reached at Xion.abiodun@gmail.com. She is also a part of the Black New World Journalists Society.