I watched THE BOOK OF CLARENCE over the weekend and I loved it.

LaKeith Stanfield (Get Out, Sorry to Bother You, Uncut Gems, Knives Out, and Judas and the Black Messiah) stars as the twin brother of the disciple Thomas. While Thomas leaves the family to follow Jesus, the atheist Clarence stays home with their mom.

Clarence gets into trouble chasing money in the street, falls in love with the sister of a local gangster, and is in debt to said gangster when the movie starts. Desperate to avoid getting killed, Clarence tries to join Jesus's disciples.

Blocked from even speaking to Jesus by Thomas and Judas, Clarence decides to study Jesus's ministry so he can imitate him. Clarence gathers his own disciples and declares himself the messiah. 

Hijinks ensue.

BOOK OF CLARENCE is a mostly effective satirical comedy set during the time of Jesus's ministry. In the movie we meet biblical characters like John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Barrabas, Pontius Pilate, Mary the Mother of Jesus, and of course Jesus himself.

The movie's portrayal of Jesus is spot on.  His appearances are brief and he's often hooded or hidden behind other characters, which increases anticipation to catch a glimpse of him.

BOOK OF CLARENCE is a little bit lighter in the middle than I would like. The montage of sermons doesn't quite tell us how Clarence was able to fool people into thinking he's the messiah, he just does it easily.

In my opinion, BOOK OF CLARENCE's flaws do not derail the story.  Clarence's character arc is satisfying, and all the characters' casting and acting are very strong.  The direction by Jeymes Samuel (The Harder They Fall) is well composed.  

THE BOOK OF CLARENCE left me wanting to follow these characters after the story ends, which is always a good sign.


More Movie Review Tees by Samax


Samax Amen is a teaching artist who creates art on computers, canvas, faces, stages, and pages. He also helps create many great comics you never heard of, and creates his own comics sometimes.  Samax started GhettoManga in 2003 to galvanize his audience and promote the people, places, and things he loves.
His latest project Samax Amen's Pocket Sketchbook Volume One is on sale now!

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