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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 2.0
    • Screen Play 0.0
    • Visuals 4.0

    Water & Garri

    PG - Drama | May 10, 2024 Storyline:

    The story of a woman named Aisha who walks the path to find her destiny. Along the way, she returns to her homeland and encounters love and other things life has in store for her.

    • 2.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 1 month ago

    Tiwa Savage's debut feature-length film is visually stunning with great cinematography and vibrant colours. The lead star gives a commendable performance that could have been better.

    Meji Alabi tells a story about an unfulfilled woman whose return to her homeland brings both good and bad memories of the life she left behind.

    Tiwa is Aisha, the heroine who is caught up in past and present events when she rekindles an old flame that threatens to escalate in violence. As events unfold, she realizes that to go forward, she must come to terms with her past and stop running from her own story.

    Actress Jemima Osunde who portrays Aisha's friend Stephany does what she can with the little she is given. She is a forgettable character who comes and goes.

    The ultimate scene stealer here turns out to be Ghanaian star Andrew Yaw Bunting, who plays Aisha's love interest, Kay. His charisma, magnetic persona, and charm simply make him irresistible. However, the movie's biggest reveal involving him isn't given the treatment it deserves, leading to an anti-climactic and disappointing ending.

    Plot-wise, Water & Garri isn't anything new but the progression of events and a committed yet flawed outing from Tiwa make it worthwhile.

    It isn't perfect and may never win any major award but that won't stop me from recommending it to movie lovers out there who want to see Africa's Bad Gyal in a leading role.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 4.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 4.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    Japa

    PG - Comedy, Drama | March 8, 2024 Storyline:

    A school teacher who is determined to live a better life raises some money and decides to depart the country for greener pastures abroad. But life it seems has other plans for him as a series of unexplained occurrences begin to unfold.

    • 3.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 3 months ago

    Japa is a breath of fresh air. It is brilliant, funny, and entertaining, with a cast that makes you laugh in almost every scene.

    Starring Jidekene Achufusi (A Tribe Called Judah), Isioma Osaje's comedy explores the power of good deeds and how lives can be turned around by helping others.

    This is my first time seeing the time loop plot device used in a Nollywood movie and boy does it work!

    Achufusi is Mezu, a man who finds himself literally reliving the same day over and over again on the day that he is scheduled to leave the country for greener pastures abroad.

    Dazed and determined to solve the unending nightmare, he embarks on a quest for answers, enlisting the help of his friends along the way.

    The story is well told, thanks to a brilliant script that effectively shows how a time loop in science fiction works. Achufusi is a compelling protagonist and Adesua Etomi-Wellington is a sight for sore eyes. 

    Layi Wasabi, Blossom Chukwujekwu and the rest of the supporting cast who play Mezu's friends are compelling in their performances.

    In the end, this is a film that I regard as one of the best of its genres and the comedy, which is spot on, adds the much-needed spice to a didactic tale.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 2.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 2.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    Anikulapo: Rise of the Spectre

    PG - Drama | March 1, 2024 Storyline:

    In a race against time to avoid a dismal fate, Saro returns to Ojumo with orders to complete a nearly impossible task. Meanwhile, Arolake starts a new life but fate calls and a return to her past seems inevitable.

    • 2.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 3 months ago

    This sequel series fails to do justice to its two major characters, opting to explore numerous backstories and arcs that end up convoluting an overstuffed script.

    Saro and Arolake are relegated to the background for the entirety of the series, taking a backseat to new characters while director Kunle Afolayan fleshes out a visually striking universe.

    The so-called protagonist has three years to live on earth as he must return the souls of those he resurrected in the first film. Old habits die hard and he falls for the village belle, causing a series of events that lead to a tragic return to Oyo and a sinister foe.

    I honestly didn't expect that this Netflix series would impress me and it didn't. Aside from the improvement in cinematography, the commendable acting, a stupendous villain, and a laudable musical score, Anikulapo: Rise of the Spectre ends up being a disappointment.

    Kunle Remi and Bimbo Ademoye, who made the first part watchable, aren't given much to do here as supporting characters take the spotlight.

    The exposition suffers from tackling too many things at once, showing that Kunle Afolayan, a filmmaker who excels with feature projects of different genres, may not be ready for the intricacies of a series.

    For me, the standout here is Owobo Ogunde, who portrays the dreaded Bashorun. In a stellar performance, he embodies the antagonist who is intimidating and scary.

    The few action scenes are laughable (this is Nollywood, what else did I expect?) and the special effects once again look cheap.

    My advice to Afolayan on if he plans to make a second season is don't.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 2.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 2.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    Dead Serious

    PG - Comedy-Drama | February 27, 2024 Storyline:

    Popular comedian Sabinus stars as Johnny, a young man who must fight for the love of the woman of his dreams. His sanity is tested when the unexpected happens, leading to an inevitable downward spiral that threatens his very existence.

    • 2.6
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 3 months ago

    The first part of Dead Serious is anchored by the performance of Nollywood star Sharon Ooja who keeps the plot grounded in its approach to telling a love story.

    Lead star Sabinus takes over the second act, switching between playing Johnny and the comic character we all know him for in his skits. At some point, the line is blurred and the viewer can't tell whether or not we are watching Moses Inwang's film or a long comedy skit.

    The third act goes into much darker territory, juxtaposing light and serious tones in its treatment of one of society's prevalent issues. 

    In the end, a twist is revealed but the plot holes and unrealistic nature of events diminish the key message the director tries to pass across.

    For me, Dead Serious is everything you expect from a film of this genre; it comes with imperfections and sometimes what seems like 'overacting'.

    The humour is spot-on as I laughed for most of the movie, whether or not it was called for. In this regard, Sabinus delivers. However, his acting leaves room for improvement.

    The supporting characters are good too (Ooja is the obvious standout) but the Deyemi Okanlanwon subplot, which should have been expanded was abandoned.

    This film is far from being among the top comedy movies in Nollywood but those looking to laugh away their sorrows will be entertained by Sabinus' unending antics.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    Meeting Funmi's Parents

    PG - Comedy-Drama, Romance | January 26, 2024 Storyline:

    Funmi gets an unexpected welcome when she takes her American fiancé Jason back home to Nigeria to see her parents. What began as a vacation turns sour as unexpected issues surface, with Funmi's dad determined to make Jason's life a living hell.

     

    • 3.0
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 4 months ago

    Despite tackling a cliche societal issue, Meeting Funmi's Parents manages to subvert the plot archetype, executing an unexpected twist midway that changes what you think you know about certain 'stereotypical' characters.

    Omowunmi Dada stars as the eponymous character who must convince her parents that race is inconsequential when your heart yearns for the one it wants.

    Roman Thomson plays the doe-eyed, lovestruck boyfriend who must deal with his girl's doting father who dislikes him and everything he stands for.

    Both actors look good together and the humour works wonders, thanks to Akin Lewis who portrays the protagonist's doting father. His deadpan expression when he delivers his sarcastic lines makes the ticket price for this movie worth it.

    The story here has lessons for everyone but the most prominent one is how we often misjudge people based on what we think we know about them.

    I expected a mediocre story and got a rather engaging one with nuanced characters and a welcome arc for its central character. 

    When it comes to the acting, Omowunmi Dada and Akin Lewis are the standouts for me. Timini Egbuson, who is the past boyfriend is sadly overshadowed here due to script limitations.

    For the life of me, I couldn't fathom why the film had to end on a cliffhanger but I guess that means there are plans for a sequel or the length was so long that it had to be cut in half.

    Anyways, Meeting Funmi's Parents is worth watching.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 4.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 4.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    Blood Vessel

    PG - Thriller, Drama | December 8, 2023 Storyline:

    Six individuals on the run from a town devastated by oil pollution become stowaways on a mysterious ship and must face unexpected dangers that confront them.

    • 3.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 6 months ago

    Moses Inwang's film is a gripping tale of survival that is well-told visually and story-wise. Thanks to believable performances from all involved, it leaves a lasting impression.

    Adaobi Dibor, David Ezekiel, Jide Kene Achufusi, Sylvester Ekanem, Obinna Christian Okenwa, and Levi Chekere play youngsters who become hostages fighting for their very lives on a vessel manned by a dangerous crew.

    Blood Vessel is compelling from the very start; the vibrant cinematography and the characters get your attention early on and draw you into this thriller.

    The love story subplot works well and each character has their unique exploration but unfortunately, we barely get to see their backstories properly explored, except for the two leads.

    The musical score haunts every scene and as things go from bad to worse, you are left asking yourself if anyone has any chance of making it to the very end.

    What makes Blood Vessel work is how well the director juggles various themes while exploring a plot that gets darker at every turn. The character arc of the protagonist is well-written and the development is as natural as it is poignant.

    The few faults here are the makeup and effects which could have been better, one or two action scenes that clearly sucked, and a villain that we barely didn't know or understand his motivations.

    The standouts here, for me, are Adaobi Dibor and Jide Kene Achufusi. While her acting tugged at my heartstrings, his was simply phenomenal and scene-stealing.

    I recommend this thriller for everyone who enjoys suspense, with a bit of romance thrown in the mix.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 4.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    The Black Book

    PG - Action Thriller, Drama | September 22, 2023 Storyline:

    A grieving father sets out to find justice for his slain son and lay him to rest. Along the line, he crosses paths with old friends and foes, getting drawn back into the violent world he left behind.

     

    • 3.2
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 8 months ago

    I had no expectation from this film but felt compelled to watch given the calibre of the lead character. It turned out to be one of my favourite movies of the year, thanks to Editi Effiong's superb direction and RMD's nuanced acting.

    RMD plays Paul Edima, the middle-aged man whose son was slaughtered by a ruthless gang of police officers. The experienced star is convincing, portraying a broken man craving justice and kicking ass along the way.

    With the exception of the very first action scene, the visuals are good and the face-offs are quite impressive. But more than this, the themes of the film make it soar above your average thriller.

    The Black Book explores systemic corruption, with the lens zoomed in on lawmen who often go against their oath by turning on those they have sworn to protect.

    The plot is engaging, well-written, and made suspenseful by the director and a wonderful cast.

    The movie's climax is fun, with the final confrontation taking place in the windswept drylands of Kaduna. I couldn't have asked for a better ending.

    The stand-outs here for me are RMD, Ade Laoye, Shaffy Bello, and Denola Grey (even though he has a very limited screentime).

    I recommend this flick for action lovers and movie fans in general. You will not be disappointed.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 4.0
    • Dialogue 4.0
    • Screen Play 4.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    Jagun Jagun

    PG - Epic, Action, Adventure, Drama | August 10, 2023 Storyline:

    An aspiring warrior who encounters the wrath of a dreaded warlord must complete three deadly tasks. It's a journey that leads to the ultimate bloody showdown with a legend no one has ever defeated.

    Gbotija fights for his life and his love in a tale of magic, power, and vengeance.

    • 3.6
    • Users Rating 4 ( 1 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 10 months ago

    Nollywood epics have always been plagued with mediocrity. Lacking in substance, most of them failed because they are bereft of the most important ingredient that makes a good film of the genre; storytelling.

    Jagun Jagun soars, boasting impressive cinematography, a wonderful plot, rich dialogue, and two stupendous lead actors.

    Those who are familiar with Lateef Adedimeji's work won't be surprised by the sheer grit, determination and pathos he displays here.

    As the unlikely hero Gbotija, the actor, who is one of Nollywood's best, shows such range, going through a whirlwind of emotions that you can't help but relate to his quest.

    Femi Adebayo, another star who has made his mark in Nollywood portrays the antagonist warlord Ogundiji with such fetish that I have no doubt he was born for the role.

    Together, Adedimeji and Adebayo constitute the Yin and Yang of a story that fuses Yoruba mythology and pacesetting action sequences elevated by an unforgettable score to take Nollywood epics to a whole new level.

    Conversely, this film does have its weak points; a few annoying and unnecessary scene transitions, the expected cheap-looking special effects and lacklustre fights, and a love story that was not properly explored.

    Its flaws aside, Jagun Jagun is a triumph and one I am proud to say came from the stables of the Nigerian film industry.

     

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 3.0
    • Acting 4.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 4.0
    • Visuals 3.0

    The House Of Secrets

    PG - Thriller, Drama | June 30, 2023 Storyline:

    A woman suffering from dissociative amnesia finds out that she is a person of interest when a corrupt politician decides to wipe out every trace of his dirty secrets going back many years ago.

    As Sarah's memories gradually begin to come back, she must put together pieces of her troubled past and find a way to confront a formidable foe as she looks to embrace her present.

    • 3.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 11 months ago

    Niyi Akinmolayan employs the same intrigue and plot twists that captured viewers' attention in The Set Up, juxtaposing both past and present narratives to present a gripping story of love, secrets, power, and deceit.

    Najite Dede and Efe Irele both play older and younger versions of the protagonist; a woman whose memories hold the key to a general's downfall.

    While Irele is a feast for the eyes, it is Dede who completely owns this film. She shines in every way possible and her mesmerizing portrayal makes The House of Secrets one of Nollywood's best thrillers in recent times.

    The black and white scenes for the past work very well, contrasting the colourful ones used to depict the present. In this regard, Akinmolayan proves that he is a master of the craft, handling both scenery and visuals with grace.

    The set pieces are amazing and the attention to detail is commendable. A particular standout for me is the stupendous sound editing which perfectly captures the movie's tone and mood.

    One positive of this film is the action scenes. As a critic who is always quick to point out flaws, especially when it comes to such scenes, I was impressed with what was pulled off here.

    Actor Shawn Fuqua kicks ass (even if it's for a limited time) and looks really good and comfortable doing it. While one or two blows don't appear to land, the overall look is convincing.

    The only complaint I have is the fire outbreak scenes; they are obviously computer generated and the CGI is horrible (it's a shame Nollywood hasn't found a way around this yet).

    I was a bit sceptical about Akinmolayan not disappointing movie enthusiasts when he revealed that he was making a neo-noir film but now that I have seen The House of Secrets, the dude has made a believer out of me.

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    Rating Breakdown

    • Direction 4.0
    • Acting 3.0
    • Dialogue 3.0
    • Screen Play 3.0
    • Visuals 4.0

    Gangs of Lagos

    PG - Action Drama, Crime | April 7, 2023 Storyline:

    A coming-of-age tale revolving around a group of friends who have to walk different paths while growing up on the mean streets and neighbourhood of Isale Eko, Lagos.

    • 3.4
    • Users Rating 0 ( 0 Votes )
    AllNews Review
    Reviewed by Sydney Elike - 1 year ago

    Filmmaker Jade Osiberu is audacious with her interpretation of an engrossing story told from the perspective of a man caught in a world of crime, betrayal, and power.

    Tobi Bakre stars as Obalola, a promising lad whose big dreams of leaving the crime-laden streets of Isale Eko, Lagos are dashed when his foster father is brutally murdered.

    Growing up alongside his best buddies Gift (Adesua Etomi-Wellington) and Ify (Chike), Obalola soon learns that turning his back on the only life he has known is not as easy as he thought.

    Gangs of Lagos is a gripping tale that sucks you right in from the very first scene; the cinematography is perfect and every shot and camera movement adds flavour to the plot, giving you a look into the slums of Lagos and those who run it as you've probably never seen before.

    The characters are relatable, their motives and motivations make them well-rounded, and the actors all bring their A-games to sell their various roles.

    I only have two issues with this film; one is that the action at certain points was disappointing (this has continued to plague Nollywood).

    Secondly, I feel the character of Gift was left in the shadows a bit. Oba and Ify's backstories were explored so I expected to see the same with hers.

    There isn't much to say about the film other than this; Osiberu is really shaking things up in the Nigerian film industry and I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.

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