The Watsons Go to Birmingham


Action / Family / History


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June 02, 2014 at 08:46 AM



Wood Harris as Daniel
David Alan Grier as Mr. Robert
Skai Jackson as Joetta
Shameik Moore as James Jr.
720p 1080p
697.71 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 27 min
P/S 2 / 0
1.24 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 27 min
P/S 1 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ([email protected]) 10 / 10

Why Did This Film Get Buried?

This movie is based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis, a well respected children's author. The movie is about an African American family living in Detroit, Michigan who spend the summer in Birmingham, Alabama. The Watson children don't know about Jim Crow laws and segregation in the South. The children soon learn about the civil rights movement and discrimination. A scene like in the diner where the waitress tells them to go in the back or the cinema where whites and blacks are separated from each other. The film has a harrowing climax with the reality of the church bombing. The Watsons have made a life in the North but their Southern relatives face discrimination and segregation on a daily basis. This film is appropriate viewing for children. In fact, the movie and book could be used in the classroom.

Reviewed by rannynm 9 / 10

Great History Lesson that Helps You Appreciate the Rights We Have Today

"The Watsons go to Birmingham" is quite an interesting film and keeps my attention throughout.

Kenny, (Bryce Clyde Jenkins) and his family are African Americans. They live in a time period where segregation is still happening. Their family takes a trip to Birmingham, Alabama to visit their Grandmother Sands (LaTanya Richardson). In Birmingham, they take a stand for what is right.

I absolutely love the story line in this film. It's powerful, gives me a better perspective of what people went through back then and gives me an appreciation for the rights that I have today. Some of the scene sequences are extremely intense and the actors are doing a spectacular job in portraying their characters with the emotions. The young actors such as Bailey Tippen (Naomi), Skai Jackson (Joetta) and Harrison Knight (Bryon) are to be commended for their outstanding performances. They are so believable. The set, makeup, wardrobe and antique cars are great to see with so much attention to details. It really gives you a feel of how it was back then. My favorite character is Kenny because I can relate to him and in some scenes I would probably act the same way. My favorite scene is when Bryon is kissing his reflection on the car window and his lips are stuck. He has a hard time getting them off of the window. I can tell this really hurts, but it is extremely funny to see.

Director, Lenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun), does a great job in directing this film and understands the history and the story line. There is a lot attention to detail with the human behaviors and uniqueness that's makes this film so much more believable. A message in this film is that we are all created equal. It does not matter what skin color you are, you have the same rights as anyone else. Please treat people the way you want to be treated.

I recommend "The Watson go to Birmingham" for ages 10 to 18 and for the entire family. I give it 4 out of 5 stars as the overall production is put together extremely well.

Reviewed by Brianna Hope B.,KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Reviewed by Amari-Sali 8 / 10

With a largely familiar casts probably comes one of the best TV movies I've seen in some time.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham is a book, I believe, I had to read sometime in Middle School. Unfortunately I don't remember one bit of it, but if this film don't do it justice, than I doubt any other would. For, we have the established Anika Noni Rose and Wood Harris playing the parents, the young Mr. Bryce C. Jenkins who was in Easy A, Skai Jackson who seems to be a Disney child, and Mr. Harrison Knight who maybe someone to be considered up and coming. There is also David Alan Grier, who slightly redeems himself after Peeples, and LaTanya Richardson, who may probably be easier identified as Samuel L. Jackson's wife, but has quite a few movies under her belt which make you wonder "which one was she?"

Now, for those who haven't read the book, or are like me and forgot it after you did your book report/ test, the Watson family is pretty much prim and proper. Wilona (Anika Noni Rose) is an old-school housewife; Daniel (Wood Harris) is the father figure; Joetta, or Joey, (Skai Jackson) is the cute little youngest child who is all sweet and innocent; then you got the boys with Kenny (Bryce C. Jenkins) who is the middle child and sort of nerdy, and sometimes used as the example Negro; and then there is Bryon (Harrison Knight) who is that random spoiled apple who seems like the black sheep of the family.

As for the story, we first get settled with the Watsons before we even see Birmingham and they establish why they want to go: Because it is cold as hell in Flint, Michigan, even in springtime. So, between Bryon having issues at home and school, Daniel getting time off, and Wilona missing her mother, they take a 15 hour drive to Birmingham, Alabama during the time the civil rights movement is going on. From there, you watch as the kids learn why their parents migrated north, and get a lot of intermix between real events and the occasional reenactment. Including a few moments which give you a little scare.

Movies like these make me wonder what is the purpose of B.E.T anymore? Lifetime has probably created more, and better, TV movies in the last year or so, featuring Black people in lead roles, than B.E.T. has made, possibly since being sold to Viacom in the early 00s. This film, had me laughing, crying at some points, and even David Alan Grier looked good and, outside of Blankman and In Living Color, it is hard to find a production he is in which will lead to him deserving a compliment. That aside, I really do feel this, though not hard-hitting and overly serious, has probably became one of my favorite films to feature the Civil Rights Era as some sort of plot device. I sort of wish it existed back when I was in Middle School, and I only say sort of because likely many of the actors wouldn't have been born or even maybe available to play their roles back when I was in Middle School.

When it comes to negative aspects though, I would assume only a person who remembers the book could find something. Taking note this is a TV movie sort of lightens up your expectations a bit, and though the film never makes you think "why didn't they release this in theaters?" it never is to the point where you think "I can see why this is a TV movie" either. I guess, really, the only thing you could nitpick on is that some of the dialog didn't seem natural for the kids, especially when it came to outdated slang. Other than that, I got nothing.

Overall: Worth Seeing

The Watsons Go To Birmingham I won't claim to be something which will win Emmys and Golden Globes, but at the same time it very well could. It is one of those movies you may not expect much from, even with a talented casts, and strangely find yourself enjoying. It has comical moments, times when the reality of the times hit you, and all the while you find yourself with this family who may not be the type of dysfunctional family we are used to seeing in damn near every program/movie, but you still find yourself invested in them. That is why I'm saying it is worth watching, and I would even hope schools, assuming kids even read The Watsons Go To Birmingham anymore, get to watch this film after. I even think I may watch this again in the distant future.

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