FIGHT FEAR. FACE TRUTH. EMBRACE LIFE.
Young seaman Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke) keeps getting into fights; a Navy shrink (Denzel Washington) tries to understand what makes him tick. Washington’s directing debut looks like the movies he usually appears in. It’s a solid, sentimental drama that knows how to be compelling without artsy camera work. The director is also generous enough to let a newcomer dominate the screen; he’s just there as the shrink to lend Luke support. Step by step we learn more about Antwone and the troubled childhood that has shaped him. Results are believable and emotional; a well-acted drama, but it falls short of greatness.
2002-U.S. 120 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Denzel Washington. Screenplay, Book: Antwone Fisher. Cast: Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher), Denzel Washington (Jerome Davenport), Joy Bryant (Cheryl Smolley), Salli Richardson, Earl Billings, Kevin Connolly… Viola Davis. Cameo: James Brolin.
Trivia: Co-produced by Washington.