The American Society of Magical Negroes Review

Cast: Justice Smith, David Alan Grier, An-Li Bogan, Drew Tarver, Michaela Watkins, Rupert Friend, Nicole Byer

Genre: Satire, Comedy, Fantasy

Director: Kobi Libii

In Cinemas: 26th April 2024


A Misfire in Tackling an Outdated Trope In “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” Kobi Libii attempts to satirize the old Hollywood trope of the Magical Negro, but falls short on multiple fronts.

Despite the film’s exploration of white discomfort and its attempt to skewer the trope, it ultimately lacks the depth and relevance needed in today’s cinema landscape.

One of the film’s main drawbacks is its failure to offer any new insights into the stereotypes faced by Black people. Set in the present day, it misses the opportunity to shed light on contemporary issues, despite its nearly two-hour runtime.


Additionally, the absence of fully fleshed-out Black characters is glaring, especially in a film purportedly aimed at combatting one-dimensional representation.

The plot follows Aren, played by Justice Smith, a lackluster artist recruited into the titular society, which aims to placate white people to protect Black individuals.


As Aren navigates his new role, the film veers into workplace rom-com territory, further diluting its focus.

Unfortunately, the film’s mishmash of ideas and tones fails to coalesce. While it attempts to deconstruct the Magical Negro trope, it ends up perpetuating stereotypes and lacks a coherent message.


Aren’s character, in particular, feels underdeveloped and serves merely as a vessel for the convoluted premise.


In the end, “The American Society of Magical Negroes” misses the mark, offering little in terms of meaningful commentary or engaging storytelling. In today’s cinematic landscape, where Black filmmakers are producing diverse and groundbreaking work, this film feels like a relic of a bygone era.

Overall: 1/10

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