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Home > Written Reviews, Written Reviews > “THE BANKER” Transforming America

“THE BANKER” Transforming America

 

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia

An interesting view of segregation and discrimination, the film The Banker opens this weekend. The acting superb, direction pin point and the story line one of the better this year. It’s a part of history where bold chances by the black community paid off leading to an era of change for the better. Take a chance on this one and you will be astounded by its compelling look into those that gave their all to start a transformation in America.

Samuel L. Jackson as Joe Morris and Anthony Mackie as Bernard Garret in The Banker from Apple TV +

Bernard Garret (Anthony Mackie) is a brilliant mathematician and knows how to figure values of homes and buildings. Up to now his life as a black man has been moving forward with the help of his understanding wife Eunice (Nia Long). Bernard is not satisfied with ordinary and has come up with an idea that may change their life forever. But, it will take collateral that he doesn’t have. Eunice introduces Bernard to Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson) a black man who owns a Jazz night club and has ties to the mayor’s office.

Following the success with the purchase of an apartment building in an all-white neighborhood, he starts to integrate with black people to give them better living standards. When he’s declined for a loan at a bank, he decides to strike up a relationship with Joe to purchase the tallest building in Los Angeles. Director George Nolfi movies his film along at a fast pace introducing white whiz kid Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult) who will help as the white “face” of the company. He shows the bold moves of the trio as Bernard teaches Steiner about the Banking Business, how to deal with people and work the numbers game. Although the film shows a long road up to this point, it’s very important to the plot to earn its credibility.

Samuel L. Jackson as Joe Morris, Nia Long as Eunice Garrett, Nicholas Hoult as Matt Steiner, and Anthony Mackie as Bernard Garret in The Banker from Apple TV +

The performances by the whole cast are very good especially that of Anthony Mackie as the smart and persuasive Garret who found a way to help African Americans move forward in a segregated America. Mackie shows his character as never giving up, a smooth bargainer and a visionary. His Garret faces a lot of hurdles in his climb to the top and yet there’s one that becomes his downfall. I have always been a fan of Mackie and especially his roles in bold films like We Are Marshall, Notorious, and The Hate You Give.

As Matt Steiner, Nicholas Hoult puts on a good show learning how to figure banking terms, bargain with high powered businessmen, and making smart decisions all in tandem with Bernard and Joe. Steiner’s latent flaws however get the best of him and he becomes the fly in the ointment. His recent starring role in Tolkien shows his amazing talent and it flows over in Steiner making the performance one of his best.

Samuel L. Jackson as Joe Morris and Anthony Mackie as Bernard Garret in The Banker from Apple TV +

The Banker has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA (on appeal) for some strong language including a sexual reference and racial epithets, and smoking throughout. Available now at select theaters, so please check your local listings for locations and times. The Banker will also be available starting March 20 on Apple TV +

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very good film based on historical facts (4 out of 5 Stars)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult, Nia Long, Colm Meaney, Taylor Black, Bill Kelly
Directed by: George Nolfi
Genre: Drama, History
MPAA Rating: PG-13 on appeal for some strong language including a sexual reference and racial epithets, and smoking throughout
Running Time: 2 hrs.
Opening Date: March 6, 2020
Distributed by: Apple TV +
Released in: Select Theaters on March 6 and VOD beginning March 20

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