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JOE BELL, Based on a Startling True Story

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia

Based on a true story, the heartfelt drama Joe Bell comes to the screen this weekend. The film takes you into the lives of one family that has to deal with the effects of their son being bullied due to his sexual choice. It’s a compelling film that should press a lot of buttons on the society we live in. Nicely acted, directed and filmed, the movie works well on both the big screen and the home TV.

Mark Wahlberg and Reid Miller in JOE BELL Photo Credit Quantrell D. Colbert Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

After many incidents involving bullying do to his interest in being part of the football cheer squad instead of playing the sport, Jadin Bell (Reid Miller) comes out telling his father Joe Bell (Mark Wahlberg) that he is gay. Disturbed that his son has been targeted in school by his peers, he tries to reason with the principal, but gets nowhere. Looking for a fix to the problem Joe tries to find someone who will persuade Jadin that he should reconsider his choices while at school.

Mark Wahlberg and Connie Britton in JOE BELL Photo Credit Quantrell D. Colbert Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

We now find Joe traveling around the country on foot with stops at various High Schools and groups to talk about tolerance toward others. His companion is his memories and guilt due to the loss of his son Jadin. As he walks along the route he finds both resistance and support. Director Reinaldo Marcus Green moves his film along showing the hurt and sorrow for Joe Bell’s loss and misunderstandings. I like the way he brings out both sides of what kids are going through with understanding their sexuality.

Mark Wahlberg and Gary Sinise in JOE BELL Photo Credit Quantrell D. Colbert Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Joe Bell has been rated R by MPAA for language including offensive slurs, some disturbing material, and teen partying. It opens in theaters on July 23, 2021. I give it my maximum rating.

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Reid Miller, Maxwell Jenkins, Connie Britton, Blaine Maye, Juan Antonio
Directed by: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Genre: Drama, Biography
MPAA Rating: R for language including offensive slurs, some disturbing material, and teen partying
Running Time: 1 hr. 30 min.
Opening Date: July 21, 2021
Distributed by: Roadside Attractions
Released in: Theaters

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