The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Dangerously Overrated


06 July 2019| No Comments on The Last Black Man in San Francisco     by Sean Chavel


Blowhard, preachy and a relentless gentrification screed. I feel sorry for the Jimmie Fails types that The Last Black Man in San Francisco is about, to be dislocated from the neighborhood you had attachment to for so long is crushing. To have the black man who stalks his childhood home now occupied by unctuous white folk might make for an interesting subplot in another movie, but that’s the sole rotten apple to chew on for two solid hours here. In the midst, you have a deluge of ireful dialogue intermixed with diffuse imagery of random this and that. Joe Talbot, the director, didn’t know how to cut the film to strengthen the film into an agreeable shape, nor did he know how to cut the script to make it concise to begin with. At one point, Jimmie is shown to be an elderly caretaker, a fact that is carelessly shoehorned in. Nothing interesting is said or revealed about his occupation.

I found little moments fleetingly touching yet too small to be worth touting anything about; the climactic play / social critique slam held in the attic, was to me, strident. It’s exhausting. I got to get this in here: The toss-off “reveal” of the history of the house is also supposed to be a wow, but had enervated effect for me. “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” has been met with remarkable reviews in 2019, but I think it’s because the definitive black voices of “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Sorry to Bother You” were never as highly recognized and rewarded as much as they should have been in 2018, not to mention the scandal of “BlacKkKlansman” not winning the Best Picture Oscar, and now some are over-compensating for such egregious oversights by hyping this one.

121 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “Sorry to Bother You” (2018); “Blindspotting” (2018); “The Hate U Give” (2018); “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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