Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard). As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill. The film, which is poignant and devastating, is written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu, who is the first black woman to take home Sundance's top prize. Awards
The Globe and Mail/Chandler Levack
This is a film with an unforgettable story and performances that will edge into your DNA.
The Washington Post/Michael Sullivan
Clemency, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, isn’t really a death row drama in the same way that “Just Mercy” is. Rather, it’s a character study of a witness who, vicariously, is a stand-in for each of us.
The Guardian/Benjamin Lee
There’s little room to breathe in writer-director Chinonye Chukwu’s constricting, devastating drama Clemency, an intentionally airless film processing a tough subject through an unusual viewpoint.
The strength of ensemble’s performances can’t be overstated, especially that of Woodard and Hodge—she one of the greatest actors of her generation, he on the path to becoming one of the greats of his own.
The Hollywood Reporter/David Rooney
It's the humanity and compassion invested across all the principal characters that makes this contemplative examination of the terrible weight of taking a life so commanding.
The Los Angeles Times/Justin Chang
It’s a sterling piece of American realism, powered by the transfixing spectacle of a great actor at the peak of her powers.