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Adepero Oduye portrays Alike (pronounced ah-lee-kay), a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents Audrey and Arthur (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) and younger sister Sharonda (Sahra Mellesse) in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the sometimes boisterous support of her best friend, out lesbian Laura (Pernell Walker), Alike is especially eager to find a girlfriend. At home, her parents' marriage is strained and there is further tension in the household whenever Alike's development becomes a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The gay coming-of-age story's been done, but "Pariah" has something fresh to say, largely about the knotty complexities of love, and how they might keep someone in the closet: How badly do you need to be free, to hurt the people you love?"
‑ John Anderson, Newsday
""Pariah" is a small film about a big subject: the struggle to be who you are, not who others would like you to be."
‑ Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Pariah tells an involving story that's both deftly relatable and urgently progressive."
‑ Kristal Cooper, We Got This Covered
"Like Albert Nobbs, Pariah deals with issues of identity and sexuality, though in a vastly different way."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"A smart, compelling -- and optimistic -- portrait of heartbreak and hope."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"Rees brings a heartfelt connection to the material, based on her own coming-out story, but the film's ingredients aren't the freshest."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"If the destination is trite, the journey isn't - it comes with an ample supply of raw honesty."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"The uniformly excellent work that Rees coaxes from her entire ensemble elevates her film above the more formulaic coming-of-age beats of her screenplay."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"...evades the formula for coming-of-age films as it announces the arrival of a fascinating new star in the remarkable Adepero Oduye."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Wayans, best known for acting in comedies with her siblings, is a revelation as a woman whose faith offers both hope and blind judgment."
‑ Loey Lockerby, Kansas City Star
"You don't have to be black or lesbian or even know someone who's gay to appreciate "Pariah"; you just have to have gone through or be going through the process of growing up."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"Rees tells Alike's story in vignettes that are sometimes slapstick, sometimes heartbreaking, always tender."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Displaying an amazing amount of confidence and vulnerability at the same time, Oduye carries the film."
‑ Eric Melin,
"That's what I loved about "Pariah," that it sets up a very familiar narrative and then makes it painfully real and surprising. T"
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Smart, heartfelt, savvy, beautifully acted -- and clever enough at 86 minutes not to overstay its welcome."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
More reviews for Pariah on Rotten Tomatoes

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