6.9/10
14,317
48 user 69 critic

Beyond the Lights (2014)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music, Romance | 14 November 2014 (USA)
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2:30 | Trailer
The pressures of fame have superstar singer Noni on the edge, until she meets Kaz, a young cop who works to help her find the courage to develop her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gugu Mbatha-Raw ... Noni
Nate Parker ... Kaz
Minnie Driver ... Macy Jean
Machine Gun Kelly ... Kid Culprit (as Richard Colson Baker)
Danny Glover ... Captain Nicol
Darryl Stephens ... Quentin
Elaine Tan ... April
Isaac Keys ... Jonas
Tyler Christopher ... Liam King
Benito Martinez ... Jesse Soria
Aisha Hinds ... J Stanley
India Jean-Jacques India Jean-Jacques ... Noni (age 10)
Deidrie Henry ... Felicia
Estelle ... Herself
Malieek Straughter ... Billboard Awards Stage Manager
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Storyline

Romance ignites between a troubled young singer on the cusp of stardom, and a handsome young cop with political ambitions in this drama about the power of walking your own path. Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a talented singer whose ethereal voice has taken the world of music by storm. A glimpse beneath the surface, however, reveals a girl who's cracking under the pressure to top the charts. When Noni tries to end it all, concerned cop Kaz Nicol (Nate Parker) pulls her back from the ledge, and shows her that life is still worth living. Along the way, Noni and Kaz fall head over heels in love. Meanwhile, the powers that be conspire to keep them apart as well as focused on their respective careers. But without Kaz's love, Noni may never find her true voice..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Open your heart. Find your voice.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content including suggestive gestures, partial nudity, language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blackbird See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,200,284, 16 November 2014

Gross USA:

$14,618,727

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,618,727
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gina Prince-Bythewood stated on her Twitter that Big Sean auditioned for the role of Kid Culprit and was later given a cameo role as himself in the film. See more »

Goofs

Captain Nicol refers to his son Kaz's dog as male (saying he's fed) however, Noni says to Kaz's dog "hey girl". See more »

Quotes

Kaz: [to a group of pastors whose support he's trying to win] What I mean to say is, progress rarely comes from those who are content and secure. It comes from those who are unsettled by what they've seen.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Midnight City
Written by Anthony Gonzalez, Morgan Kibby and Justin Meldal-Johnsen
Performed by M83
Courtesy of Mute
By arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not my genre but still thoroughly enjoyed it
13 November 2014 | by a_sad_cowSee all my reviews

With the low IMDb rating, pop culture and romance, I was thoroughly expecting overused tropes, bad acting, and marginal writing. What I got was the complete opposite. I am not a fan of pop culture or romance movies but somehow these characters became very real for me.

In particular, I am impressed with the director's discipline. There are so many overused tropes that could easily have dominated the screen time. Instead, she hits her points and moves on.

The supporting cast was particularly impressive for their sheer believability. Hollywood too often takes the liberty "it's only a movie" or "it's Hollywood, we can totally do whatever". Instead, they stayed true.

This movie will go in my Blu-Ray collection when it finally comes out. The subtleties are impressive and worth revisiting. This is the second movie with a primarily romantic focus to achieve that honor. The first is True Romance.


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