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A Journal for Jordan

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A Journal for Jordan

2021

Drama

Synopsis

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zkonedog  3 / 10

Cringeworthy Dialogue/Tropes The Main Culprit Here

I had “Journal for Jordan” on my eagerly-awaited watchlist for quite some time. Michael B. Jordan directed by Denzel Washington? Count me in! Unfortunately, I found the film to be extremely flat (cringeworthy at times) in the atmosphere & dialogue departments.

For a very basic overview, this movie tells the story of young black couple Charles (Jordan) & Dana (Chante Adams). Charles is a soldier, and while serving in post-9/11 Iraq he constructs a journal of thoughts/advice for young son Jordan (Jason Christian). All the while, flashbacks and narrative time-shifting is used to depict how Charles & Dana got to that point in their relationship.

Paramount in my dislike for “Journal for Jordan” was dialogue that I found to be extremely stilted and unaffecting. At times, it felt like a made-for-TV flick in this regard. While I’m sure the meanings of the words & sentiments themselves are just fine, I couldn’t get past the flat delivery or feel of the conversations present.

I also was not at all impressed by the number of cliches or tropes that I felt were utilized in place of real emotion. For the majority of the all-important character setup of a romance picture such as this, it seemed like I was watching “young black couple”, “independent career woman”, & “derived military emotion” far more than real, emotional characters or scenarios.

In a rather odd move, I was similarly underwhelmed by the usage of the film’s titular narrative structure, that being the journal from father to son. Maybe if such a structure had been used to frame the entire movie I could have “bought in” a little more. But as it was, “Journal for Jordan” felt like a cheesy rom-com that sharply tried to pivot to high-drama in the final third.

All of that being said, I watched this film with two others who thoroughly enjoyed it. A lack of a central plot/topic could be the culprit for this, especially when I personally was never swept away by the chemistry of the two leads. I can pretty easily give “Journal for Jordan” three stars because it certainly tries to hit all the right notes, but this one just didn’t connect with me in any meaningful fashion.

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Reviewed by kevin_robbins  8 / 10

This is a very well done picture with numerous important life lessons and elements

A Journal for Jordan (2021) is a movie my wife and family saw in theatres on Christmas Day. The storyline follows a single mother raising a young man and trying to explain his past, her relationship with his father and why circumstances are the way they are. As the young man faces various struggles in life, she reads him segments of a journal his father left him before passing away on how and why he has to handle various circumstances in life.

This movie is directed by Denzel Washington (Antwone Fisher) and stars Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Chanté Adams (Bad Hair), Robert Wisdom (Face/Off), Tamara Tunie (Flight) and David Wilson Barnes (Capote).

The storyline for this is very well written and executed. The elements of the storyline and how they are presented while jumping around “present day” events are well done. The lessons learned by the characters and how that plays into the final conclusion is excellent. The cast delivers remarkable performances and the movie has many tear jerking moments and elements.

Overall this is a very well done picture with numerous important life lessons and elements. I would score this a strong 8/10 and strongly recommend it.

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Reviewed by JoBloTheMovieCritic  7 / 10

A Journal for Jordan

7/10 – all the time jumps did not benefit the film and some sharper editing of the scenes would have elevated the film, but I did cry three separate times during it so it definitely will get you in your feels.

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