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The Cuban

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Canada

2020

1h 49m

Director Sergio Navarretta

Starring Ana Golja, Louis Gossett Jr., Shohreh Aghdashloo, Lauren Holly

Genre Drama

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Mina, a young Afghan immigrant, is a pre-med student who lands her first job at a nursing home. Soon, she develops an unexpected friendship with Luis, a Cuban resident with dementia, who regales her with stories of his past as a jazz musician, reigniting Mina's love of music and changing her life forever.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

69

Paste Magazine by Andrew Crump

Golja and Gossett’s joint appeal—his rascally charm, her coltish earnestness—gives The Cuban soul, shining light through the gloom of brain decline and the horrors of an ambivalent healthcare system. Who needs validation when you have heart?
50

The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Barry Hertz

Perhaps sensing that the rest of his story - mostly focusing around the earnest do-goodery of Golja's aide - falls emotionally flat, Navarretta lavishes attention on his two marquee players, creating tiny moments of poignancy.
85

Film Threat by Bobby LePire

The Cuban does not develop everything in its screenplay to complete satisfaction. But what’s there is very good and believable. Combine that with the jaw-dropping directing and visual style, along with the pitch-perfect cast, and you are left with a compelling drama that is well worth it, flaws and all.
50

The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

Complications culminate in epiphanies and brief triumphs, as is customary. But this genial, well-intentioned movie never quite lands a real emotional punch.
60

Variety by Jessica Kiang

The real learning here ought to be that if you cast two such charismatic performers as Louis Gossett Jr. and Shohreh Aghdashloo in your movie, it would be better to clear all the Life Lesson clutter away and just let them get on with it.
63

RogerEbert.com by Monica Castillo

The Cuban pulls together music, romance, loss, and memory into an emotional tale that spans cultures and generations. One thing connects them all: Cuban music.