REVIEW: Don Cheadle's "Miles Ahead"

Written by | Miscellaneous

Step into the twisted worlds of fractured fairy tales and deadly drone strikes, lost loves and haunted houses, alien overlords and an iconic artist looking for a fix.

By Jonathan Roche

Don Cheadle as Miles Davis

Photo by Brian Douglas/Sony Pictures Classics

The ever capable, often sublime Don Cheadle makes his feature film directorial debut — also starring as the cool-but-caustic jazz legend Miles Davis. It’s the 1970s and a reporter — played by Ewan McGregor — is launching a desperate attempt to get inside the head of the notoriously reclusive icon. The strategy: help Davis score a big bag of cocaine, which fuels a frantic night involving stolen session tapes, clumsy violence, and secret revealations. McGregor brings plenty of energy to his performance, but Cheadle stands out as the dynamic, idiosyncratic Davis. He nails the star’s lurching body language, raspy voice and impatient attitude while somehow still making the man’s uncompromising individuality something audiences can connect with. THE WORD: As a “one wild night” type of film, Miles Ahead lacks enough arc to be much more than a character portrait — but it manages to be one so unconventional, engaging and frenetically paced that you don’t even need to like jazz to appreciate it. COMING TO: Theaters

Last modified: July 27, 2017