Black or White

Black or White

Mike Binder (2014)

12 Certificate


Our Score
A young girl's future is at stake in this emotive drama from director Mike Binder (Reign over Me). Widower Elliot (Kevin Costner) fights for custody of his granddaughter Eloise, entering a bitter legal battle with her paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer), who's keen for Eloise to learn of her African-American identity. The film asks big questions about the way society views race, affluence and culpability, especially when it comes to delicate issues such as the care of a child. It's an ambitious approach, with the core message being that in family matters there are no easy answers. Certain aspects are handled clumsily, particularly the issue of how race plays into Elliot's feelings towards his legal opponents. Still, this tug of love is able to create enough of a moral conundrum to make the outcome worthwhile. Costner and Spencer elevate the occasionally dry material, particularly in the hit-or-miss courtroom scenes, and bring a healthy dose of humanity to an otherwise shaky plot.


A man who has been left to care for his mixed race granddaughter suffers a further tragedy when his wife dies, plunging him into depression and alcoholism. He is approached by the mother of the child's father, who suggests she would be better off living with her family, sparking off a bitter, racially charged custody battle. Drama, starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie.

Cast & Crew

Elliot Anderson Kevin Costner
Rowena Jeffers Octavia Spencer
Jeremiah Jeffers Anthony Mackie
Eloise Anderson Jillian Estell
Rick Reynolds Bill Burr
Duvan Araga Mpho Koaho
Reggie Davis Andre Holland
Carol Jennifer Ehle
Director Mike Binder
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: SignatureGuidance: Violence, swearingAvailable on: DVD