Only falters a little in the writing- due to the runtime, some of the dialogue is very exposition heavy and feels a little unnatural. This is mainly just in the first act, but it’s still noticeable. A longer runtime with more opportunities to set up character and plot points more naturally could’ve helped.
That being said, everything else is very strong. It’s an uncompromising look at the struggles to make any kind of positive change to an institution that already has so many problems and corruption. I admired how McQueen was able to make so many everyday locations still look cinematic (the visuals are very good), the soundtrack is great, and Boyega’s performance is fantastic.
It’s quite a “big” performance, with heightened emotions in some scenes, but he acts in a way where it never feels over the top. Boyega’s always a delight to watch, and I hope he collaborates with McQueen again at some point.