Sound of the Police (2023)

Sound of the Police (2023)

A somewhat rudimentary but no less painful reminder of one of America's most persistent sins



United States of America
85 min


In all seriousness, please be informed that this should come with a trigger warning for scenes of real violence and of certain kinds of pigs behaving badly.

What it's about

An overview of the United States' history of racially motivated police brutality and the ways in which the impunity of law enforcement is protected and maintained.

The take

The depressing reality when it comes to a documentary like Sound of the Police is that new, equally damning examples of state-sponsored violence—perpetrated by cops against vulnerable citizens—will likely continue to pop up at a pace that films just can't keep up with. And that eyewitness reports spread throughout social media will provide even more horrific (and necessary) images that movie studios may not be willing to show on screen. But while this film feels more like a basic crash course on racist American policing (touching on its roots in slavery, sympathetic media portrayals of cops, and the importance of cameras today), it still touches on most of the essential arguments that should leave anybody with a heart in disgust. There may not be much of a through line or a proper conclusion here, but it's still good to be reminded of the kind of tyranny that Black America lives through today.

What stands out

No matter how many times we see footage of Black men and women being approached with extreme prejudice for behavior that shouldn't even be seen as criminal, it doesn't get any easier to watch. Much of Sound of the Police is made up of these hard-to-watch videos, where it is clear as day that there is a massive gulf between how the victims are acting and how the cops are responding. And while there's definitely a debate to be had about the necessity of looking at these disturbing images again and again, the fact that so many of them have been collected here feels like an essential act of preservation for this ugly side of history.


Add a comment

What did you think? Who should watch it?




Can You See Us? (2023)

Zambia makes its debut on Netflix with this moving drama about a boy with albinism


Moon Students (2023)

A white savior story masquerading as an empowering film


Rohan at the Louvre (2023)

A riveting supernatural mystery contemplating Japanese art in relation to the world


Little Richard: I Am Everything (2023)

A stirring but ultimately plain documentary on a music icon who was anything but ordinary


The Black Book (2023)

A Nigerian revenge thriller seeking justice against corrupt institutions


Gandeevadhari Arjuna (2023)

A stylish Telugu bodyguard thriller with great action but strange pacing


Hail Satan? (2019)

Forget everything you think you know about the Satanic Temple


Cold War (2018)

A quiet Polish masterpiece with ravishing music and dazzling visuals


Wind River (2017)

Sicario's screenwriter directs this story of murder in an Indigenous reserve


Incendies (2011)

Part melodrama, part war thriller, Incendies is gorgeous and heartbreaking from the first scene


Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2023 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.