To Sleep With Anger (1990) In Charles Burnett's independent feature, an extended family of middle-class blacks is invaded by Harry (Danny Glover), an old friend from the Deep South who… PG PT102M Drama Danny Glover Paul Butler Mary Alice Sheryl Lee Ralph Samuel Goldwyn Films
Movie Review

To Sleep With Anger (1990)

MPAA Rating: PG
EW's GRADE
C+

Details Rated: PG; Length: 102 minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Danny Glover and Paul Butler; Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films

In Charles Burnett's independent feature, an extended family of middle-class blacks is invaded by Harry (Danny Glover), an old friend from the Deep South who is still rooted in the past. At first, he seems a benign, even jolly fellow, with an easy, rollicking laugh and the open manner of someone who has made peace with his demons. As the film goes on, though, Harry himself starts to seem like a demon. His presence begins to unsettle the family, raising old resentments and even causing a mysterious illness. Yet the tone of the movie remains buoyant, even raucous.

Burnett is nothing if not ambitious. In fact, he may be too ambitious; To Sleep With Anger is so jammed with characters, jokes, and murky folkloric layers that it never quite finds a mood. Glover, though, gives a rich comic performance. C+

Originally posted Nov 09, 1990 Published in issue #39 Nov 09, 1990 Order article reprints