'Malcolm & Marie': Sink or Stream?

Is this hellish romance one that should sink, or should you give it your love and make sure to stream?

Jesse Conner

By Jesse Conner

Zendaya and John David Washington in "Malcolm & Marie."

© Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Malcolm & Marie Poster

Malcolm & Marie



January 29, 2021

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When a person in a relationship finds success in their career, that success could be considered a shared accomplishment.

Though they might be the person who receives the acclaim, their significant other should always be recognized, too, as that person's providing the love and support behind the scenes.

This week's Netflix movie "Malcolm & Marie" is a story of recognition and achievement for one, and neglect of another.

Before you decide to sink or stream, we're here to give you our opinions first.

Reasons to Sink

© Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

© Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

  • Due to the nature of the film, there is only one real setting (broken up into smaller settings). Because of that, the film feels stagnant at times.
  • The plot focuses on the emotional aftermath of a couple that attends a movie premiere together. To some, that might not be compelling enough for an entire film.
  • There's a lot of explicit language and yelling here. That works for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woof?" (an acknowleged inspiration). This one's not quite on that level.

Reasons to Stream

© Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

© Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

  • Zendaya and John David Washington are both shamelessly raw with their actions and emotions, in such a way that it's impossible to determine whether they're being genuine or just malicious during their rants. That's part of the fun.
  • The cinematography is beautiful, combining a black-and-white aesthetic with a highly polished, hi-res sheen.
  • Working with only 2 actors and one house, director Sam Levinson creates a compelling, cringy tale where you're trapped with this dysfunctional couple.
  • The story is told in a way that's authentic. If you've ever been in a relationship, you'll relate.
  • The characters in the film sometimes use music to express how they're feeling. It's done in a way where the tone is never clearly defined and it's constantly shifting to extreme levels. That creates a sense of uneasiness every time a new song comes on - in a good way.

Sink or Stream?

The answer: stream this tonight!

We're not sure if you should watch with your significant other (it could very well cause arguments) but watching Zendaya and John David Washington emotionally duke it out is a sight worth seeing.

The two are incredible, teetering between frustrated and insane. They'll have you constantly guessing whether they'll kiss or kill each other.

Stream it now on Netflix

Jesse Conner

Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.

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