The Decision

The Devil You Know (also known as "Brother's Keeper")
Stars: Omar Epps, Michael Ealy, William Catlett, Glynn Turman, Curtiss Cook, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Erica Tazel, Vaughn W. Hebron, B.J. Britt Theo Rossi and Murray Gray
Director/Scriptwriter: Charles Murray
Cinematography: Ludovica Isidori
Command Productions
Rated R for violence and themed material
Running Length: 118 minutes

Many years ago, when Omar Epps (“This Is Us”) was starring in “Against The Ropes” with Meg Ryan, I had an opportunity to interview Mr. Epps. The interview was set up for after a work day, but time passed and soon it was midnight.  I gave up hope. The phone rang and here it was Omar Epps, just home from a long work day and yet he gave his word he would do the interview and there he was.  He talked for almost an hour and I always remember his willingness to discuss acting. 

So, here it is, years later, and Omar Epps has a new film out concerning, not boxing, but family ties. Do they tighten or loosen where there is a problem within and there comes a point when families may even fall apart. Epps plays Marcus, an ex-con who is trying to put his life together. Also in the cast are Glynn Thurman (” Fargo”)  and Michael Ealy (“Bel-Air”)

There are actually two stories in this film. First, we begin with Marcus Cowans (Omar Epps), just out of prison This can make or break a man and Marcus wants to make a fresh start. His Dad (Glynn Thurman) managed to get Marcus a job as a bus driver. Mom (Vanessa Bell Callaway (“Saints & Sinners”) decided to choose a girlfriend for him and set up a blind date with a nurse. Things are moving along nicely and Marcus is beginning to feel good about himself. Later, in another part of the city, is a masked home intrusion/robbery in which a husband and wife are killed and their son severely wounded. Michael Ealy is the almost-retired detective who takes over the case. Eventually, the trail begins to lead in the direction of Marcus and possibly family members. Something valuable was taken during the robbery and who has it now? Enter Theo Ross (“True Story.”)

The facial expressions in this film are as important as the storyline. You can’t convey story without emotion and that is what shows. However, it seems as though when Marcus reaches a good point, something else happens. A man can take just so much. Acting is well done, especially by Omar Epps who gives a portrayal of a man trying to turn his life around, but meeting family problems at each turn. His facial expressions convey his feelings well. On the other hand, Michael Ealy is the detective on one last case, and wants to close the books, but can’t quite do it yet. Glynn Thurman is the father with many questions to ask and to answer in this family. The question becomes: how far do you go to protect someone? Just what is the line in the sand over which no one should cross.  

Copyright 2022 Marie Asner