A THOUSAND AND ONE – A Review by Jenn Rohm

A THOUSAND AND ONE – A Review by Jenn Rohm

A. V. Rockwell is an indie filmmaker whose star is rising. She debuted her feature film A Thousand and One at 2023 Sundance and brought home the Grand Jury Prize for the U.S. Dramatic Competition.

This story has layers to it.  Inez, Teyana Taylor, wants a better life for her son Terry.  She kidnaps him from foster care and heads to Harlem.  Her man Lucky, William Catlett, joins them and we follow the story of their life as a family.  This is being told during Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s gentrification plans.  It provided some eye-opening points for a girl from Texas about the struggles lower-income residents of New York were having to find ways to survive.

As the film covers Terry ages 6-17 three different actors play the role.  Aaron Kingsley Adetola as our introduction to him at 6 years old does an impressive job of showing innocence and some hard edges from his life so far.  We then advance to age 13 with Aven Courtney.  He is trying to find himself, separate from friends, notice girls, and keep his family together.  Aven does a believable job flowing into the new age.  We then jump to 17 with Josiah Cross that is not only facing what the future holds for him, stop and search is a common occurrence as he looks older than he is.  His transition is not as smooth.  Comes across as a bit more emotional and beat down than I would expect.

Teyana Taylor does a good job bringing Inez to the screen.  She shows her fighting spirit and desire to give and be loved.  Just how much can one person endure to achieve their goals in life?   I did find myself checking my watch a few times.  While the acting was strong some of the dialog led to scenes dragging on and characters almost heading into caricatures. 

This is a well-made film with a story that led me down a research rabbit hole of the trials and tribulations of NY 1994-2007.     


Director: A. V. Rockwell

Written By: A. V. Rockwell

Cast: Teyana Taylor, Aaron Kingsley Adetola, Aven Courtney, Josiah Cross, William Catlett

MPAA Rating: R for language

Genres: Crime, Drama

Selig Rating: 2.8 stars

Runtime: 1h 57m

Release Date: March 31, 2023

Movie Site: A Thousand and One official site

Trailer: A Thousand and One official trailer


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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