Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì

Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark—
unsure of where it is going, almost afraid of telling its story—mixes Mr. Cole’s music and his life story without any defined pattern and with no depth. The movie does not give enough of itself to leave the viewer a feeling of satiation, completeness, or fullness. One doesn’t really get to ‘know’ Mr. Cole from this film and almost wonders if he really existed as a person or if he was a figment of the imagination instead of a real entertainer who wooed the world with his amazing talent. By the ending credits, there is a feeling of boredom, a mild disappointment with nothing more to walk away with. The title of the documentary promises strength. Director Jon Brewer should have let the title drive the movie.

Film Poster Courtesy of Google Images


The Nat King Cole story told in documentary format.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jon Brewer for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Jon Brewer for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Himself (Nat King Cole), Himself (Tony Bennett), Himself (Ralph Carmichael), Himself (Johnny Mathis), Himself (George Benson), Himself (Harry Belafonte), Herself (Maria Cole), Himself/Baptist Minister (Edward Coles), Himself/Civil Rights Activist (Charles Evers), and Himself (Ivan Mogull).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The documentary is not as thorough or revelatory as it could be and seems a shallow presentation of the contribution Mr. Cole, through the music he left behind, continues to render to the world. If one wants to get to know Nat King Cole through his singing, YouTube offers more than this film.

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

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