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Guava Island

2019 55m Mystery & Thriller Comedy Music List
74% Tomatometer 43 Reviews 74% Audience Score 250+ Ratings A musician on Guava Island schemes his way into the good life. Read More Read Less
Guava Island

What to Know

Critics Consensus

Thematically ambitious if occasionally somewhat obtuse, Guava Island adds another intriguing chapter to a talented team's burgeoning filmography.

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Critics Reviews

View All (43) Critics Reviews
Michael Nordine indieWire "Guava Island" is a nice enough place to visit, but an hour there is more than enough. Mar 17, 2020 Full Review Hannah Giorgis The Atlantic Glover and Murai assemble a magnetic cast who are, quite simply, a joy to watch. Sep 10, 2019 Full Review Brad Newsome Sydney Morning Herald Donald Glover and Rihanna bring us a dark, disturbing Caribbean fairytale that sits somewhere between musical feature film and long-form music video. May 23, 2019 Full Review Valerie Ettenhofer Film School Rejects Guava Island's biggest surprise may be that it doesn't play with tension as thoroughly as Atlanta or Gambino videos, instead choosing to dig for something more earnest and tentatively hopeful that matches Glover's Coachella speech. Apr 19, 2021 Full Review Fletcher Powell KMUW - Wichita Public Radio No one could say it overstays its welcome ... [but] I wish they'd indulged themselves a little more. Feb 8, 2021 Full Review Luke Gorham In Review Online Had [Guava Island] embraced more of the mysticism introduced in its prologue, it may have been the kind of oddity it's striving to be. Jul 30, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (68) audience reviews
Noel M Very touching. Glover did a fascinating job as always. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 04/01/23 Full Review isla s This is a laidback watch - its got a fairly thin plot about an upcoming music festival which the main character, a musician and DJ, is pushed to cancel (that made me think of the Fyre festival). I liked the start with the animated titles and there is some nice African/Caribbean music present but it felt a bit too weak otherwise. I'd have liked to have seen more character interaction and more of a context given to things. Its certainly an easy and light watch. I liked seeing the scenes featuring (what I assume to be) traditional African clothing, costumes and the like. Its not a bad watch but its not quite good as a full blown film - nearly but not quite. I couldn't help but feel like I'd be more intrigued if I had more of an emotional connection to the main characters, through knowing more of the background/context to what takes place. I'd say this is more a mix of a long series of music videos and perhaps an advert for the area, which was filmed in Cuba apparently. Its certainly alright but not what I'd regard as a proper full blown film as such - I doubt it'll stay on my mind for long. However, its good to see people try something new and its reasonably enjoyable, with if but a loose plot present, so if this partcularly interests you, in terms of the music and being something a bit different (plus if you have Prime Video access as its available to watch there at the moment (late July 2019) then I'd say its worth a watch, yes, just don't expect it to be a 'regular film' as such. I felt it had potential but it didn't quite get there, somehow, which is a shame. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Donald Glover sets the bar really high for himself every time he puts something out — music, television or acting and comedic performances. There is this connatural expectation that comes with the territory that Glover has reached with his artistic capabilities — audiences just have to live with these expectations and that goes for Glover as well who has this prescient understanding. These preconceptions are added on even more so with musical output that has veered far from what was priorly expected, projects like "Awaken, my Love!" and the later released "3.15.20" (released after Guava Island, as the title suggests). With Glover going towards artistic directions that seem to consistently surprise audiences, we as observers must stay light on our toes. Guava Island presents itself to be a few things: another pretty cinematic experience directed by Hiro Murai, a platform for views on social themes previously undertaken by Glover and a very enjoyable musical performance also by Glover. It's hard to see the highlights of this cinematic experience as something else than a good music video under Childish Gambino — soulful tunes to groove to, just oozing with the artistic talent Glover has to offer. Murai again shows his skill in great frames with beautiful color and composition. Shots that assume a surreal feel to it — using a pace of cuts, shots that linger on, creating a mistiming that gives that eery vibe. Going back to the expectations that Glover and his team have set on themselves. This project does seem to fall short of raising that bar in terms of finding quality in the form of something that does surpass what's been done before artistically. Audiences are fed the narrative of the artistic spirit against commercial authority — a concept we've been fed repetitiously. It is a treat to see this played out in a fictional island that entices visually, and creates an energy that just seems very festive and jocund despite the scenes like the 'This is America' number, where an industrial setting is shown. This sequence shows characters in the dreary chase of earning a good living what on what is claimed to be paradise — showing a symbol of, well, America and the social climate its in regarding capitalism and equal opportunity — or interpreted in a theme earlier discussed, the commercial impediments set in todays artistic landscape. Overall the project, was very fun especially considering its one-hour time slot. The experience should be more fun if you enjoy the music of Childish Gambino. Looking forward to projects on the screen (such as the 3rd season of hit TV series Atlanta), it proves to be a lengthier discussion that consist of hope of Glover breaking barriers rather than find comfort in the space that he's found himself in, albeit a domain that has already separated himself from other artistic creators. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review tom m Entertaining enough. It seemed more like a pet project for Donald Glover than anything else ... a piece to showcase is musical talents. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Pure brilliance, this movie spoke from the heart and you could feel it. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/14/23 Full Review Audience Member It is visually pretty, but I thought it was a movie, this felt more like a visual album for Childish Gambino songs. This man is so overbearing that he can manage to make RIHANNA almost invisible, sadly. The "movie" has only an hour but it still drags, it was still pretty because the island and it's people are beautiful. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Guava Island

My Rating


Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis A musician on Guava Island schemes his way into the good life.
Hiro Murai
Production Co
New Regency Pictures
Mystery & Thriller, Comedy, Music
Original Language
Release Date (Streaming)
Apr 15, 2019