Half of a Yellow Sun
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Half of a Yellow Sun
Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Upon returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover, the "revolutionary professor" Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his devoted houseboy Ugwu (John Boyega) in the dusty university town of Nsukka; Kainene turns out to be a fiercely successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, and surprises even… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Biyi Bandele has excerpted their story from a much wider-ranging narrative, but the action here is still so tightly compressed that this feels like a precis for a movie twice its length."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
""Half of a Yellow Sun" winds up being one of those movies in which a pesky event of great historical import keeps getting in the way of a soap-opera romance."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"The plot goes everywhere and nowhere, coming across as a disconnected series of events rather than a unified whole. Ejiofor and Newton offer solid but unexceptional performances, as though hampered by the director's lack of vision."
‑ T'Cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette
"A well-intentioned historical drama that gets caught up in the undertow of mawkish melodrama early on, never to fully recover."
‑ Brent Simon, Shockya.com
"A film compromised to some extent by its emphasizing of human melodrama rather than social and political issues that figure in the novel it is based on. But it still a gripping story about people caught up in a civil war sadly typical of Africa today."
‑ Louis Proyect, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"The best of the movie finds a way to abridge the novel and still allow the scenes to breathe."
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"The result is that melodramatic soap opera elements win out over Bandele's attempts at stirring historical drama. That said, it's still a story worth telling."
‑ Mary Houlihan, Chicago Sun-Times
"The actors shine: Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anika Noni Rose are all splendidly in their moment."
‑ Ray Pride, Newcity
"The audience's attachment to and investment in these people lend powerful intimacy to the large scale epic trappings."
‑ Michael Dequina, TheMovieReport.com
"Timely and epic, if a bit scattershot in its approach to recent Nigerian history"
‑ Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
"Like many a lengthy novel, it might have worked better as a television series."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
""Half of a Yellow Sun" deals with human tragedy, but it never really makes a human connection."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"Despite fine performances by Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor, the cliché-riddled "Yellow Sun" burns cold."
‑ Jamie S. Rich, Oregonian
"Half of a truth. A generic take on the plight of the wealthy in war just about anywhere. And as a contrived cover for the real issues - how colonialist instigated chaos is always about oil and religion, and how Neo-Crusades in league with NGOs, kick in."
‑ Prairie Miller, WBAI Radio
"It falls into the trappings of middlebrow literary adaptation by finding only sporadic means to convincingly adjudicate the trauma and anguish of its transitory epoch."
‑ Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Half of a Yellow Sun on Rotten Tomatoes