The Brother from Another Planet
The Brother from Another Planet (1984)

Filmmaker John Sayles' first bonafide box-office success, Brother from Another Planet centers on a black escaped slave from a faraway planet (Joe Morton) who finds himself on the mean streets Harlem. Though the locals are put off by the… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: September 7, 1984
DVD Release Date: October 25, 2003
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Featuring director John Sayles trademark humanity and an expressive performance from Joe Morton, The Brother from Another Planet is an observant, dryly comic sci-fi gem.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The two different ends require shifts in point of view that are beyond Sayles's talent as a visual storyteller, and the film does not cohere.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The movie finds countless opportunities for humorous scenes, most of them with a quiet little bite, a way of causing us to look at our society.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Quirky urban spaceman comedy, that's only moderately funny and observant.

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A vastly amusing but progressively erratic look at the Harlem adventures of an alien, a black E.T.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

It's a nice, unsurprising shaggy-dog story that goes on far too long.

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TV Guide

Buoyed by Morton's sensitive performance, the film proceeds as a series of vignettes, some of them unforgettable.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Central to the film's deft balancing act between shaggy dog humour and something just a little more serious is Morton's expressive performance as the alien, though the rest of the cast also plays admirably.

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Josh Larsen

...nearly topples over from the weight of its social commentary.

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Emanuel Levy

A talk-heavy script about racial prejudice and other ills through the eyes of a mute black alien, terrifically played by John Sayles' regular Joe Morton.

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Flixster Audience Score: 75% Flixster User Reviews
Ken Stachnik
I liked it better than Starman. It wobbles a bit at the end, but overall it's both solidly funny and interesting.
Stephen Earnest
"Brother From Another Planet" is not an important film or one that should even be sought out. But it's clever, well-made, and well-written, and… More
Aj V
This movie is like a combination of a 70s drug story drama, an early 60s sci-fi movie, and an 80s independent film. I didn't know what to make of it, and… More
Stephen Earnest
Many will be discouraged to watch Brother From Another Planet simply because of the movie's premise and title. I'll admit that it doesn't exactly… More