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Starring: Jeremy Pope, Raúl Castillo, McCaul Lombardi, Aaron Dominguez, Eman Esfandi, Aubrey Joseph, Andrew Kai, Bokeem Woodbine, Gabrielle Union
A24 drama written and directed by Elegance Bratton. Inspired by Elegance Bratton’s own real-life story, The Inspection (2022) follows Ellis French, a young, gay Black man, rejected by his mother with few options for his future, who decides to join the Marines, doing whatever it takes to succeed in a system that would cast him aside. But even as he battles deep-seated prejudice, and the grueling routines of basic training, he finds unexpected camaraderie, strength, and support in this new community, giving him a hard-earned sense of belonging that will shape his identity and forever change his life.
We’ll add the best quotes once the movie is released and we’ve had a chance to watch it, but for now, here’s a small selection.
Laws: Are you now or have you ever been a homosexual?
Ellis French: No, sir!
Laws: I will break you. I promise.
Inez French: Are you in trouble?
Ellis French: Ma, I need my birth certificate.
Ellis French: I need you to help me. I’m going to be a Marine.
Inez French: Marines? Know you is gayer than two left shoes, and everybody can see it.
Inez French: [as she gives Ellis his birth certificate] This is all I have left of the dream I held for you.
Rosales: Real question is, why do you want to be here?
Ellis French: I want to be a Marine.
Rosales: That’s not good enough.
Ellis French: My Mom, she won’t even talk to me. Most of my friends are dead, or in jail. If I die in this uniform, I’m a hero to somebody.
Laws: To be a good Marine means to know thyself and seek self-improvement. That means you dammit!
Ellis French: Aye, sir!
Inez French: They kicked you out didn’t they?
Rosales: Boot camp is supposed to break you down.
Ellis French: I want to go home.
Rosales: If we leave, they win.
Sergeant: Why is this weapon your best friend, recruit?
Ellis French: Because it’s the thing that protects the Marine to my left and to my right, sir.
Inez French: I could’ve left you at any doorstep.
Ellis French: I am never giving up on us.