In what feels like a wasted opportunity for a show vs. a movie, a man goes on a trial where he knows the cards are stacked against him.
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For over 20 years, Bernard James, who goes by Dutch, has worked his way from stealing cars to narcotics to owning multiple real estate properties and being damn near a kingpin of sorts. But, with such a rise from a kid working at a pizza shop, it is only natural that Dutch made enemies over his lifetime.
Whether it is folks like Frank, jealous of what Dutch obtained as a young Black kid, those like the DA, Anthony Jacobs, who want to make a name off of him, or the various people Dutch put on who could snitch, the case against Dutch might be for terrorism, but it seems many might be trying to take down Dutch in a courtroom since he is untouchable on the street.
- Dialog: Discriminatory Language, Cursing
- Violence: Amputation/Dismemberment, Blood, Torture
- Sexual Content: Nudity, Sexual Situations (Implied)
- Miscellaneous: Depiction of Corpses, Drinking, Smoking
Preston A. Whitmore II
Preston A. Whitmore II
Based On Work By
Teri Woods, Kwame Teague
March 12, 2021
How To Watch
1 Hour 43 Minutes
Noted Characters and Cast
Bernard James aka Dutch
DA Anthony Jacobs
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
Bernard James AKA Dutch (Lance Gross)
Born and raised in Newark, Bernard James, nicknamed Dutch after a friend of Fat Tony’s, was just a kid willing to hustle, and within 20 years, he went from owning a chop shop to running drugs throughout multiple cities in New Jersey.
- The older actor is also known for their role in “Call Her King.”
Frank (James Quattrochi)
Frank is part of Fat Tony’s family, and as Dutch rises, he feels that some of what should have been bestowed to him was stolen. So, he gets envious and wants to use his connections to remind Dutch of his place.
DA Anthony Jacobs (James Hyde)
DA Jacobs is responsible for trying to put Dutch behind bars and, alongside wanting justice for the cops’ Dutch allegedly ordered the deaths of, this wouldn’t look bad on his resume as he pursues becoming governor.
Craze (Jeremy Meeks)
Craze is just as his nickname implies and is always down for some of Dutch’s most dangerous, life-threatening assignments.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Legacy: Season 1.”
Angel (Isabella Farreira)
The sole woman of Dutch’s group, Angel is like the sister Dutch never had, and he trusts her with his life, especially since she is capable of doing nearly everything he can.
Zoom (Markice Moore)
Zoom is one of Dutch’s associates who has a thing for Angel and is usually part of the meetings where Dutch decides on the next move.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Point Blank.”
Michelle Nichols (Natasha Marc)
Michelle Nichols is a criminal attorney who Dutch recruits just before he is arrested, and while Michelle knows Dutch is guilty of many a crime, the one he is charged with for terrorism? She doesn’t believe he has any part in that.
Fat Tony (Robert Costanzo)
Fat Tony is the guy who put Dutch on and has made a lot of money off of him by recognizing his ambitions and making sure he is properly rewarded for it – no matter if he is blood, Italian, or not.
Delores (Macy Gray)
Delores is Dutch’s mother, with whom he may not have the best relationship but loves dearly.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Brotherly Love.”
Let us know your thoughts in the comments:
- What did you think of the ending?
Notable Performances or Moments
You’ll Wish, Like “Angel,” This Was Fleshed Out To Be a Show
The way “Dutch” operates is very much like a 90s movie where they put too much into the younger versions for them to just time jump and not allow you to continue to see that part of the storyline progress. For the idea of watching Dutch start off, impressing Fat Tony and getting a chop shop, building out his group with Angel, Craze, Zoom, and others, never mind his relationship with mother Delores? I would have loved to see that.
I mean, even working up to his first kill and what his life was like could have been awesome to see. Heck, I’d even say it pushes you to want to read the book in hopes there was cut material vs. it jumps as much as Whitmore’s adaptation.
Bad-ass Black female lawyer characters from either the Shonda Rhimes catalog, “Reasonable Doubt,” or many crime dramas aren’t hard to find. It’s also not hard to find one that is messy, as Ms. Nichols might be, concerning her private life. Yet, there is no denying that there is something about them walking into a courtroom and presenting top-level Black excellence that doesn’t bring a similar excitement as their client, part of the time, actually being guilty of what they are accused of.
But, what makes Nichols notable is that any messiness she may have in her personal life isn’t the focus here. We don’t see her get seduced by Dutch or spend too much time on her professional/personal relationships, we’re just shown why she was hired, and it wasn’t just because she was cute.
And while you do get the usual name-dropping of a PWI to drum up the character’s resume, the seriousness of how Michelle is played barely needs the name-drop of Harvard. What you see, what we get, is someone who, maybe not as often as we may have liked, but when she is able to cross-examine and really get into one of the prosecutor’s witnesses? Oh, it is a sight to behold and worth praising not only Whitmore’s writing but Marc’s execution.
On The Fence
The Mob Stuff Can Get Slightly Confusing
Honestly, Frank and another one of the mobsters are hard to tell apart physically. So, as it becomes clear Frank has an issue, a racist one, with Dutch, sometimes trying to figure out which one is Frank, and maybe someone who enjoys the benefits of being degrees separated from Dutch’s crime but close to the money, can be difficult.
The Pacing Is Ridiculous And Ending As Well
At an hour and 43 minutes, “Dutch” tries to lay the foundation for a franchise at a record pace. Whether it is introducing Dutch’s origins, his crew, make sure you are aware enough of the Italian backers to know who is who, and then there is Dutch’s court case and all of those involved. All of this is given at what feels like a breakneck speed, and while what is delivered is enjoyable, it is difficult not to question why the rush?
Granted, no one, me especially, likes a two-hour movie, and watching those from home can be quite a challenge. However, as noted in the highlight, there is a lot to explore here of interest, so flying by through Dutch’s rise can be frustrating.
However, the ending itself, being that it is so grandeur and unbelievable, might be the worst part. Mind you, “Dutch” never set the tone that it should be taken seriously and is rooted in reality, but how this movie ends, to allow for a just-released sequel, is next-level ridiculous.
Good If You Like
- Crime dramas that aren’t rooted in reality
If you like this movie, we recommend:
- Angel: Mini-series based on the origins of the character featured in this film
- Call Her King: A similar, but a bit more outlandish, courtroom drama featuring Lance Gross as a character who isn’t too different from Dutch
Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.
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Dutch – Movie Review
Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)
“Dutch” definitely shows why we got the series “Angel,” as it is packed with so many notable characters who deserve far more focus than the average movie’s time length could ever give.
You’ll Wish, Like “Angel,” This Was Fleshed Out To Be a Show - 87%
Michelle Nichols - 83%
The Mob Stuff Can Get Slightly Confusing - 77%
The Pacing Is Ridiculous And Ending As Well - 75%
- You’ll Wish, Like “Angel,” This Was Fleshed Out To Be a Show
- Michelle Nichols
- The Mob Stuff Can Get Slightly Confusing
- The Pacing Is Ridiculous And Ending As Well