Plain and simple, Devotion demands your full attention for all the best reasons.
Jonathan Majors stars as Jesse Brown, a real-life pilot who was the first black man to complete the Navy’s aviation program and the only person of color flying during the Korean War. The racial tug-o-war is throughout the film – as you’d expect – but is illustrated in obvious and subtle ways alike. Yes, there are white people who evil eye their black neighbors when they pull into their own driveway but there are also stories of why Brown can’t completely trust what his superior officers tell him. Eye-opening examples of that ilk are aplenty throughout the film, some of which force you to consider your own reality.
The screenwriters Jake Crane and Jonathan A. Stewart, along with director J.D. Dillard, manage to make the audience feel the tension throughout the film while also honoring the real story of Brown and his fellow aviators. The camaraderie between Brown and Tom Hudner (played by Glen Powell) is palpable and you can feel Brown’s trust for Hudner incrementally grow while simultaneously understanding why there’s a ceiling to their friendship thanks to the time, culture and accepted biases of their era.
If you love war movies, Devotion is a must-watch. If you love stories with a racial component, Devotion is a must-watch. If you love quality filmmaking, Devotion is a must-watch. Easily one of my Top 5 movies of 2022.
JKG SCORE: 9.0