Film Review: Naked Singularity

STUDIO: Screen Media | DIRECTOR: Chase Palmer | CAST: John Boyega, Olivia Cooke, Bill Skarsgård, Ed Skrein, Linda Lavin, Tim Blake Nelson
RELEASE DATE: Aug. 6, 2021; ON DEMAND RELEASE DATE: Aug. 13, 2021
SPECS: R | 93 min. | Science fiction comedy crime drama

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie 

In Naked Singularity, John Boyega (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) stars as Casi, an earnest, promising young NYC public defender who believes in justice and giving it all to his clients. His idealism is slowing being crushed under the weight of a legal system that is neither fair nor just. Just as he is losing his latest battle with a jaded judge (a terrific Linda Lavin), his physicist neighbor (Tim Blake Nelson, The Jesus Rolls) is slowing convincing him that the strange singularities happening around them—insanely high temperatures, rolling blackouts and a moment of levitation—are signs that a universal restructuring of time and space is imminent.

John Boyega in Naked Singularity

Feeling he has nothing to lose, Casi agrees to partake in dangerous drug heist with an unpredictable former client (Olivia Cooke, Sound of Metal) and a drug loving colleague (Bill Skarsgård, It) in an attempt to beat the broken system at its own game.

Part legal drama, sci-fi and heist caper, Naked Singularity juggles a lot of genres in its relatively short run time, but ambitious first time feature film director Chase Palmer (Shock and Awe) doesn’t quite keep all of them in the air. Palmer’s script, co-written with David Matthews (TV’s Narcos) and based on Sergio De La Pava’s 2008 novel A Naked Singularity, would have benefited from a few more pages so the various themes had time to fully form.

A charming Boyega proves he has the chops to lead a film and his scenes with Cooke and Skarsgård as they plan and attempt to pull off the heist provide the most fun. So enjoy Naked Singularity for its wacky crime caper side and pick up the book if you want more a compelling narrative.


About Janine

Janine is a dedicated fan of the 1940 film Kitty Foyle, directed by Sam Wood, written by Dalton Trumbo and starring Ginger Rogers, who won an Oscar for her portrayal. And seeing that film is all it took to make her a lifelong movie lover. Janine is excited to add her insights to the great team at