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For Life (2020)

September 7, 2021 Logo Netflix Logo Tmdb Logo IMDb Logo Rotten Tomatoes Logo Metacritic Logo

Imagine being convicted of a crime you didn’t commit and spending years in prison without a voice or an advocate to pursue justice for yourself. What would you do? Isaac Wright Jr was in that position and he decided to use his time to pursue a legal degree to become his own qualified advocate. His story has inspired a television series that captures the intelligence and resiliency of Wright’s spirit. This is For Life.

A line up of prisoners waiting to be processed inside of a jail
Image Courtesy of TMDb

Created, written and produced by Hank Steinberg, For Life, explores not only main character Aaron Wallace’s (Nicholas Pinnock) struggle to piece together the truth of his own case but it also features the cases of his fellow prisoners as he tries to advocate for others. His relationship with the progressive warden, played by Indira Varma, also sheds light on the injustices within the justice system itself.

The story follows Wallace after his conviction as a drug kingpin. Prior to his arrest he was a partner in a successful night club. From behind bars, Wallace struggles to piece together the happenings that led to his arrest and conviction in hopes of one day attaining his freedom. His ex-wife, Marie (Joy Bryant) becomes his partner on the outside as she uncovers evidence and breaks more than a few rules to help the father of her daughter in his pursuit of justice.

Two black men standing in a courtroom - one a prisoner the other his advocate
Image Courtesy of TMDb

For Life has a lot of twists and turns and unexpected wrenches tossed in the wheels of justice. At times, things get a little convoluted, but if anything, all of these twists add to the realism of navigating the justice system. Each new case Wallace takes on is interesting, well written and, in the end, somehow feeds into his own path for truth.

The subplot of the warden and her wife is interesting and adds to the layered stakes within the justice system. It’s not always, or ever, black and white. The pursuit of truth and justice is nuanced and deeply affected by politics, public opinion and personal interpretation of the law. For Life does an exceptional job of exploring all of these complexities.

The full cast of For Life standing behind lead actor Nicholas Pinnock
Image Courtesy of TMDb

Nicholas Pinnock and Joy Bryant are fantastic in their roles. They bring depth and interest to their well written characters. They also share a healthy dose of chemistry that has the viewers rooting for them inside the courtroom and out. Pinnock also shares create tension and chemistry with Indira Varma, who can more than hold her own in any scene. She is simply brilliant no matter what script she decides to take on.

For Life is an excellent choice for a binge-fest. Its smart, interesting and engaging. Check it out now on netflix.

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