The Black Book (2023) Review – A Dull, Long Thriller With No Payoff

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: September 22, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
The Black Book (2023) Review
The Black Book (2023) (Credit - Netflix)


A dull, overly-long thriller that is too by-the-numbers for its own good. The character dynamics are one-note, and the story isn’t strong enough to hold out as long as it did.

One leads many lives, and most of the time, people keep parts of themselves a secret. Parents tend to keep aspects of their lives private from their children, which isn’t always the best case. Whatever parents might be afraid of happening again to their child may still happen, even while shielding them. Parents can protect their children as much as they can, but once they go on to live their lives in the real world, those same experiences are bound to happen.

The Black Book is filled with corruption, and the father’s sins end up hurting the ones he loves most. It’s interesting to see how this story unfolds because Paul Edima’s past affects his title of deacon in the present. Edima is questioned based on faith and whether he has left that life behind.

The Black Book shows how people in power can manipulate everyone around them. Once they get into the highest office, they are in complete control and can change the lives of ordinary people.

In the beginning, a woman is in power at the Nigeria Energy & Oil Company. She has been fighting for the little people in her community, meaning small, family-owned businesses. She has tried to protect them for a long time, but some people would want her out of office. As a result of harming the CEO, her husband and baby are kidnapped by a small community that is opposed to her tactics in office.

The Black Book (2023) (Credit – Netflix)

For the police to stay off their tracks, they pin the kidnapping on an innocent man who winds up being the son of Paul Edima. The audience finds out that Edima used to work for General Issa.

The story is a bit convoluted, and it is difficult to keep track of what happens between the men in this film. Edima also was given a black book documenting everything General Issa did when he was part of the gang.

When Edima left to become a deacon, he returned the book to General Issa and left the business behind entirely. He never looked back, but now it has come back to haunt him because they took his son away from him.

Once a journalist gets involved, it gets even more confusing. This journalist, named Victoria, wants to help Edima clear his son’s name. Edima only wanted his son’s body, but the police refused to let him bury his own son. Edima works with Victoria to get more details on his son’s death and fights dirty to get the confession he needs to clear his son’s name.

Is The Black Book worth watching?

This movie is a decent thriller about corruption that sits right under the noses of townspeople. However, the story isn’t strong enough to keep audiences engaged for long. It becomes repetitive and drags out. It’s a bit melodramatic, and the performances aren’t the greatest. Even Editi Effiong’s direction is lackluster, as he doesn’t frame his subjects in an interesting manner. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel polished, and it’s mediocre.

Sadly, The Black Book isn’t worth watching because the most interesting aspects happen in the film’s first half, and it fizzles right after. There’s nothing that happens for the rest of the film that will keep you invested.

There are too many characters in the play, which can get confusing because the father’s running around to clear his son’s name is too much.

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