Back to IndieWire

Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for ‘Knucklehead’

Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead'

Boasting 4 New York premieres, 1 US premiere, and 1 world premiere, the New Voices in Black Cinema festival – a festival I co-curate, which takes place in Brooklyn, NY – will run from Thursday, March 26 through Sunday, March 29, at BAMcinématek.

Opening the festival on Thursday, March 26, is the World Premiere of Ben Bowman’s “Knucklehead,” an indie drama starring Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe as a dysfunctional mother-son pair.

The film’s official synopsis reads: When his brother disappears, mentally disabled Langston Bellows is left without a protector in Brooklyn’s housing projects. Now under the control of his abusive mother (Alfre Woodard) Langston must take his future into his own hands. He sets out to find the one doctor he believes can cure him, a celebrity magazine columnist who touts questionable prescription drug cocktails. If Langston can become “mentally excellent”, it will mean moving into an apartment of his own with his girlfriend, who may herself be a creation of his wishful thinking. Landing in the unscrupulous world of pharmaceutical marketing, the search for his mysterious doctor and hero leads to some unwanted discoveries. Langston strives for independence from his prior life; from his mother, from his neighborhood and from his fractured mind – while all around him people are not who they seem.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Bowman, Akinnagbe and Woodard all in attendance. Tickets are quickly selling, so if what you read here and see in the trailer below have your attention, I strongly suggest you pre-purchase yours as soon as possible. To do so, visit:

Amari Cheatom, Nikiya Mathis, Carla Duren, Justin Myrick, Lauren Hudges, Manuel Herrera, David Lavine, and DeWanda Wise round out the cast of the Brooklyn-set drama, penned by Bryan Abrams and director Ben Bowman, who also produces, along with Akinnagbe.

Most will probably remember him from his days on “The Wire,” but the seemingly always busy Akinnagbe can currently be seen in season 3 of Fox’s hit crime thriller “The Following.” Navigating both the indie and mainstream, just call him a renaissance man, routinely wearing a variety of hats, both in front of and behind the camera, creating work for himself. In addition to acting for the small screen in TV series like “24: Live Another Day,” “The Good Wife,” “Graceland,” the aforementioned “The Following,” and more, Akinnagbe has also starred in and/or produced indie feature films we’ve covered on this blog, like “Home,” “Big Words,” “Newlyweeds,” and now “Knucklehead” – all this in that last 2 years alone.

Of course we all know the beloved Alfre Woodard and her work very well, I’m sure, so no intro necessary here.

“Knucklehead” is Ben Bowman’s feature directorial debut.

A first trailer for the film has surfaced and is embedded below:

This Article is related to: News and tagged , ,


Stella Udeozor

Will love to see this movie. Is it showing on the big screen for the public. I hope so and soon too.

Nina Feinberg

It looks like such a good movie, I’m so proud of Bryan Abrams!


KUDOS!!! #greatfilmalready #whoohoo


Akinnagbe used to crack me up in Barbershop: The Series as Dinka. LOL just thinking about it. Look forward to seeing this movie.


Gbenga Akinnagbe and Alfre Woodard in the same film? I’m in! This looks like a good movie. Have been a big fan of Gbenga since seeing him in "BIG WORDS" and "HOME," in which he gave an incredibly moving performance. And Alfre finds the truth and humanity in every character she plays. Hope to see "KNUCKLEHEAD" in a theater, but if not, I will definitely pick up the DVD.


Similar role indeed, glad to see Gbenga still doing his thing. I saw him in Home, great film.

Mekeva McNeil

I just watched Gbenga Akinnagbe play a similar role in the movie Home.


This looks good..I’ll watch it

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *