Box art for The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete


Young Mister's hard-living mother is arrested, leaving him alone with Pete to survive while dodging child protective services and the dangers of the Brooklyn projects.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Kids fend for themselves in moving but intense urban drama.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete is both wrenching and stunning. With heart-aching reality, it chronicles the lives of two kids who suffer from slipshod parenting and live in terrible circumstances. There's drug addiction (an adult shoots up right in front of her son and his friend), violence (children are assaulted, and a drug dealer rules the neighborhood with menace; though viewers don't see a lot of brutality, they feel it), and crushing neglect, all of which might prove intense and difficult to process for young teens and tweens. Expect strong, frequent swearing by both adults and kids (including plenty of "f--k"s and "s--t"s) and a scene that, though the participants aren't fully seen, depicts oral sex that's witnessed by a child.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete portrays parenting. Is Mister's mom a bad mother, a victim of her circumstances, or both?
  • Is Mister immune to the pressures of his environment, or has he already begun to be affected by it all? How? What of Pete? How does he maintain his innocence?
  • What role does violence play in the movie -- and in Mister and Pete's community? Is it presented realistically? What are the consequences?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete" is a moving bit of mischief and mayhem that will break your heart, give you hope, make you laugh, possibly cry.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fresh: What day-to-day struggles do kids in need face? George Tillman Jr.'s "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete" addresses many of them within a self-contained but successful story.

- Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News, Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fresh: Pitched fascinatingly, at times uneasily, between misery and uplift, "Mister & Pete" tells the story of an endlessly resourceful child who survives the unimaginable over one long summer.

- Manohla Dargis, New York Times, Thursday, October 10, 2013

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Incredible film! Skylan Brooks and Ethan Dizon are great actors, watch their stars rise in the coming years.

- notmyrealemailman, Thursday, March 13, 2014

3 stars

Or the One Where I Seem To Be In The Minority... I might be the only person who didn't find this as moving as everyone else. It's not bad, by any means, it's pretty good, but we've seen so many better films about inner city life, that I just found this to be too plain. It gets caught up in its own sentimentality too much for its own good, and I felt like I was trying to be forced to feel something I didn't feel. There are some very good performances here, especially of child actor Skylan Brooks, and whoever played the bully with the fro. Unfortunately there isn't enough behind the typical stereotypes of inner city life to make this interesting enough to keep me going. I always enjoy seeing Anthony Mackie, and he doesn't disappoint at all. He gives a great performance as the pimp with a heart of gold. The only performance I wasn't really in favor of was Jennifer Hudson, who's trying too hard to be something she's not. She wasn't nearly believable as a mom trying to make it in the inner city. She just seemed like an addict with nothing better to do. But maybe that's not on her, maybe that's on the script. I appreciate what the filmmakers are trying to have happen here, and I see why so many people enjoyed this film, probably more than I did. I just found things to be weight too heavily on sentimentality for its own good. I didn't really feel too much for these kids, even when terrible things were happening. If you haven't seen American Violet, that's a great movie about inner city life and the toll it takes on families.

- fb704666045, Monday, March 10, 2014

3 stars

Realistically portrayed drama of the life in the disadvantaged suburbs of America directed by George Tillman, Jr. and written by Michael Starrbury , can bring tears even without melodramatic elements in it. Presenting Skylan Brooks (Mister) and Ethan Dizon (Pete) in the title roles nd casting Anthony Mackie, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks and Jeffrey Wright, the director made simply perfect team. As a genre, I will classify this movie as a coming of age story of two inner city boys. They were left to fend for themselves over the summer after their mothers are taken away by the police for drug possession and prostitution. The movie concentrates on the two boys who are forced to forage for food while dodging child protective services and the destructive scenarios of the Brooklyn projects. They are faced with more trouble than any child can be expected to bear, and the fragile but resourceful Mister nevertheless finds strength in an idea from a movie, that he can be an unstoppable force against seemingly unmovable obstacles if he believes in the success... There are plenty of sad and disturbing moments in this movie, but all of them managed to become inspirational and uplifting, because the director offered a glimpse of hope in the continuously degrading American society, especially for the poor. The brotherhood of Mister and Pete was something to make note, as well as the answers on the entire question of morality when people are forced to making ends meet. The film exposes the lack of real role models for the children in the society where the only value is the almighty dollar, and the authority figures were presented as menacing instead of helpful at times. If you are ready for a dark movie with its moments of humour and lots of charm, while enjoying the innocence and cuteness adjusting to difficult moments of life, please, check this one!

- panta2, Sunday, October 5, 2014