In a year littered with action and adventure movies (Spider-Man: No Way Home, No Time To Die), it seems like all we needed to end the year was a truly heartwarming story. A Journal for Jordan aims to do just that, taking us on an emotional rollercoaster destined for tears.

A Journal for Jordan is the fourth feature film directed by Denzel Washington. The movie follows Dana Canedy, a reporter for the New York Times. It followers Canedy through her stages of being alone and finding love with First Sergeant Charles Monroe King. It’s a tale of love and grief, that feels a couple of decades too late. Washington’s creation is mainly overshadowed by a gloomy mood, we learn early on that Sergeant King died in combat.

(L-R): Chanté Adams (Dana Canedy) and Michael B. Jordan (Charles Monroe King) in Sony Pictures' A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN.
(L-R): Chanté Adams (Dana Canedy) and Michael B. Jordan (Charles Monroe King) in Sony Pictures’ A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN.

That being said, Michael B. Jordan’s latest film isn’t a sad one. The movie aims to look at grief and loss through a lens that is both heartwarming and sentimental. Chanté Adams completely excels at showing the pain and grief that one would certainly carry after losing one significant other. 

Dana and Charles first meet each other at Dana’s childhood home. We soon learn that Dana’s father is also a military man, and Charles was one of his men. Although this may seem like an odd beginning to a love story. But chemistry is chemistry and they most definitely have it.

In films like Black Panther and Creed, Jordan has been to play extremely vocal roles, but here he totally reins himself in. Jordan in this movie plays the role of someone who is no longer trying to prove themself. Here, Jordan plays a character you learn about from not what he says but from what he does. We learn of his old school music taste during his drive with Dana and his ability to draw. Most importantly, though, is that he already has a 9-year old daughter who lives in Texas with their mother.

Michael B. Jordan in Sony Pictures' A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN.
Michael B. Jordan (Charles Monroe King) in Sony Pictures’ A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN.

Even less vocal Jordan makes Charles a very solid presence in the movie. Dana and Charles are sharing a long-distance relationship, Dana is a reporter for the New York Times. Although they have only seen each other once, the next time Charles visits they seemingly cut “taking things slowly” completely out.

Although they may seem like a match made in heaven, the differences in their lifestyle still pertain. Part of what makes this film good was the incompatibility between the two, which added a whole other dimension. We see an example of this early on where Dana is expecting Charles to be over any minute, instead, he calls, and gives what sounds like a very reasonable excuse, that one of his soldiers was having complications during childbirth and he felt he needed to be there. It may seem reasonable to us, Dana was livid. We finally see that not only is she fighting for his love, but for him to make her a priority. 

Michael B. Jordan in Sony Pictures' A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN.
Michael B. Jordan (Charles Monroe King) in Sony Pictures’ A JOURNAL FOR JORDAN.

Denzel Washington’s film is based on a script by Virgil Williams (Mudbound). Twenty years ago, this movie would undoubtedly be an Oscar nominee, but now, it falls short in almost every category. 9/11 sees a big turn in their relationship, but the film doesn’t seem to grasp that aspect enough. Although it may seem like a somewhat “corny” story, Washington certainly delivers at making it the most emotional aspect. 

It isn’t a masterpiece by all means, but its theme can resonate with everyone: the intertwining meanings of love, loyalty, and grief. A Journal For Jordan will release exclusively in theaters on Christmas Day. Denzel Washington has created another classic, that stars Michael B. Jordan and Chanté Adams.

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