Indie Film Review: Mickey Hardaway (2023)


 A young sketch artist agrees to an in-house therapy session with a well-renowned psychiatrist as his life begins sprawling out of control after years of physical and verbal abuse have finally taken a toll on him.

Powerfully beautiful Marcellus Cox shines in his directorial debut with Mickey Hardaway.

We are introduced to Mickey Hardaway a struggling young artist who unbeknownst to him is haunted by his past childhood trauma.  After losing his job Mickey finds himself unable to handle life. His girlfriend Grace (Ashley Parchment) recommends an esteemed psychiatrist Dr. Cameron Harden (Stephen Cofield Jr.) Mickey agrees and it is in these sessions we learn of Mickey’s horrific childhood abuse from his father Randall Hardaway (David Chattam ) and his fearful mother (Gayla Johnson).

 You see Mickey loves to draw and he is good at it. When one of Mickey’s elementary school teachers Mr. Sweeney(Denis L.A. White) encourages Mickey to attend a summer art class Mickey sadly says his dad said no. Mr. Sweeney thinking this art class could really benefit Mickey tries to appease Mickey’s dad and gets beat down by Mickey’s dad. Mickey needs to be realistic he is told. That is just a glimpse of Mickey’s abuse as Mickey continues his sessions with Dr. Cameron, sadly though his session with Dr. Harden always seems to be cut shorter and shorter leaving Mickey with no answer at all. Mickey starts to feel resentful, then finally, Mickey breaks.

Stephen Cofield (Dr. Cameron Harden) and Rashad Hunter (Mickey Hardaway) in Mickey Hardaway

Mickey Hardaway is a film every mental health practitioner should see, heck the whole world should see as Mickey Hardaway shows exactly how our mental health system fails us. Also how we as a society fail us. So many people said if Mickey needed anything they’d be there, but no one was really there. Only Mr. Sweeny seemed to of kept his word, but even Mr. Sweeney in a way failed somehow.

Shot entirely in black and white the only color we get is when Mickey meets Grace as we see Grace is the only color, and brightness in his painful black-and-white life.

David Chattam as Randall Hardway

Cox does a phenomenal job in his directorial debut.  I applaud him so much and can relate deeply to this film. Much of it brought tears to my eye as I saw Mickey and Grace so much my husband and me. Cox presents a beautiful piece that is flawless in my opinion, and the cast is stellar. Every shot has a meaning and every cast member commands each scene they are in.. David Chattam gives a vicious performance as Randall Hardaway aka Mickey’s dad, and he delivers the cruelest line ever delivered in a film that I have ever heard. 

 Rashad Hunter as Mickey though is the breakout star. He portrays Mickey with a realistic vulnerability that you can not help but feel even maybe relate to. I like how Cox cuts Mickey slip into instability in an almost uneventful way till it’s too late, which, is kind of true to life. When a person goes off the deep end no one ever sees it coming. It is usually after the fact the signs are seen. Mickey Hardaway is currently out on the film festival circuit and should be winning tons of awards in my book. 

A great indie art house piece my rating is 10/10

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

View the Trailer of Mickey Hardaway at

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