Costner, Spencer stand out in murky 'Black or White'

January 29, 2015 6:07 PM

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While the family drama features strong performances by Octavia Spencer and Kevin Costner, things seem over-simplified in this tale of a wealthy white lawyer fighting for custody of his 7-year-old biracial granddaughter.

The overall story (** out of four: rated PG-13; opens Friday nationwide) has a kind of dramatic inertia that undercuts observations about race and class, and the intriguing notion of a child raised in two very different worlds.

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