One Love (2024) Film Review

By Anita Addison


Director – Reinado Marcus Green


One Love, starring Kingsley Ben-Adir as the iconic reggae legend Bob Marley, was released on 16th February 2024. The film showcases the unique relationship between Marley and his band, the Wailers, while also showing his family’s upbringing and the devastating attempt to end Bob’s life by assassination.

About the Cast

Directed by Reinado Marcus Green, who has also directed other classic films such as King Richard starring Will Smith, was also able to receive Bob Marley’s family blessing with Marley’s children Ziggy Marley and Cedella Marley serving as producers on the movie further showing the families stamp of approval, to capture the “spirit” of Marley as Kingsley mentions in an interview on the Breakfast Club a syndicated American radio show based in New York City.

Main cast actors include Marley’s wife, Rita Marley, who was played by Lashana Lynch, known to star in films such as The Women King, and James Norton, who played Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records. Tosin Cole as Tyrone Downie, the keyboardist and member of the Wailers, Aston Barrett Jr as Aston “Family Man” Barret, who was Bob Marley’s bass player, and Neville Garrick played by Sheldon Shepherd, who was Bob Marley’s art director and is responsible for classic designs for the reggae movement in the 1970s and 80s and of course creating the timeless album cover for Exodus a song that Bob Marley was inspired by when he fled to London on an attempt to his life.

Oh, I have to make an honourable mention as Top Boy actor Micheal Ward makes an appearance! (It’s hard not to call him Jamie; I still haven’t forgiven Sully for that move; if you know, you know!) not as a good guy, but as one of the suspects for the attempt on Marley’s life.


Reinando Marcus Green’s masterful direction creates a reminiscent cinematic experience, blending elements of romance, suspense, drama, and musical essence throughout the movie; this film gives a sense of feeling as if you were at that very present moment when Marley and his band were creating his masterpiece albums that are still in heavy rotation till this day, you can not name a person that does not know at the very least one Bob Marley song (if there is you must have just received your birth certificate… anyways, back to the movie).

The picture covers a period in the reggae legend’s life that spans from 1976 when the political movement in Jamaica was causing an uproar, which unfortunately put Marley’s life in danger, resulting in an attempt on his life. Marley thankfully survived this attempt but understandably decided to recruit in London during the punk era to record his seminal album Exodus to his return to Jamaica in 1978 for the One Love Peace Concert.

The audience is able to see glimpses of his life through flashbacks and subliminal snippets of childhood trauma and young Mary’s development as a young musician. Bob Marley’s demise came from untreated skin cancer that started developing at 32 years, and they passed away on 11th May 1981 at 36 years of age.

The Good Bits (#spolier alert if you haven’t seen it!)

  1. Shows Bob Marley’s relationship between his band members and the creative process with making songs and the inspiration that he drew from.
  2. The actors were incredible and portrayed believable characters and emotions that were transcended from the screen and were able to be felt. British actor Kingsley captures the physical essence of Bob, from his giddy dancing to his charismatic personality.
  3. The soundtrack fitted well with the scenes and was able to build tension in scenes. For example, the scene before Bob Marley was shot showed great shots for more of a perspective point of view.
  4. Marley’s relationship with his wife and children was respectfully shown in a way that did not show Bob Marley as a negative or positive person but portrayed the human side of him.

The Unfortunate Letdowns

  1. Although the flashbacks were great for mise-en-scene, sometimes these moments disrupt the flow of the film and do not expand or give more context to these scenes, this sometimes leaves the audience wondering what the scene was about and what particular moment of his life was shown.
  2. The audience learned very little about who his parents are and who his father is, which was again only shown in small second flashbacks.
  3. The film felt as if it started from Bob’s adult life onwards, and no interesting information about Bob was included leaving with a sense of going to the theatre only to watch things the audience already knows about Bob.
  4. The expansion of Marley’s politics and discovery of his Rastafarian religion were not portrayed or discussed despite numerous clips of Bob himself stating his views.
  5. YG Marley didn’t get his shine! His song Praise Jah In The Moonlight was not played! this was definitely a missed opportunity, especially since it has been playing all over TikTok!

Rating and Some Cool Facts about Marley

Overall, the movie was a good  3*½ stars. I will do the movie some justice with some cool facts about Marley:

  1. Bob Marley has two of the UK’s most streamed albums from the 70s,80s and 90s.
  2. Bob Marley used to be a palm reader (hopefully, if he read my palm, he would say 100 million will be deposited into my account).
  3. Bob Marley’s son Rohan Marley, in 2009, started a coffee business! With the inspiration of his music, the coffee blends use hit songs such as “Buffalo Solider” and “One Love”.



  • Ide, Wendy. “Bob Marley: One Love Review – the Reggae Superstar Deserves a Better Film than This.” The Observer, 17 Feb. 2024,
  • “Bob Marley: 15 Things You Might Not Know about the Legendary Reggae Singer.” Greatest Hits Radio, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.
  • Daniels, Robert. “Bob Marley: One Love Movie Review (2024) | Roger Ebert.” Https://Www.Rogerebert.Com/, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.
  • Photo by Bill Fairs on Unsplash