"Night of the Kings travels well beyond its bars and high walls, soaring far and wide with spirit, invention and imagination."
— CineVue, Matthew Anderson
"With this venture, Ivory Coast writer/director Philippe Lacôte firmly establishes his place among the greatest African filmmakers."
— Dwight Brown, National Newspaper Publishers Association
"Night of the Kings is a riveting and radiant tribute to the power of storytelling, which gives voice to voiceless, humanity to the demonized, and hope to the hopeless."
— Kristy Puchko, Pajiba
"City of God crossed with A Prophet by way of One Thousand and One Nights, Philippe Lacôte’s Night of the Kings is an ambitious thriller that constantly surprises."
— Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"With this project, in which magical realism lends everything a mystical dimension, Lacôte confidently delivers on the promise of his 2014 Cannes-selected 'Run.'"
— Peter Debruge, Variety
"It’s a stunning work. Lacôte’s tribute to the power of stories is a powerful story in and of itself, celebrating oral traditions and the rituals we create for ourselves in order to make life just a little more bearable."
— Karen Han, Polygon
"This is an atmospherically shot film about African oral culture, about riots, street musicians and storytellers. But it also uses the space and denizens of the prison as a metaphor for the divisions and tensions within Ivorian society."
— Lee Marshall, Screen Daily
"While the film, both written and directed by Lacôte, is grounded in oral traditions that may seem exotic to certain viewers, the movie is really about the universal power of storytelling regardless of tongue — and how it can be used as a way to survive."
— Ryan Lattanzio, IndieWire
"This captivating hybrid of a movie mixes fairy-tale and storytelling elements with a vividly drawn backdrop of heightened realism — no one would mistake this prison for a luxury resort — and relies on images and sounds as much as the human voice to tell its multiple stories."
— Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter
"With Night of the Kings Lacôte collapses the bounds between eras, and dissolves myth and reality, performance and remembrance, into one whole. It’s an assured, energetic piece of epic filmmaking, one that celebrates how storytelling, oration, and folklore teach us about our past so we might change our present."
— Robert Daniels, RogerEbert.com