A Thousand and One: how to watch, reviews, awards and everything we know about the movie

Teyana Taylor and Aaron Kingsley Adetola in A Thousand and One
Teyana Taylor and Aaron Kingsley Adetola in A Thousand and One (Image credit: Focus Features)

The 2023 Sundance Film Festival put a number of titles on movie lovers' radars that for this 2023, including Past Lives. But one of the most well-received movies at Sundance 2023 was the US Drama Grand Jury Prize-winner, A Thousand and One.

The feature debut for its writer/director A.V. Rockwell, A Thousand and One has been described as "an admiring portrait of survivorship, determination and resourcefulness" with a "powerhouse performance" at its center.

Here is everything that you need to know about A Thousand and One.

How to watch A Thousand and One

A Thousand and One is streaming right now on Prime Video, so anyone with an Amazon subscription can watch it at no extra cost. Otherwise, viewers can rent the movie via digital on-demand.

A Thousand and One plot

This drama spans multiple years as it deals with the dynamics and importance of the relationship between a mother and her son. Here is the official synopsis:

"A Thousand and One follows unapologetic and free-spirited Inez, who kidnaps her 6-year-old son Terry from the foster care system. Holding onto their secret and each other, mother and son set out to reclaim their sense of home, identity and stability, in a rapidly changing New York City."

A Thousand and One cast

Playing Inez is Teyana Taylor. Taylor is a singer/actress who made her big screen debut in Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming and has other credits that include Madea's Big Happy Family, Star, Coming 2 America, Miracles Across 125th Street and Entergalatic. Her performance has earned rave reviews, with some calling it "Oscar-worthy." Taylor was also crowned winner of The Masked Singer US season 7. 

There are going to be three actors that portray the character of Terry across different stages of his life. They are Aaron Kingsley Adetola (Rise) as Terry at age 6, Aven Courtney (The Last O.G.) as Terry at age 13 and Josiah Cross (King Richard) as Terry at age 17.

Also starring in the movie is Will Catlett as Lucky. Catlett has previously starred in The Devil You Know, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey and Black Lightning.

A Thousand and One trailer

Watch the trailer for A Thousand and One directly below, which certainly previews the powerful emotions that people have been talking about. 

A Thousand and One reviews — what the critics are saying

A Thousand and One has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97% and is "Certified Fresh." In particular Taylor's performance and Rockwell's handling of the subject matter are praised.

A Thousand and One awards

Here are the awards that A Thousand and One has either been nominated for or one to date:

Film Independent Spirit Awards

  • Best First Feature — AV Rockwell (nominee)
  • Best Lead Performance — Teyana Taylor (nominee)

Gotham Awards

  • Best Feature (nominee)
  • Best Breakthrough Director — AV Rockwell (winner)
  • Outstanding Lead Performance — Teyana Taylor (nominee) 

National Board of Review

  • Breakthrough Performance — Teyana Taylor (winner)
  • Top 10 Independent Films of the Year

Sundance Film Festival

  • Grand Jury Prize (winner)

A Thousand and One director

A Thousand and One marks A.V. Rockwell's feature movie debut as a writer and director. Her experience prior to this movie was with short films, including a 2018 short, Feathers, that screened at Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival. 

A Thousand and One poster

(Image credit: Focus Features)
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.