Drama,  Thriller

The Mea Culpa Ending Has the Most Disappointing Surprise

Mea Culpa

Director: Tyler Perry

Date Created: 2024-02-23 00:00

Editor's Rating:

I must’ve watched too many Tyler Perry movies growing up because, despite abysmal critic ratings, Mea Culpa is not that bad of a film. 

Mea Culpa holds your attention, keeping you guessing about how the film’s going to end.

However, the movie’s ultimate mistake is that rather than riding the well-built momentum of the focal plot, it veers off far into left field to deliver a Mea Culpa ending that is confusing rather than shocking. 

Though the story unfortunately peters out into a confusing and unsatisfying end, it pulls the audience in with intrigue nonetheless making it engaging still to watch the film. 

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The Mea Culpa Ending is Disappointing

mea culpa ending
When Mea, a criminal defense attorney, decides to take on the case of a brooding artist accused of murdering his girlfriend, things become scandalous. 

** This review is contain spoilers **

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Mea Culpa effectively builds suspense throughout the plot. 

From the beginning, it’s clear that Mea is going to have an affair with Zyair.

The scene is set nearly immediately. 

With a shaky marriage, an overbearing mother-in-law, and apparent sexual dissatisfaction – the audience is primed for a scandalous affair with this dangerous, mysterious man.

Lo and behold – the film gives the people what they want: A dangerous alleged murderer having an affair with a classy, well-put-together woman in a dying, unsatisfied marriage.

And let me tell you – it was spicy. 

But after this climactic moment that we knew was coming, the film decides to take a left turn and focus back on the peripheral, forgettable detail that Mea’s in-laws are snide and nasty towards her. 

Quite frankly, this part of the movie had the least of my attention, yet by the end of the movie, I was expected to care. 

The audience is given an ending that does not provide the payoff that the rising acting of the film promises. 

By the end, all of a sudden, the villain of the story is no longer Zyair, this broody, menacing, tortured artist but rather it’s Mea’s cunning in-laws who quite frankly, I really didn’t care about. 

Apparently, the in-laws concocted this whole ruse to frame Zyair as a killer to help her brother-in-law win as mayor while simultaneously putting his unfaithful wife’s lover (Zayair) in jail.

Ummm – ok?

That’s very unexpected.

So before Zyair had an affair with Mea, he had an affair with Charlise, her brother-in-law’s wife and also Mea’s best friend.

Despite the close connection Charlise has with Mea, the audience barely gets a hint that there was ever anything scandalous going on between Charlise and Zyair.

That “spicy” revelation ended up falling flat and crooked. Like, huh?

Where did that come from?

Mea’s involvement in this wild and complex scheme was merely collateral damage. Her in-laws never wanted her to take Zyair’s case and therefore get in the way of their plans to imprison him.

Because Mea rebelliously chose to defend Zyair, the in-laws adjusted their devious plans to take Mea down with Zyair.

Even though the very beginning of the film hints at some of the connections that justify the film’s ending, the middle of the film is so saturated with a completely different focus that the conclusion feels so far-fetched.

Feeling satisfied with the disjointed ending feels nearly impossible. 

So Zyair, despite his predatory ways and sly, cunning behavior is actually innocent of a federal crime this whole time. He didn’t kill anyone at all.


This whole large plot point was for nothing. 

And apparently, the woman that he killed had actually just been relocated to a different country…

So where did her blood and bones come from?

They must’ve paid a ridiculous amount for her to agree to something like this.

How about Jimmy, Mea’s private investigator? Can we talk about him for a second…?

A lot of the mess that led to Mea’s affair was instigated by the private investigator, not her in-laws. 

He was the one who showed Mea the misleading picture of her husband with another woman entering a hotel room at exactly the time when Mea was resisting Zyair’s sensual pull the hardest.

Mea’s descent into Zyair’s seduction was fueled by the anger she felt by her husband’s apparent betrayal.

If Jimmy never sent that out-of-context photo, Mea may have been able to hold off a little longer and discover the truth of the matter rather than have been caught in the trap.

Also, Jimmy was so sure that Zyair was a killer, as well as Mea, only for both of their intuition to be completely wrong. 

It wouldn’t surprise me if Jimmy was in on this elaborate ruse too. Otherwise, he’s actually just not a very good private investigator.

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Mea Culpa Ending: Additional Qualities


This film does a great job of creating atmospheres. 

The red-hot sensuality. 

The dark suspense. 

The crisp camera quality. 

The visuals are immaculate, with Kelly Rowland leading the charge in a prime display of class and Black excellence. 


Mea’s husband is such a baby omg. It’s so easy to dislike him.

Actually, most all of the characters besides Mea and Zyair are quite unlikeable.

Zyair and Mea were the best characters in the film with palpable chemistry.

It was a bit of a disappointment when the attention veered away from their relationship to the external issues with the in-laws.


The script reads like a stageplay which makes sense given that director Tyler Perry got his start on theatre stages. 

Hence, there is a tendency to exaggerate a bit. To over poeticize moments to the point of artificiality. 

But if you choose to buy into the cheesiness, you find that it’s at least consistent throughout the film, enough for you to overlook it, and focus on the other things that the film has to offer. 

In Conclusion…

The Mea Culpa ending took away from a potentially solid film.

The incredible build-up of energy and tension between Mea and Zyair, well-portrayed by actors Kelly Rowland and Trevante Rodes, and the signature dramatic flair of a Tyler Perry movie Mea Culpa had all of the workings for an engrossing thriller.

Its biggest downfall was making what was supposed to be the focal point of the film far less enticing than what was supposed to be a secondary storyline.

Rating: 5.5/10

What did you think of the Mea Culpa ending? Let me know in the comments below!

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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,



  • IMO Flicks

    When I'm not over-analyzing movies, I'm eating chocolate, belting my favorite songs, and binge-watching reality dating shows. Feel free to share your opinions with me and follow me through my social links!

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