White Boy Rick

White Boy Rick

Yann Demange (2018)

106min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
In the urban wasteland of 1980s Detroit, a young boy's drift into low-level crime makes him a target for the FBI in this fact-based drama. On one level, it's a shocking indictment of the skewed values of US law enforcement that they'd seek to exploit a vulnerable adolescent as a paid informer, yet at the same time the film never convinces us that protagonist Richard Wershe Jr was altogether a wronged innocent, since he obviously relishes his deepening involvement in the largely African-American drugs and firearm culture. In his US debut, French director Yann Demange (who did a fine job with gritty Troubles thriller '71) also seems a tad seduced by the gang lifestyle that the movie's supposedly criticising. Meanwhile, the drama is also limited by a flat central turn from newcomer Richie Merritt, who simply lacks the presence to carry off this streetwise chameleon, although Matthew McConaughey supplies plenty of oomph as the rascally schemer of a father. Overall, it's vividly shot in various shades of grim, but the execution proves confused and underwhelming.

Summary

A single father is struggling to raise two teenagers during the height of the crack epidemic in 1980s Detroit. He sells guns illegally to make ends meet, but soon attracts attention from the FBI, and federal agents convince his son to become an undercover drug informant. Crime drama, starring Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt and Bel Powley.

Cast & Crew

Richard Wershe Sr Matthew McConaughey
Ricky Wershe Jr Richie Merritt
FBI Agent Snyder Jennifer Jason Leigh
Grandpa Roman Wershe Bruce Dern
Director Yann Demange

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: SonyGuidance: Violence, swearing, drug abuseAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 7 Dec 2018
Drama