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Dope

Shameik Moore plays Malcolm, a high school senior and a geek who is a straight A student with near perfect SAT scores; hangs with 2 other friends who are also nerds. All three of them live in a lower class neighborhood in Inglewood CA and play in a punk rock band. One evening they go to a party and end up in a rather crazy adventure. The script plays on the multiple meanings of the word “dope” and is very well written and cast – the three friends are wonderful actors, especially the one who plays Shameik Moore. The characters the three friends meet along the way are odd and usually entertaining, and the ensuing antics in the adventure provide for a lot of laughs. I think the thing that most impressed me about the film its unconventional perspective of black kids growing up in the midst of the social and racial issues that many films tackle; I haven’t seen it done quite like this. Overall a big thumbs up from me for a great script, wonderful performances, and that illuminates the state of race relations and social class from an unusual vantage point. (2015; 4 stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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