September 14, 2018

White Boy Rick is in theaters on September 14th, 2018.

White Boy Rick is the film based on the true story of Rick Wershe Jr. who was an FBI informant turned drug dealer during the 1980’s in Detroit. He is the longest serving nonviolent youth offender in Michigan’s history after his involvement with crack cocaine landed him behind bars to serve a life sentence at the young age of 17. Can this true story translate well to the big screen or is a story better left untold?

I thought this movie was interesting from the fact that I had never heard of this story before. I enjoy learning about all types of history so I was excited going into this one especially with the backstory being so outrageous.

This movie showed how corrupt people can be to stay “above” meaning the citizens, police and FBI in this story were all not on the straight and arrow. You hear about corruption but it’s easy to forget just how far people are willing to go to cover themselves from seeming like the bad person in a situation. It was eat or be eaten in Ricky’s life and it was jarring to see this, even more so because he was just a kid.

His family life was so sad and you get to see how much he was a victim of his financial circumstances. Several times during the film you can see how badly he wanted to get out of Detroit and away from all the drug and gun violence but being so poor didn’t allow him to do so.

Richie Merrit did an excellent job as the titled character. His boyish charm quickly made me invested in this story and his dad being played by the talented Matthew McConaughey deepened that. They were great as a father-son duo and it was believable as they navigated through the ups and downs of their lives. The sister Bel Powley did a great job too as there were several scenes were she made me want to cry because she invoked such emotions from playing her role so well.

The only thing I didn’t like about this movie is that I felt like I was left wanting more. Since Ricky was so young before being sent off to prison you would think the director would have more time to focus on more important details of his life but a lot of it felt like fluff. It focused on the years 1984-1987 but nothing much was given about Ricky’s life prior to him being 14. This being said I feel like true stories focused on criminals’ stories are better told on made for TV specials because they get more in detail about their lives and can avoid the Hollywood fluff additions.

I still think this movie was a great story to be told and may open up the door for a tv special in case you are like me and want more of the facts. If you like true story movies that are full of drama and action then I recommend White Boy Rick.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Ashley Ashley (Contributing Editor) is an Orlando native who loves watching movies. Her favorite genres include comedies, thrillers and sci-fi.
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