TIFF 2018 Review: “White Boy Rick” (2018) ★★★


If not for movies like “White Boy Rick”, how would we know about police injustice? The system that continues its systematic cover-up of corruption that occurs every single day. Indeed, there are good and bad cops, bad doctors and good ones as well. Kindness and evil exist in tandem. Unfortunately, “White Boy Ricky” is not about well-doing, well-being or anything that can bring you hope, but rather raises awareness about the system that sends non-violent offenders to prison for the rest of their lives while those who truly should be locked up walk free like nothing ever happened.

“White Boy Rick” follows Richard Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt), also known as White Boy Rick, an American who became the youngest FBI informant ever at age 14. Living not too far from downtown Detroit, belonging to a lower middle-class family and hanging out with wrong people turned him into a potential target for the FBI which soon turns him into their informant. While Rick plays a dangerous game with his life helping the police, he, along with his father Richard Wershe Sr. (Matthew McConaughey), tries to bring back his elder sister, Dawn Wershe (Bel Powley), who suffers from drug addiction.

“White Boy Rick” directed by Yann Demange is a dramatization of events that leads to Rick becoming Detroit’s youngest non-violent drug dealer to serve life in prison. But it all also happens when Rick goes back to the same route and turns into police target himself, who eventually never admit that they in fact recruited him in the first place.

In conclusion, Yan Demange’s movie is probably one of the best gangster crime dramas I’ve seen recently. While it tackles the problem of youth, poverty, police corruption and the abuse of power, it also centers around sibling relationship and their strong bond with their father. For instance, the scene where Matthew McConaughey brings Dawn back home in an intoxicated condition, the sequence scenes are very hopeful and powerfully showcased. As for the performance, no doubt the entre cast delivered a solid one, and will have your full attention.

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