WHITE BOY RICK
(Yann Demange) condenses an 80s-era fact-based story about a teenager who was both drug dealer and FBI informant into fleet and heartfelt entertainment. The movie fills in everything you need to know about the characters and their crushing social environment in textures and attitude, witty banter and authentic feeling. With his shaggy head of hair and the faint whisper of a mustache, a fantastic Richie Merrit plays Richard Wershe Jr., dubbed “White Boy Rick,” as a scrappy and slick teen who seems to wish he had the room to be immature. Rick grows up broke in Detroit with a tender and resourceful but also weakwilled father (Matthew McConaughey) and a junkie sister (Bel Powley). When he finds himself maneuvering between the FBI and his crack-slinging associates, Rick’s whiteness, and the advantage that gives him, doesn’t go unnoticed. The movie shows it without dwelling on it, leaving us to debate the politics of a wild and incriminating situation as it hustles along. 111 min. NNNN (Radheyan Simonpillai)
Richie Merritt (left) and Matthew McConaughey do the hustle.