SXSW Film Reviews: '12 O'Clock Boys'

Daily Reviews and Interviews

SXSW Film

12 O'Clock Boys

Documentary Feature Competition, World Premiere
D: Lotfy Nathan

Despite a few rough patches, Lotfy Nathan's debut is robust and avoids the incautious condescension of most "shine light on dark places" documentaries. Shot over the course of three years in Baltimore, the heavily stylized film follows the impossible-not-to-like Pug and his fanatical quest to join the city's infamous 12 O'Clock Boys, a dirt-bike crew whose brazen displays on Baltimore's streets include popping high-speed wheelies and goading police officers (who are prohibited by law from chasing them despite the illegality of their activities). Pug's progression from ages 10 to 13 throughout the film is equal parts hilarious and gut-wrenching to watch, and the intimate moments with his struggling family are the film's finest. The staggering super-high-speed footage of the gang's antics alone is worth the price of admission, but the film's sophisticated, ambiguous ending proves that Nathan has a bright future as a documentarian.

Friday, March 15, 11:15am, Stateside
READ MORE
More SXSW Film
SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Improvement Club'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Robert Faires, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Hey Bartender'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Andy Campbell, March 15, 2013

More Screens Reviews
SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Richard Whittaker, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW 2013 Film Reviews: 'Rewind This!'
Daily reviews and interviews

Amy Smith, March 15, 2013

More by Patrick Courtney
Catching Up With Jerry Ferrara
Catching Up With Jerry Ferrara
The 'Entourage' co-star has a host of new projects on his plate

Nov. 2, 2013

Low Lighting
Low Lighting
Soderbergh flickers into retirement with 'Behind the Candelabra'

May 24, 2013

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW Film, 12 O'Clock Boys, Lotfy Nathan, Baltimore, dirt bike, gang

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)