White Boy Rick

White Boy Rick

2018, R, 110 min. Directed by Yann Demange. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt, Bel Powley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Tyree Henry, Rory Cochrane, Bruce Dern, Piper Laurie, RJ Cyler, Jonathan Majors, Eddie Marsan.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Sept. 14, 2018

Despite some wholly committed performances and visually stylish direction, White Boy Rick can’t pull itself out of the rut it digs for itself. The film is based on the true-life story of Richard Wershe Jr., Michigan’s longest-serving nonviolent prisoner, who received a life sentence in 1987 at the age of 17 for cocaine possession. Granted, Wershe Jr. was holding numerous kilos intended for resale when he was apprehended, but he was also working as an FBI informant infiltrating Detroit’s black drug culture, and the same federal agents who masterminded this crooked scheme failed to come to the teen’s defense when it came time for his trial and sentencing. Rick is currently scheduled to be released in 2018 after serving 30 years in prison.

Newcomer Merritt plays young Ricky with the cocksureness of a callow first-timer emboldened by the new hair outlining his upper lip. It’s an attitude that’s perfect for the character, although some of his Baltimore origins seep through in his line delivery. Growing up in Detroit’s urban core, which was devastated by the massive factory closures and crack epidemic of the Eighties (and the toothless “Just Say No” campaign), Ricky has dropped out of school by his early teens and has few options but to throw in with his pipe-dreaming dad, Richard Wershe Sr. (McConaughey), who deals in illegal guns but hopes one day to own a chain of video stores. Ricky’s mother abandoned the family long before the start of the movie, and his sister Dawn (Powley, in a hard-edged turn from her breakout role in The Diary of a Teenage Girl) is a pitiful junkie. Bruce Dern is cannily cast as McConaughey’s dad, who lives across the street with the kids’ grandma (Laurie).

The emotional crux of the movie is the relationship between the inept father and his hapless children. It’s a one-note relationship but the tone it strikes is good, due in large measure to mullet-headed McConaughey’s typical absorption into his role. However, the film is far too involved in the details of Rick’s various dealings at the behest of the law officials (Leigh, Cochrane, and Henry). These episodes strike a terribly redundant chord. A greater focus on the agents’ perfidy and the tragic injustice that occurred might have made for a more involving drama. As is, White Boy Rick is a one-trick pony.

Showtimes

Tue., Sept. 18

3:45, 6:40, 9:35
AFA 12:50

Wed., Sept. 19

12:50, 3:45, 6:40, 9:35

Tue., Sept. 18

2:50, 6:00, 9:40
AFA 12:00

Wed., Sept. 19

12:00, 2:50, 6:00, 9:40

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Tue., Sept. 18

4:50, 7:55, 10:50
AFA 1:55

Wed., Sept. 19

1:35, 4:30, 7:30, 10:25

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Tue., Sept. 18

CC/DVS 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30

Wed., Sept. 19

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:50, 5:30, 8:10

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Tue., Sept. 18

digital 10:20am, 1:15, 4:10, 7:05, 10:00

Wed., Sept. 19

digital 1:15, 4:10, 7:05, 10:00

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Tue., Sept. 18

digital 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Wed., Sept. 19

digital 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Tue., Sept. 18

digital 10:30am, 1:25, 4:20, 7:15, 10:10

Wed., Sept. 19

digital 10:30am, 1:25, 4:20, 7:15, 10:10

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Tue., Sept. 18

digital 11:00am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:20

Wed., Sept. 19

digital 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:20

Thu., Sept. 20

digital 11:00am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:20

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Sept. 18

digital 10:50am, 1:40, 4:30, 7:20, 10:10

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Tue., Sept. 18

digital 12:20, 3:25, 7:00, 8:50

Wed., Sept. 19

digital 12:20, 3:25, 7:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Tue., Sept. 18

1:50, 4:30, 7:30, 10:10

Wed., Sept. 19

1:50, 4:30, 7:30, 10:10

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Tue., Sept. 18

11:50am, 2:35, 5:15, 7:55, 10:40

Wed., Sept. 19

11:50am, 2:35, 5:15, 7:55, 10:40

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Tue., Sept. 18

CC 1:15, 4:15, 7:30, 10:30

Wed., Sept. 19

CC 1:15, 4:15, 7:30, 10:30

Thu., Sept. 20

CC 1:15, 4:15, 7:30, 10:30

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Tue., Sept. 18

CC/DL/HI/NO PASS 1:25, 4:15, 7:00, 9:50

Wed., Sept. 19

CC/DL/HI/NO PASS 1:25, 4:15, 7:00, 9:50

Thu., Sept. 20

CC/DL/HI/NO PASS 1:25, 4:15, 7:00, 9:50

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Sept. 18

CC/DVS 12:35, 3:40, 7:20, 10:20

Wed., Sept. 19

CC/DVS 12:35, 3:40, 7:20, 10:20

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Tue., Sept. 18

12:00, 3:15, 7:15, 10:30

Wed., Sept. 19

12:00, 3:15, 7:15, 10:30

Thu., Sept. 20

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Fri., Sept. 21

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Sat., Sept. 22

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Sun., Sept. 23

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Mon., Sept. 24

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Tue., Sept. 18

CC/DVS 2:20, 5:00, 7:40

Wed., Sept. 19

CC/DVS 2:20, 5:00, 7:40

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Sept. 18

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:00, 4:50, 7:40, 10:30

Wed., Sept. 19

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:00, 4:50, 7:40, 10:30

Thu., Sept. 20

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:00, 4:50, 7:40, 10:30

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Tue., Sept. 18

10:30am, 4:30, 7:40, 9:30

Wed., Sept. 19

10:30am, 4:30, 7:40, 9:30

Thu., Sept. 20

10:30am, 4:30, 7:40, 9:30

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Tue., Sept. 18

12:00, 3:50, 7:00, 10:10

Wed., Sept. 19

12:00, 3:50, 7:00, 10:10

Thu., Sept. 20

12:00, 3:50, 7:00, 10:10

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Tue., Sept. 18

9:50am, 1:05, 4:05, 7:05, 10:10

Wed., Sept. 19

9:50am, 1:05, 4:05, 7:05, 10:10

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Tue., Sept. 18

11:20am, 3:10, 5:50, 8:30

Wed., Sept. 19

11:20am, 3:10, 5:50, 8:30

Thu., Sept. 20

11:20am, 3:10, 5:50, 8:30

Tue., Sept. 18

7:30, 10:00

Wed., Sept. 19

4:15, 7:30, 10:15

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Tue., Sept. 18

12:45, 4:30, 7:30, 10:20

Wed., Sept. 19

12:45, 4:30, 7:30, 10:20

Thu., Sept. 20

12:45, 4:30, 7:30, 10:20

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Tue., Sept. 18

CC/DVS 11:00am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:25, 10:00

Wed., Sept. 19

CC/DVS 11:00am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:25, 10:00

Thu., Sept. 20

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:50, 4:25, 6:15, 9:00

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

White Boy Rick, Yann Demange, Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt, Bel Powley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Tyree Henry, Rory Cochrane, Bruce Dern, Piper Laurie, RJ Cyler, Jonathan Majors, Eddie Marsan

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