TIFF 2018 Review: WHITE BOY RICK (USA 2018) ***

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2018. Go to TIFF 2018 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

White Boy Rick Poster

The story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s and was ultimately arrested for drug-trafficking and sentenced to life in prison.


Yann Demange

BAD BOY RICK stars newcomer Richie Merritt, delivering a solid performance as Ricky Wershe Jr. the drug hustler and informant, based on the 1980’s true to life criminal of the same name.  Yann Demange who wore the script and directed this based on true story film, dramatizes many of the incidents for the screen, easily noticed.  The narration is choppy with unequal time given to each of the major parts, more time needed to be allotted for the informant segment.  

Demange breaks ground on the ease of communication between the white Merritt family and black folk.  Never once does colour come into the picture.  All performances are excellent, the best coming from Bel Poulter playing Rick’s difficult and sassy sister.  As emphasized many times in other drug movies, the sentencing is so hard on drug offences that one would be better off murdering someone than being caught with a gram of cocaine.  

Still the film comes across with the message that drugs are bad and the target are the federal agents (Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rory Cochrane) who promises Rick immunity for informing but never come true to the promise.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qns48PtK2io