What an age of wonders we live in when we can say, "Oh, another roller-skating black teen dramedy." But here is ATL, hot on the heels of last year's Roll Bounce, revealing that this genre may already be tapped out. The movie often sounds great (which is to be expected from a film produced by music guru Dallas Austin and TLC diva T-Boz), and there are some decent performances from the young cast. As a piece of Atlanta teen sociology, it's fun to watch for about 30 minutes. But the movie is sick at the screenplay level, lazily juggling six or so subplots that offer no connection or sense of urgency. And anybody expecting feats of skating-do, beware: This is not You Got Served on wheels. For something that's supposed to be the passion of these kids' lives, the whole skate-rink motif feels tacked on. And dammit, if you're gonna spend the whole movie talking about the "Monster Skate-Off," you'd better show the thing before the credits roll.
Director: Chris Robinson
Writer: Gina Bythewood, Tina Chism, Antwone Fisher and Joe Robert Cole
Producer: Dallas Austin, Jody Gerson, James Lassiter, Will Smith and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins
Cast: Clifford "T.I." Harris, Lauren London, Albert Daniels, Keith David, Jackie Long, Mykelti Williamson and Jason Weaver