Writer-director Rick Famuyiwa melds two strands of the coming-of-age formula – the violent style made notorious by Menace II Society and the nerds-in-a-jam framework of the Harold & Kumar movies – into one funny, incisive package, as a studious Los Angeles-area African-American high-schooler named Malcolm (winningly played by Shameik Moore) and his similarly geeky friends (Kiersey Clemons and Tony Revolori) get into and out of drug trouble in the community of Inglewood. Famuyiwa’s secret ingredients: a cast of vibrant personalities for the kids to react to, and the filmmaker’s own zinger-filled dialogue. Among the cast: Zoë Kravitz, A$AP Rocky, Blake Anderson, Roger Guenveur Smith, and Chanel Iman. Recommended (103 min.).
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Producer: Nina Boniovi, Forest Whitaker, Michael Chow, Rick Famuyiwa and David Lonner
Cast: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Kimberly Elise, Zoë Kravitz, Keith Stanfield, Forest Whitaker, Blake Anderson, Chanel Iman, A$AP Rocky, Roger Smith and Quincy Brown