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White Boy Rick

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for language throughout, drug content, violence, some sexual references, and brief nudity.
Not Recommended
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Crime Biography Drama
Length:
1 hr. 50 min.
Year of Release:
2018
USA Release:
September 14, 2018 (wide—2,504 theaters)
DVD: December 25, 2018
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures

In the 1980s at the age of 14, Richard Wershe Jr. became the youngest FBI informant ever.

Life and criminal activities in Detroit in the 1980s

Fathers who fail their sons

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

About despair, fear and hope

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Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on Christian Answers—full-length motion picture.

Illegal drug trafficking and related violence and effects

What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Is it just “bad people” that are sinners, or are YOU a sinner? Answer

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Do Not Enter


Excesses that has sometimes characterized the war on drugs / brutal sentences that seem excessive

Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Featuring: Matthew McConaugheyRichard Wershe Sr.
Richie Merritt … Richard ‘Ricky’ Wershe Jr.
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Eddie MarsanArt Derrick
Bruce DernGrandpa Roman Wershe
Piper LaurieGrandma Verna Wershe
Rory CochraneAgent Byrd
RJ Cyler … Rudell Boo Curry
Bel Powley … Dawn Wershe
Brian Tyree Henry … Detective Jackson
Jonathan Majors … Johnny ‘Lil Man’ Curry
See all »
Director: Yann Demange
Producer: LBI Productions
Protozoa Pictures
Studio 8
See all »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Copyrighted, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic and the War on Drugs, WHITE BOY RICK is based on the true story of a blue-collar father and his street hustler teenage son, Ricky Wershe Jr., who became an undercover police informant and later a drug-dealer kingpin, before he was abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison.”

  • Vulgar/Crude language: Extreme— • mother-f***… (14) • other f-words (90+) • s-words (20+) and more in a rap song • “d*ck” • “pr*ck” • “a**” (10+) • “a**hole” • “n*gga”
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Very Heavy to Extreme
  • Violence: Heavy and contains gross images
  • Profane language: Very Heavy— • “J*sus Chr*st” • “Ah Chr*st” • “Oh Chr*st” • “For Chr*st sakes” • “J*sus” • “G*d-d*mn” (20+) • “d*mn” (3) • “H*ll” (2)
  • Nudity: Heavy
  • Sex: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative
Negative—Well filmed, well acted, but depressing. It is an absolutely pointless movie. Save your money! I can’t imagine why they would make a film about a juvenile drug dealer in Detroit who is prosecuted for that crime and expect the audience to be sympathetic because he served a long prison sentence. He knowingly and intentionally sold drugs to make money. However, it is a great example for young people that… “What you sow IS what you reap.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Leonardo, age 76 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…The film stays foreboding, gritty and honest. Merritt’s no-frills style is the film’s greatest asset, while McConaughey brings an authentic paternal concern to his usual trailer-park persona. …
Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post
…“White Boy Rick” is good enough, but you keep wanting it to be better. …
Daniel Neman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
…It leaves you feeling desperately in need of a hot bath to wash off the dirt that rubs off just from watching it. This mess is so bad that even the title is disgusting. …
Rex Reed, The New York Observer
…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. …
Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle
…“White Boy Rick” ultimately feels like a glorified TV movie, albeit with a better cast and a much hipper score. …Scuzzy and surprisingly unsympathetic, this true story of a 14-year-old recruited by authorities never quite makes the case for its drug-dealing subject’s innocence. …
Peter Debruge, Variety
…works better as a working-class father/son drama than a cautionary tale about the American judicial system, though it never comes together satisfactorily as either. …
Brian Truitt, USA Today
…Making his film debut, Richie Merritt plays Rick as a sullen, evidently stupid and certainly uncharismatic schemer in possession of a modicum of animal cunning and perhaps a hint of personal insight. But there’s no life in his eyes. And little life in his acting. Which is too bad for Matthew McConaughey, who gives yet another terrific performance. …
John Anderson, Wall Street Journal