White Boy Rick

White Boy Rick

DVD - 2018
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Based on the moving true story of a blue-collar father and his teenage son, Rick Wershe, who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s, before he was arrested for drug trafficking, abandoned by his handlers, and sentenced to life in prison.

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steffankayay
May 09, 2019

I imagine growing up in Detroit in the 1980s, being screwed over by law enforcement and forced to spend 30 years in prison is pretty bad... but to have your story told by some dead-eyed Baltimore teenager who was chosen by the filmmakers SPECIFICALLY because he couldn't act to save his life - mama mia, that's gotta sting.

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muffinpopcorn
Apr 27, 2019

0 out of 5 stars . One of the worst movies , couldn't even finish watching it . The language is deplorable , and the swearing is disgusting . The whole premise of the movie is demoralizing .

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garycornell
Apr 15, 2019

Controversial choice for Five Stars since the movie is dark and may have language that offends some. Yet the movie is so well written and performed by an impressive cast, I simply have to admit that I loved it. Now usually drug dealers, crime, murder and blistering profanity are not for me. That is a part of some folks culture. It exists and for a short time I felt taken into that reality. The story is true and I became involved in the welfare of a young drug dealer. All of a sudden I found myself rooting for him to change direction in his life. Taking a chance on "White Boy Rick" could really pay off for many of you!

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BlueHippo
Apr 02, 2019

Very interesting film based ona true story. Hard for many of us to imagine living like this, but this is life for many people in this country. Makes you think about your ideas of who is responsible for what.

s
samjenks
Mar 26, 2019

People have children then allow the streets to educate them. This movie has drugs, guns, violence and bad language and most of it from youngers.

p
PearlyKayAm1
Mar 18, 2019

Tedious & plodding, none of the characters seemed real.

m
Myfatboy1
Mar 11, 2019

This is a good watch!

r
richmole
Feb 28, 2019

Good performances, great direction, and a story that could have been "ripped from the headlines" as they say, but I have a feeling that back in the 80s, it was all but ignored. So, here it is (In "based on" form, at least.)

Important message, here. The message I got was that it's easy to scoff, sneer and blame the "underclass" for their woes--and yes, some are certainly self-inflicted--but whoa, walk a mile in those high-tops, as they say.

Just how tough is it for those of the disaffected underclass to rise above and better themselves? Next to impossible. There are some small victories, here (Rick's sister certainly qualifies, and, to some extent, his father--nicely played by Matthew McConaughey), but in the end...It's impossible for Rick to be where and what he wants to be. It's not just a "drug culture" any more. It's a drug "economy," that's dragging down more people than we know.

Especially ironic are the "Partners in Crime." : not only Rick himself and his father, but the law enforcement and justice system, too.

The setting? This family--and others--exist ("live" isn't quite the word) in the clapped-out ruins of late-20th century urban society. Soul-destroying desolation has never been better depicted.

Can't say I "enjoyed" it, but learned tons, and appreciate the artistry on both sides of the camera.

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greatflicks
Feb 26, 2019

A good real life movie. I felt it displayed a dad without any parenting skills trying to do his best for son and daughter.

j
jimg2000
Feb 09, 2019

(Based on a true story, see "Summary".) Managed to be mildly entertaining though difficult to do for a grim subject, a 15 year old white teen was cohered by the FBI to befriend a black clan in Detroit's drug trade during 1980's. Once again, McConaughey found himself a leading role in a film with social cause, like: Mud 2012, Dallas Buyers Club 2013 (Oscar winner Leading actor), True Detective 2014 series, The Sea of Trees 2016, Gold 2016 and Free State of Jones 2016.

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j
jimg2000
Feb 09, 2019

***Offensive language warning***

Detroit. You always saying it's a shithole.
-Son, lion don't leave the Serengeti.
===
What you said your name was?
- Rick.
A'ight, White Boy Rick.
===
You know, people like to piss on this country, but America is the only place in the goddamn world where a man can hot-wire his brains to his balls and make shit happen. All's he got to have is vision.
===
You know how many kids have died in this neighborhood 'cause of drugs? I'm not gonna let you ruin your life, Dawn. No drugs in the goddamn house.
-I don't need drugs for that, Daddy. You and Mom pretty much did that all on your own.

j
jimg2000
Feb 09, 2019

I used to think Ma left you 'cause you beat her. But it's really 'cause you a fucking loser!
===
Say, you pull through the drive-through and you order a burger, right? Little girl in the paper hat, first thing she says to you is, "Do you want fries with that?" Now, you didn't pull in wanting fries, but now that she's planted the idea in your head, you think, "Well, God damn! A burger just don't taste right without fries, right?" The next thing you know, you find yourself handing out your hard-earned dollars to buy some fries that the little girl in the paper hat ordered for you. Now, what'd she just do to you? She just upsold your ass.
===
Listen, relax, wood. You ain't the first to jack the beanstalk to that bitch.
===
I've never sold an unregistered weapon to anybody. Not knowingly.

j
jimg2000
Feb 09, 2019

Ricky, you know who the first lady of the United States is, right? You know what she says about drugs?
-"Just say no."
That's right. Problem is we got too many people saying yes. Especially on the East Side.
===
650 grams, Rick. That's all it take to land your ass, my ass, and all your buddies out there on the inside for the rest of our lives. Shit, you better off murdering somebody in the state of Michigan.
===
They haul your ass, you doing white time. They haul any of our asses, we doing black time.
===
No offense, Dad, but you look like shit.
-I'm old and poor, Rick. What's your excuse?
===
How stupid are these guys you're hanging around with?
-How stupid are you? I mean, at least they ain't old and poor. Least they ain't borrowing money from their parents. Shit, their parents probably borrowing money from them.

j
jimg2000
Feb 09, 2019

You been selling (guns) to the drug dealers every damn day. The only difference is you been making pennies on the dollar. You know, about time we go grab the dollar, don't you think?
===
You know what that mean? It means somebody black ass going down for this
whether they did it or not. They just want a nigga. Don't matter if it's the right nigga.
They just want a nigga. And guess what nigga it ain't gonna be. It ain't gonna be me
or any of my goddamn family!
===
Grandma. You just ever think about moving? It's been so long since anything good has happened.
===
Look, I only been with Brenda, like, a couple times.
-Only take one time to make a baby. Besides, Keisha damn near as white as you is.
===
Ain't no way that's my son's baby. She's way too beautiful.

j
jimg2000
Feb 09, 2019

I know things haven't proceeded as anticipated, but a good idea, Rick, is like a fine wine. It gets better with time.
-Things aren't gonna get better, Dad. You happy with this? You happy with who you are? Don't be thinking what the right answer is. There's only one right answer. You know how we can change this.
-No. No drugs, God damn it. No drugs. They're poison, Ricky. They kill people. No fucking way.
What the fuck do you think you're selling? Water pistols?
-Ricky, guns are a constitutional right. There's nothing in the Constitution about drugs.
The fuck are you talking about?
-I'm talking about the goddamn Constitution, what this fucking country was founded on, Ricky.
===

-Ah, Ricky, I already lost Dawn. I can't lose you, too.
Dad, we didn't lose Dawn. There's just no way she's coming home the way things are.
There's just nothing to come home to. Like, ain't nobody gonna help us. We got to do this before it's too late.

j
jimg2000
Feb 09, 2019

Dad, I'm pretty sure Dawn can cross the street by herself.
-Yeah, you'd be surprised how easy it is to take a wrong turn, no matter how short the journey.
===
Seeing you and Dawn tonight, Ma and Pa, hell, I'm damn near perfect. It's just that, uh...
-Just what?
Well, it's fragile. This thing. Family. And I don't want it to come apart, you know? I don't want to break it, again.
===
650 grams, Rick. That's the law. You know how much was in that box? Eight kilos.
That's 8,000 grams. It would be better for Ricky if he had killed someone.
===
Would you believe a 15-year-old kid was working for the federal government?
===
Eleven police officers, including Jimmy Harris, were brought into the federal courthouse in handcuffs. Six civilians were also arrested, including the mayor's
brother-in-law, Willie Volsan.

http://articles.latimes.com/1991-05-23/news/mn-3263_1_detroit-police

j
jimg2000
Feb 09, 2019

You'll be allowed out in the yard by yourself one hour each day. The remaining 23 hours, you're gonna be secured in your cell. That's for your own protection.
===
Eight pounds, 14 ounces. That's what you weighed when you were born. Ricky, I remember the first time I looked in your eyes, I knew you were gonna be bigger than me. I knew your life was gonna be bigger than mine. Not just in size, but in life, in heart, in spirit. My life was hard, you know? Not yours. Yours was gonna be easy.
Gonna be so goddamn easy.
===
It's weird, like, so much weight's been lifted off of me. "It's over. You're done. Michigan paroled you." I cried, man. I cried. And I want to go tell my grandma and grandpa that I made it out of prison, you know? I want to go visit them at their grave site. I got everything I need in life.

Summary

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j
jimg2000
Feb 09, 2019

Part of the film's story from LA Times archive:

Police, Detroit Mayor's Kin Arrested in Drug Sting
May 23, 1991
AMY HARMON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

DETROIT — Eleven Detroit-area police officers were arraigned Wednesday on charges of accepting money to guard several large shipments of cocaine and cash for undercover FBI agents who were posing as drug dealers.

Six civilians also were arrested Tuesday in the sting operation, among them Detroit Mayor Coleman Young's niece, Cathy Volsan Curry, and her father, Willie Volsan. Federal agents said Young was not linked to the investigation.

Over the course of the eight-month investigation, the paid-off police officers willingly cooperated with what they thought were drug dealers to ensure the safe delivery of cocaine from Miami to Detroit, federal investigators said.

Sometimes while on duty and in uniform, often using marked police cars, the officers sealed off sections of Detroit City Airport, helped unload what they believed to be drug shipments and chaperoned the drugs through Detroit and into the suburbs, the FBI said.

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