In a word:  Depressing.

     If you are adverse to a barrage of bad language, plus graphic violence, do not see this movie.

     Set in Detroit around 1984, this is a deep, dark film giving us a vivid peek into the underworld of drugs and dealers, depression, dysfunction and misery.

     Mathew McConaughey deftly plays the role of a struggling single father of two teens, one a female junkie who lives in the streets and the other, Rick Wershe Jr., age 15, who spends most of his miserable life interacting with dopers and thieves in the hood, often the only white person in the mix. This was during the crack epidemic of the 1980s.

     Wershe Sr. sells guns illegally to make ends meet but soon attracts attention from the FBI. Federal agents convince his son, Rick Jr., to become an undercover drug informant in exchange for keeping his father out of prison. When young Rick gets in too deep, he finds himself seduced by the lure of easy money and becomes a drug dealer himself.

     This is based on a true story which comes together at the end, which I will omit for this article.

     McConaughey is one of Hollywood’s A-list actors, deservedly so, especially after his Oscar win in Dallas Buyers Club.  It would not surprise me to see him nominated again.

     It was interesting to see Piper Laurie in a movie, now age 86, who plays the grandmother of the teenage boy called Rick and lives in the neighborhood.  Bruce Dern plays the grandfather. Jennifer Jason Leigh does a superb job as the head FBI agent.

     The new actor in his break-out role is Richie Merritt who skillfully plays the lead character as the “White Boy.” I’m sure we’ll see him in many future films after this performance, the talent is certainly there.

I give the movie a 7 out of 10.

White Boy Rick (2018) – IMDb


  1. PATRICK PESCE September 16, 2018 at 7:49 pm #

    Saw the movie. Concur with the rating and comments.
    Sad, depressing movies that represents the era in depressed urban cities.
    Saw much of it first hand as a narcotics investigator with the NYPD in the early 70’s.
    For dramatic effect there was some exaggerations regarding the purchase of guns.
    Legally is wasn’t too difficult but not as easy as portrayed.

  2. Frank September 17, 2018 at 4:16 pm #

    I agree with your analysis and grade.

  3. reality September 19, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

    And yet it’s still a felony to possess over 20 grams of marijuana? And in FL, committing a felony means your drivers’ license is suspended? So when you drive to your job and are stopped by the police, you are sent to jail? “The State of FL spends $2.4 Billion a year to incarcerate more than 101,000 inmates at nearly 150 facilities.” “Land of the Free”?
    President Trump could simply take marijuana off the list of most dangerous drugs. Marijuana is classified as more dangerous than heroin, I’ve still never been able to try it.
    I’m afraid. William F. Buckley, Jr., also was afraid, and told his sister, who was in pain from cancer, that he would not obtain it for her. So these depressing, violent movies will continue. Remember Prohibition?