Yann Demange directs Richie Merritt, Matthew McConaughey and Bel Powley in this factual Reagan era crime drama following Richard Wershe Jnr., a Detroit teenager who became an F.B.I. informant and crack dealer before he hit adulthood.
The American dream gets kerb stomped. An underrated 1980s nightmare. Stays on the grimy side and showcases fine performances from a stick of rock cast. Quality throughout. McConaughey and Powley put in memorable work. I’d rate this even higher if not for two niggles. The ending goes down the same tonal route as the very poor Gotti, in that it tries to make the incarceration of a career criminal seem like some kind of conspiratorial injustice. These nasty fucks are not martyrs! You wouldn’t want them running about still. And for a tale that exists in the black populated criminal world of Detroit, the African American characters are poorly sketched and often relegated to background set dressing. That just doesn’t scan right. If you love Goodfellas or The Wire though, this is a decent retread along that same cracked pavement in the main.