DOPE - A Review

Last night I got the opportunity to see a pre-screening of Dope, a film directed and written by Rick Famuyiwa. You might've seen the poster or perhaps even a trailer, but the film isn't exactly highly promoted. So, what is Dope all about?


Basically, Dope is a coming-of-age, edge-of-your-seat drama with just enough comedy to make it interesting. The protagonist, Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is just a 90's hip hop nerd who lives in "the bottoms" in Inglewood, California and seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has dreams of going to Harvard and making a life for himself...until...him and his friends decide it would be a good idea to go to a drug dealers birthday party to "spice things up" in their normal life. Through a turn of events, Malcolm and his friends have to use their wit and experience to cheat the system and keep their good reputation.

This film was rather refreshing, inspiring, and thought-provoking. Bringing interesting questions to the table, such as, is the world really black and white (racially and metaphorically), or are people more complicated? Does every move you make define you?"


There wasn't one bad performance in this film, and that's an understatement. Every played their role well and truly transported me to Inglewood. My mind was so full of paranoia the entire film to the point where I was literally screaming in the theater, along with the people behind me. Although this is a modern film, the style of fitted tanks, snapbacks, and high waisted pants will transport you to an era of 90's hip hop and an aesthetic of classic Americana California.

It comes out on July 19th and is worth a watch. I give it a 9/10, only because I felt like every time I blinked I missed a huge part of the film. There were an excessive amount of twist and turns, along with some confusion if you don't totally immerse yourself. But when you do immerse yourself, Dope will teach you a lot about society, youth, and yourself.