REVIEW: White Boy Rick is the McConaughey show

The film White Boy Rick is about a young drug hustler who became a 15-year-old FBI informant.

And yet, it’s Matthew McConaughey, playing the father, who is truly arresting in the picture.

The young actor playing Ricky Jr., reportedly found in a principal’s ofiice in Baltimore, is good-not-great in his first performance.

Richie Merritt’s shortcomings — which come not from a lack of screen presence but a lack of confidence — threaten to undo a film that hinges on sublime, rich characters.

The true story of the young drug trafficker who was sentenced to a life in prison for drug trafficking during a hard-on-crime era in Detroit is an amazing tale.

But given the paint-by-numbers screenwriting, it just doesn’t hit home like it should. But producer/actor Matthew McConaughey is the major reason the film works.

He elevates every actor he’s with in every scene he’s in, and with small, mighty performance from Rory Cochrane and Jennifer Jason Leigh as torn detectives, the flick gets by.

Bruce Dern, Brian Tyree Henry, Piper Laurie and Eddie Marsan are all amazing thespians who are wasted here, sadly.

The only issue I have is this sporadically magnificent film could have been so much better overall.

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