Despite the script's cornball development, this urban drama's genuine compassion for its characters overrides the story's awkwardness. On the cusp of a promising academic career, Columbus, Ohio, high school student Dre (RonReaco Lee) accompanies his ghetto pals on an I-dare-you carjacking. Though Dre's pal Zach (Bizzy Bone) claims the gun isn't loaded, Dre winds up fatally shooting their victim, Harold Barnes (Andrew Ford). During the ensuing police chase, Dre's best friend, Shawn (T-Low), guns down a cop. Shawn graduates to full-time gang activities while the remorseful Dre finishes high school but puts his college plans on hold. Dre secretly seeks out Mr. Barnes' family and tries to make amends. Barnes' impoverished widow, Thelma (Anna Maria Horsford), has been turning tricks, so Dre hooks her up with a decent job. Dre sees that Thelma's shy daughter, Stephanie (Alexis Fields), is dating abusive rich kid Kenny (Tweet), and intervenes on her behalf. He also falls for the late-bloomer himself. More importantly, Dre becomes a big brother to Thelma's troubled son, HB (Brandon Thomas), who's headed for a drug-dealing future. Needless to say, Dre keeps his connection to Harold's death a secret while he builds up HB's self-esteem and draws Stephanie out of her shell. When Dre's guilt makes him seriously consider turning himself in, Zach and Shawn start fuming. A born manipulator, Zach coaxes Kenny into punishing Dre for stealing Stephanie and reminds Shawn, who places a high value on loyalty, that Dre isn't being true to his homeboys. Threatened by his former gangsta associates and haunted by the thought of the Barnes family's reaction when they find out who he is, Dre looks as though he's going to pay for his crime one way or another. While Timothy Wayne Folsome's redemptive saga relies on boyz 'n the hood stereotypes and barges through coincidences like there's no tomorrow, it's also a powerful chronicle of the derailment of a promising young life.
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- Released: 2002
- Rating: R
- Review: Despite the script's cornball development, this urban drama's genuine compassion for its characters overrides the story's awkwardness. On the cusp of a promising academic career, Columbus, Ohio, high school student Dre (RonReaco Lee) accompanies his ghetto… (more)