Updated: June 18, 2015

Creatively fun, witty and thought provoking. 

Dope Movie Poster

Dope, the coming of age story written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood, Brown Sugar), is set in the inner-city of Los Angeles and follows nerdy 90’s hip hop geek high school senior Malcolm (Shameik Moore), and his two misfit friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons). In addition to this being a coming of age story, it also tries to explain what its like to be black. But this is no jock vs nerds movie. Dope is nerds getting caught up in a dangerous situation involving drugs, and the dangerous people who want the drugs, with circumstances that lend to the phrase ‘It’s hard out here for a geek’. 

Dope Movie Image

Malcolm is preparing for his interview with Harvard alum Austin Jacoby hopeful that that Jacoby gives him a recommendation for entry into the Ivy League school. While traveling home from school Malcolm encounters the surprisingly charming neighborhood drug dealer Dom (Rakiem “A$AP Rocky” Mayers) who insist that Malcolm mediate a conversation between him and his love interest Nakia (Zoe Kravitz). This back and forth tennis match between Dom and Nakia results in Malcolm and his crew being invited to Dom’s ‘adult only’ birthday party. Police raid the party and Malcolm ends up with a backpack full of drugs. In his attempt to get rid of the product that has been thrust upon him, Malcolm finds himself in various humorous and extremely dangerous situations.

Although Dope is saturated with the use of the ‘n’ word a little too much for my taste, it does introduce a new and exciting way to illustrate what it’s like growing up in the hood. Exceedingly believable, Moore’s portrayal of Malcolm makes you root for the misfits as they navigate through treacherous territory. Executive produced by Pharrell Williams and produced by Forrest Whitaker, Dope gets across the social message of overcoming ones circumstances.


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