Life changes for Malcolm, a geek who’s surviving life in a tough neighborhood, after a chance invitation to an underground party leads him and his friends into a Los Angeles adventure. — IMDB

DOPE contains the crudity, coarse language, sexual themes, violence, and drug use of much modern teen comedy. But DOPE is different in that the story is situated in the lives of people for whom all this is a daily reality living in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in America. Acting is authentic, the relationship between the three kids who hang out together is well portrayed, and the dialogue is fast-paced and witty. The plot is essentially about Malcolm who becomes ensnared in a drug deal and has to work out how to extricate himself so he can follow his dream of attending Harvard. But everything seems to be working against him. At times, this crime drama is suffused with humour and optimism alongside the despair and hopelessness of Malcolm as he tries to make moral decisions. Sometimes this coming-of-age story is pretty hard to watch. DOPE won’t be for everyone but is worth a look if you can cope with the material I’ve described at the beginning of this review and definitely only for ages 17+. It’s in limited release.