WHITE BOY RICK- Karl Sides (The Flick Fanatics)



Matthew McConaughey- Richard Wershe Sr.

Richie Merritt- Rick Wershe Jr.

Bel Powley- Dawn Wershe

Jennifer Jason Leigh- FBI Agent Snyder

“White Boy Rick” is the story of how a teenager goes from FBI informant to Drug Kingpin in Detroit.

Director Yann Demange brings the story of Rick Wershe Jr. aka “White Boy Rick”, a teenager who navigates from selling illegal homemade silencers for his dad (McConaughey) to becoming an informant for the FBI to finally becoming the drug lord in Detroit in 1985.

14 yr. old Rick Wershe, a high-school drop out that lives in the Detroit suburbs with his sister Dawn and works with his father buying guns and retro fitting them with home-made silencers then re-selling them for a major profit. Dawn (Powley) is dating a drug dealer and is strung out on crack cocaine, but finally has it out with her dad and runs away from home to her boyfriend’s apartment.

Rick sells some AK-47 rifles with his dad’s silencers to the local drug dealer Johnny ‘Lil Man’ Curry (Jonathan Majors) and is welcomed in to the group that includes Rick’s best friend Boo (RJ Cryer) who happens to be Lil Man’s brother. FBI Agents Snyder (Leigh) and Byrd (Rory Cochrane) pay a visit to the Wershes and explain that they have evidence of the illegal silencers, but they want the “big fish” Lil Man Curry.

Rick agrees to help the FBI to keep his dad out of jail. Rick takes money from Detective Jackson (Brian Tyree Henry) to make buys from Lil Man’s drug houses to gather evidence. Jackson also gives rick a brick of drugs to sell so not to raise suspicion that he is working with the Feds and he gets to keep the cash from the sale of the drugs. The FBI has Rick dealing drugs.

The FBI takes down Lil Man Curry and his crew leaving a gaping hole if the drug scene in Detroit. Rick now has a taste for the good life and likes the money in dealing crack, so he meets with Curry’s cartel connection Art Derrick (Eddie Marsan) and takes over selling crack in Detroit. The FBI raids the Wershe house arresting Rick and agent Snyder again makes him a deal to help them bring down the cops working with Curry and hopefully the Mayor himself. Rick, who is facing a life sentence for drug trafficking, agrees.

White Boy Rick is a very good film telling the tale of a teenager who lives on the wrong side of the tracks and is made an example of by the justice system and a target for the criminals with his only safe place being solitary confinement in prison. McConaughey is exceptional in the role of father and gun runner that wants to open a video store to provide for his family. Newcomer Richie Merritt is convincing in the role of the teenage drug lord, “White Boy Rick”.

I am Karl, the Flick Fanatic letting you know to “skate” your way down to the local theater to catch another good film that is based on a true story, “White Boy Rick”. I found myself pulling for Rick, even though he is a drug dealer, just because in the state of Michigan a drug trafficker gets a longer sentence than a dirty cop.

Rated R (Nudity, Drugs, Language and Violence)

Flickanalisys:   5/6   AK47s

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