Dope (2015 film)
Dope is a 2015 American comedy-drama coming-of-age film written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa and produced by Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi. It stars Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoë Kravitz, A$AP Rocky, and Chanel Iman. The film was also executive produced by Pharrell Williams and co-executive produced by Sean Combs.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rick Famuyiwa|
|Written by||Rick Famuyiwa|
|Music by||Germaine Franco|
|Edited by||Lee Haugen|
|Distributed by||Open Road Films|
|Box office||$18 million|
The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2015 in Park City, Utah and was released in North America on June 19 by Open Road Films. It was re-released on September 4 during the Labor Day holiday weekend. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and was a moderate commercial success, grossing $18 million over a $7 million budget.
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Malcolm Adekanbi and his best friends, Jib and Diggy, are high school "geeks" living in "The Bottoms" a crime-frequent neighborhood in Inglewood, California. Malcolm is confident he will be admitted to his dream school, Harvard University, on his academic ability, but his school counselor berates him since their school is in a run-down suburb in Los Angeles. He suggests Malcolm take college application process more seriously, starting with an upcoming interview with businessman and Harvard alumnus, Austin Jacoby.
While biking home, Malcolm is stopped by Dom, a drug dealer who instructs him to invite a girl named Nakia to his party. Finding him charming, Nakia tells Malcolm to reply that she will only accept if Malcolm goes. Despite initial reluctance, Jib, Diggy convince Malcolm to go and the trio arrives. During the party, Dom and his crew meet in a back room to buy high-grade, powdered molly but are interrupted by a gang. Hiding behind the bar, Dom finds Malcolm's backpack and fills it with the drugs and a gun, giving Malcolm it and sending him away while police arrive. Nakia then drives Malcolm home when he offers her help for the GED.
The next day, Malcolm discovers the items and an iPhone. Immediately, an unknown man calls, reveals that he knows Malcolm's identity and instructs him to turn over the drugs that day. After school, Dom, in custody, calls and warns Malcolm that he is being lured and to flee. He texts Malcolm an address and tells him to ask for AJ. Malcolm, Jib, and Diggy flee to the address, a mansion, and are greeted by a young man named Jaleel and his sister Lily. Since their father, AJ, isn't home, Jaleel invites them inside and takes Jib and Diggy out for food while Malcolm stays with Lily. She seduces him, finds the drugs and takes a heavy dose. Meanwhile, Malcolm gets a phone call reminding him of the interview. Lily, intoxicated, drives him but passes out at a stop sign, who then runs out of the car and publicly urinates on a bush while bystanders record. Malcolm takes her car and drives to the meeting himself.
Arriving at Jacoby's office, he notices photos of Dom, Lily, and Jaleel in the man's office and realizes he is AJ. Malcolm relays Dom's instructions to Jacoby, who denies any knowledge and subtly indicates that the contents of the bag are now Malcolm's responsibility. Jacoby reschedules the interview - if the drugs aren't sold by then, Malcolm won't be admitted to Harvard. Low on options, Malcolm, Jib, and Diggy seek help from a college student they met years ago, Will Sherwood. A stoner and hacker, he sets up an online black-market website to sell the drugs through Bitcoin transactions, which soon goes viral.
Malcolm helps Nakia study, where she opens up to him. He then accuses her of being sent by Dom to gather info and pushes her away. The next day, Malcolm asks Will to extract cash from the Bitcoins, and arranges a meeting with a money-laundering gangster named Fidel. With the meeting going as planned, Malcolm leaves with a bag of cash but is assaulted by the school bully and company, quickly overpowering him and takes the bag. Desperate, he defends himself by pulling the gun, getting the money back and earning the bully's respect.
Returning to AJ's office for his interview, Malcolm tells Jacoby that he has sold the drugs but has left a trail leading to Jacoby. Unless Jacoby admits him to Harvard, Malcolm will transfer the Bitcoins to Jacoby's checking account, which will frame Jacoby and lead to his arrest. He then types his college application essay. He describes two students – Student A is a music geek that plays in a punk band and gets straight As, while Student B suffers in the hood and makes money in immoral ways. He then asks, "Which student do you think I am?"
Malcolm waits for Nakia at prom, but she does not show at all. Later, Nakia meets Malcolm at his home and thanks him for helping her pass her GED, giving him a pass to Six Flags and kisses him on the cheek. He then goes inside and enters his room to find an envelope from Harvard on his bed. He opens it and looks at the audience before smiling.
- Shameik Moore as Malcolm Adekanbi
- Tony Revolori as James "Jib" Caldones
- Kiersey Clemons as Cassandra "Diggy" Andrews
- Kimberly Elise as Lisa Hayes
- Chanel Iman as Lily Jacoby
- Blake Anderson as Will Sherwood
- Zoë Kravitz as Nakia
- A$AP Rocky as Dom
- Keith Stanfield as Marquis "Bug"
- Rick Fox as Councilman Blackmon
- Amin Joseph as The Voice
- Tyga as De'Andre
- Roger Guenveur Smith as Austin Jacoby
- De'aundre Bonds as Stacey
- Quincy Brown as Jaleel Jacoby
- Kap-G as Micheal Fidel
- Vince Staples and Casey Veggies as members of Dom's Crew
- Forest Whitaker as the Narrator
(Music From The Motion Picture)
|Soundtrack album by Various|
|Released||June 16, 2015|
|Label||i am OTHER Entertainment|
The soundtrack to the film, Dope (Music from the Motion Picture), was released by i am OTHER Entertainment and Columbia Records on June 16, 2015. The film also features a sample of the song Freak on a Leash by American nu metal band Korn, which is a bit different from the film's Hip-Hop theme.
- "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" – Digable Planets
- "Can't Bring Me Down" – Awreeoh
- "The World is Yours" (feat. Pete Rock) – Nas
- "Go Ahead" – Awreeoh
- "Rebel Without a Pause" – Public Enemy
- "Don't Get Deleted" – Awreeoh
- "Scenario" (feat. Leaders of the New School) – A Tribe Called Quest
- "Cocaina Shawty" – Kap G
- "Poppin Off" – WatchTheDuck
- "The Humpty Dance" – Digital Underground
- "New Money" – Buddy
- "Hip Hop Hooray" – Naughty by Nature
- "Dirty Feeling" – LolaWolf
- "Home is Where the Hatred Is" – Gil Scott-Heron
- "It's My Turn Now" – Awreeoh
- "Know What I Want"– Kali Uchis
Dope debuted in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which started on January 22, 2015 in Park City, Utah. At the festival, the film received offers from at least six production companies and film studios before its rights were sold to Open Road Films (who will distribute the film domestically) and Sony (who will distribute the film internationally) for a reported $7 million plus $20 million for marketing and promotion. It was selected to close the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. In September 2015, the film competed in the 2015 Deauville American Film Festival where it won the Prix du Public (Audience Award).
Dope grossed $6.1 million in its opening weekend, finishing 5th at the box office behind Jurassic World ($106.6 million), Inside Out ($90.4 million), Spy ($11.2 million) and San Andreas ($8.7 million). At the end of its theatrical run, the film grossed just shy of $18 million worldwide.
Dope received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 89%, based on 140 reviews, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Featuring a starmaking performance from Shameik Moore and a refreshingly original point of view from writer-director Rick Famuyiwa, Dope is smart, insightful entertainment." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 72 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews." According to CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an "A−" grade.
The Guardian gave the film five stars out of five, describing the entire cast as "revolutionary." IGN awarded it 7 out of 10, saying "Comedy, romance, drama and crime rub shoulders in entertaining coming-of-age flick."
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