James Burns's story is extraordinary, but it doesn't seem like one that needs to be told.
In Jamesy Boy, director Trevor White frames the former teen gang member's life as an uplifting coming-of-age prison drama that feels entirely disconnected from the realities of incarceration. Worse, White's decision to shackle his film to a redemptive arc ends up making Burns's story an argument for juvenile imprisonment.
Jamesy Boy crisscrosses between Burns (Spencer Lofranco) at age 14, when he was an apple-cheeked thug, and age 18, when the pretty-boy convict is up for parole. James has been intermittently institutionalized for violence since age six, but the film is too timid to show him at his worst. Instead of delving into Burns's underlying psychological issues, »
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