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Explicit Ills (2008)

 -  Drama  -  6 March 2009 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 576 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 6 user | 20 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

A drama of four interconnecting stories revolving around love, drugs and poverty in Philadelphia.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Babo's Mom
...
Jill
...
Jacob
...
Michelle (as Frankie Shaw)
...
Kaleef
Francisco Burgos ...
Martin Cepeda ...
Demitri (as Martin Ceoeda Jr.)
Destini Edwards ...
The Girl
Ross K. Kim-McManus ...
...
Chris
...
Kelly
Nicole Mitchell ...
Nicole
Rukiya Thomas ...
Maria
Sam Meyerson ...
Sam
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Storyline

A drama of four interconnecting stories revolving around love, drugs and poverty in Philadelphia.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One voice will change everything.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some drug use

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 2009 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,125 (USA) (6 March 2009)

Gross:

$28,564 (USA) (20 March 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Deceptacon
Written by Sadie Benning, Johanna Fateman and Kathleen Hanna
Performed by Le Tigre
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User Reviews

 
Quietly powerful urban drama
8 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Crumbling, hollowed-out buildings, trash-strewn alleyways and weed-infested empty lots provide the backdrop for "Explicit Ills," a low-keyed, understated account of a group of largely unrelated people struggling to make a go of things amidst poverty and urban decay in Philadelphia. Yet, despite the grimness of the setting, the movie offers a basis for renewal and hope through a cast of characters who don't exactly fit into the stereotypical slum-drama mold - and in the film's commitment to social justice through unity and action.

In terms of form, Mark Webber's film is more a series of vignettes than a conventionally structured narrative, an approach that actually works quite well given the slightly amateurish, rough-around-the-edges nature of the piece. Yet, despite limited financial resources, Webber has fashioned a stylish, sometimes even quite visionary work that clearly cares about its characters and the community to which they belong.

Those characters include a young couple caught up in the web of drug addiction; an aspiring actor who's struggling with depression; a seven-year-old chess player who gets picked on at school; a sweet-natured teenager who's trying hard to impress his girl; a pot-smoking mother who's having to counsel her son to stay away from the drug till he's older; and another mother (played by Rosario Dawson) who's desperate to get some much-needed medicine for her asthmatic child. The characters have little in common with one another except that they happen to live in the same geographical locale and they're all trying to do the best they can with what fate and, in some cases, their own choices and actions have led them to. The movie ends on a powerful note of optimism and reconciliation after a heartbreaking and gut-wrenching event befalls two of the main characters.

When all is said and done, Webber's first directorial effort is more a work of "promise" than a fully realized work of art in its own right. But if your taste runs more towards the experimental and the "hip" and less towards the stale conventions of commercial movie-making, then "Explicit Ills" might well be the movie for you.


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