Explicit Ills (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Explicit Ills2009

Explicit Ills (2009)



Critic Consensus: Though its politics can be heavy-handed at times, Mark Webber's directorial debut is sincere and well-acted.

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Movie Info

The beauty of hope and the power of unity form the foundation of this tale of youthful love, drugs, and poverty in the City of Brotherly Love. Seven-year-old Babo suffers from asthma, and lives with his mother in a dangerous section of North Philly. In an attempt to impress a girl who's well out of his league, their scheming neighbor Demitri attempts to pass as a brainy bookworm. Meanwhile, as well-off art student Michelle falls into a drug-ridden affair with her dealer, Jacob, Kaleef and Jill struggle to save their marriage while bringing "produce to the people," and their teenage son, Heslin, bulks up for the World's Strongest Man competition. Rosario Dawson, Naomie Harris, and Paul Dano star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Rosario Dawson
as Babo's Mom
Paul Dano
as Rocco
Frankie Shaw
as Michelle
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Critic Reviews for Explicit Ills

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (13)

This gentle, lovely and consistently surprising survey of life in a Philadelphia inner-city neighborhood that's gradually succumbing to gentrification marks the writing and directing debut of 28-year-old actor Mark Webber.

December 17, 2021 | Full Review…

A movie that too often feels comprised of arty public service announcements can only be considered a lost opportunity.

March 20, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Despite a good cast, Explicit Ills is about as phony as it gets.

March 6, 2009

Gorgeous to look at and touchingly sincere, Mark Webber's directorial debut makes a considerable impact despite its evident flaws.

March 6, 2009 | Rating: 3/5

There is much to argue with, and much to regret, about a film whose director thinks he needs to drop an anvil on our heads when art would suffice.

March 6, 2009 | Rating: 2/5

Mark Weber's Explicit Ills has a tenderness that belies its fiery left-leaning political views about urban poverty and social injustice.

March 5, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Explicit Ills


Ensemble drama clumsily works its way to a Big Message.

William Goss
William Goss

Super Reviewer

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