White Boy Rick (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

White Boy Rick2018

White Boy Rick (2018)



Critic Consensus: Solid work from the cast - particularly a scene-stealing Matthew McConaughey - helps White Boy Rick make up for a number of missed opportunities in the script.

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Movie Info

Set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic and the War on Drugs, WHITE BOY RICK is based on the moving true story of a blue-collar father and his teenage son, Rick Wershe, who became an undercover police informant and later a drug dealer, before he was abandoned by his handlers and sentenced to life in prison.

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Matthew McConaughey
as Richard Wershe, Sr.
Richie Merritt
as Richard "White Boy Rick" Wershe, Jr.
Brian Tyree Henry
as Officer Jackson
Bruce Dern
as Ray Wershe
Piper Laurie
as Verna Wershe
Bel Powley
as Dawn Wershe
Jonathan Majors
as Johnny Curry
as Leo Curry
R.J. Cyler
as Rudell Curry
Taylour Paige
as Cathy Volsan
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Critic Reviews for White Boy Rick

All Critics (156) | Top Critics (46)

Director Yann Demange ('71) seems uncertain whether to play the material as searing drama or black comedy, and so he gives up on establishing a recognizable tone altogether.

March 3, 2020 | Full Review…

When you ask yourself: "What's so special about Rick?" The answer is: not much.

December 9, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The music choices inject energy, but it's difficult to care about a character who is too dumb to care about himself.

December 9, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

I could feel the grit under its fingernails... I quite liked it.

December 7, 2018 | Full Review…

There's an honesty to the hardscrabble family portrait that makes it worthwhile.

December 7, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The issue is not that the film focuses on a white kid, but that it doesn't seem much interested in the black lives hit disproportionately hard by the war on drugs.

December 7, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for White Boy Rick

Forgettable. I guess I theoretically could feel sorry for the actual person this movie was based around? Maybe? But not for this character. Nothing about White Boy Rick grabbed me, least of all the utterly never-congenial Matthew McConaughey, who I seem unable to escape recently, desperate though I am to do so.

Gimly M.
Gimly M.

Super Reviewer


"You clean up well, Ricky, but you crooked." White Boy Rick is the kind of story that sounds crazier in its broad strokes than it feels when your in the midst of the motions, not realizing what your in the midst of. Director Yann Demange ('71) boils the "based on a true story" events down into a movie about the fragility of family and the relationships in our lives-namely that of the father/son relationship here. It also doesn't hurt that Demange and his team have fully re-created the look and feel of what one imagines mid-80's Detroit looked and felt like for the lower/middle class. I mean, everything in every frame is on point. One of the best soundtracks of the year, undeniably. A host of great showings from the likes of McConaughey, Jonathan Majors, and newcomer Richie Merritt, but ladies and gentleman I needed more of Eddie Marsan in this role! There's a lot of talk of "up selliing" in White Boy Rick, but the magic of what Demange pulls off here is that he executes his story in such a fashion, by dialing in on the familial theme rather than focusing on how "crazy" it all is, that he doesn't have to offer any fries with the burger to convince us we're getting more than we bargained for. We get exactly what we ordered without the typical gimmicks only to find a pie we didn't have to pay for in the bag after the fact.

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer


A potentially good to great movie is in there somewhere, somewhat lost in uneven direction, bad pacing and a lack of focus. Matthew Mcconaughey seems underutilized, but nonetheless excels. 3.5/5

Jeffrey Meyers
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

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