In “‘Charm City Kings,’ ‘Babyteeth’ and Other Hidden Streaming Gems,” Jason Bailey (The New York Times) reviews “under-the-radar movies” that you may have missed in 2020. He writes “Now’s your chance to catch up.” See his description of Charm City Kings (2020) by Puerto Rican director Angel Manuel Soto.
‘Charm City Kings’ (2020)
The director Angel Manuel Soto does similar wonders with familiar materials in this Baltimore-set street drama, which explicitly recalls such urban coming-of-age pictures as “Boyz N the Hood” and “Juice.” But Soto finds a fresh approach, taking an almost anthropological appreciation of the setting — the film was inspired by the 2014 documentary “12 O’Clock Boys,” and aims for a similar lived-in authenticity — while complicating his characters beyond their stock types. The performers do much of that work as well; young Jahi Di’Allo Winston is impressively assured as the protagonist Mouse, while the rapper Meek Mill finds just the right notes as Mouse’s troubled role model and father figure.
See trailer here:
[Phiti above: Jahi Di’Allo Winston plays Mouse, the hero of “Charm City Kings,” directed by Angel Manuel Soto. Credit…William Gray/HBO Max.]