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4 Metro Detroit Theaters Tonight Show 'White Boy Rick' a Day Before National Debut

September 13, 2018, 11:27 AM by  Alan Stamm

Richie Merritt as Richard Wershe Jr., who became a federal drug informant in his teens. (Sony Pictures Entertainment photos)

This originally was posted Monday.

If you like being among the first to to see, hear or do a new thing, you can thank us later.

Four Emagine group theaters in suburban Detroit will screen "White Boy Rick" on Thursday night, a day before its national release. The sites are in Rochester Hills, Novi, Canton and Macomb Township.

The R-rated feature film is based on the real-life saga of 1980s teen drug dealer and federal informant Richard Wershe Jr. from Detroit's east side. (Scenes and interviews are in a video below.)

Tickets for seven advance showings are available as part of a free Emagine Loyalty Rewards program. New members can join here.

Here are links to buy tickets for each special screening Thursday:

Richie Merritt, at right, in a scene with Shmael Ali, a Milwaukee rapper who performs as IshDARR, and Raekwon Haynes (center).

"White Boy Rick" stars newcomer Richie Merritt as a young Detroit hustler and Matthew McConaughey as his dad. It was shown Sept. 7 at the Toronto Film Fesrival, where McConaughey spoke afterward.

"Merritt plays his character with a surprising dose of innocence," writes festival attendee Sharon Waxman at The Wrap, a movie news site. 

The movie is a convincing prelude to the inner city nightmare of today: Guns abound. Criminals shoot up parties and bars. Kids watching TV in their living rooms end up dead.

Director Yann Demange uses darkly lit interiors and a thumping background bass to create the daily tension that accompanies chronic poverty, and not-so-occasional killings of neighbors and friends. It’s to his credit that he lets the scenes play out in a way that feels unforced. 

The real-life Wershe was paroled in July 2017 after 29 years in prison and is finishing a Florida term for being part of a stolen car ring. His current release date is 2021.

Here's a four-minute studio "featurette" about the film and its production:

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Photo Of The Day 

Potd_oldandnew_img_9317_52 Beautiful play with shadows but more importantly, a nice contrast between old Detroit architecture and new.

By: Diane Weiss (@dddetroit)