Explicit Ills
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A movie that too often feels comprised of arty public service announcements can only be considered a lost opportunity."
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"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."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"suffers from a simultaneous affliction of overwriting and underwriting"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"A good first effort with heart felt acting but this film does not provide the thrills and spills some expect from inner city explorations"
‑ Ron Wilkinson, Monsters and Critics
"Initially promising but ultimately maddening."
‑ Mark Keizer, Boxoffice Magazine
"Despite a good cast, Explicit Ills is about as phony as it gets."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"The film's cast and the fluid camerawork are as hip as can be, and in this age of Obama, so is the sentiment -- unflinching but optimistic."
‑ Alison Willmore, Time Out New York
"all social smoke and mirrors."
‑ Bill Gibron, Filmcritic.com
"Webber is good with his actors, but he tries to do too much, depict a portrait of the lower-depths in Philadelphia, present a cautionary tale and call to arms, and also suggest a personal memoir or living in this particular city."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Mark Weber's Explicit Ills has a tenderness that belies its fiery left-leaning political views about urban poverty and social injustice."
‑ Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
"Gorgeous to look at and touchingly sincere, Mark Webber's directorial debut makes a considerable impact despite its evident flaws."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"Two of the cast members shine: Lou Taylor Pucci as a drug dealer who finds a new lover and baptizes himself in substance abuse, and Rosario Dawson as a mother trying to care for her asthmatic son with no health insurance."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"In an era of low-blow comedies and fluff action flicks, this movie will inspire you to be aware, conscious and sensitive."
‑ Clay Cane, BET.com
"An impressive directorial debut that manages to be a throughly compelling, honest and socially conscious drama"
‑ Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
"A serious social drama without insight, a unique point of view or, seemingly, much of an understanding of its own issues."
‑ Matt Pais, Metromix.com
More reviews for Explicit Ills on Rotten Tomatoes