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Sundance review: "LUV"

Published January 23, 2012 8:12 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"LUV"

U.S. Dramatic

*** (three stars)

A kid gets a quick education on the mean streets of Baltimore, in director Sheldon Candis' atmospheric drama. Eleven-year-old Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.) worships his super-cool uncle Vincent (played by the rapper Common), so he is thrilled when Uncle Vincent takes him out of school for a day to teach him how to be a man. What Woody sees is Vincent hustling to get money to start a new business, and crossing paths with drug dealers and two mobster brothers (Dennis Haysbert and Danny Glover) who doubt Vincent's loyalty. Candis and his co-writer, Justin Wilson, create strong characters, particularly in the emotional push-and-pull between the increasingly desperate Vincent and the fast-learning Woody. The plot stalls in a few places, but the depiction of rough-and-tumble Baltimore is satisfyingly gritty.

— Sean P. Means

"LUV" screens again:

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 5:30 p.m., Prospector Square Theatre, Park City

Thursday, Jan. 26, 8:30 p.m., Library Square Theatre, Park City

Friday, Jan. 27, 9:45 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinema 3, Salt Lake City

Saturday, Jan. 28, 9 a.m., Egyptian Theatre, Park City