Dope: even thought the dramas and issues are generally the same (or within the same universe), not all teenager, coming-of-age films are the same; this Rick Famuyiwa’s movie is a good example of how fresh it can be. Setting the story in the hood (which gives the story specificities in addition to going to college and falling in love with the impossible girl) and having such winning, diverse, engaging central characters go a long way to create a fun experience. A good portion of the energy comes from the winning cast of the central characters: Shameik Moore is particularly charismatic, but Kiersey Clemons and Tony Revolori are almost as good as his cohorts; Zoë Kravitz is convincing as the love interest; the weakest link in the cast is Roger Guenveur Smith, annoying with his heavy hamming. Another element that raises the energy is Lee Haugen’s smart, snappy editing (which also makes good use of music). It’s lively shot by director of photography Rachel Morrison.