Kicks (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kicks (2016)

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In Justin Tipping's feature debut Kicks, nothing is as simple as it seems. Fifteen-year-old Brandon longs for a pair of the freshest sneakers that money can buy; assuming that merely having them on his feet will help him escape the reality of being poor, neglected by the opposite sex and picked on by everyone -- even his best friends. Working hard to get them, he soon finds that the titular shoes have instead made him a target after they are promptly snatched by local hood, Flaco. Seemingly the embodiment of menace, Flaco harbors complexities of his own that will be revealed when Brandon goes on a mission to retrieve his stolen sneakers with his two best friends in tow. Boasting a strong ensemble cast and featuring a memorable lead performance by newcomer Jahking Guillory, the film transcends a deceptively traditional hero's journey to deliver an entertaining and sobering look at the realities of inner-city life, the concept of manhood and the fetishization of sneaker culture. Visually and thematically rich, with an amazing soundtrack of both hip-hop classics and Bay Area favorites, Kicks creates an authentic and original portrait of a young man drowning in the expectations of machismo.

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Cast

Justin Hall
as Cameron
Rodney Collins
as Cool Rap Kid
Joe Njoku-Obi
as Shoe Store Employee
Joe Njoku
as Obi-Shoe Store Employee
Stanley Cox
as Crazy Daryl
Destiny Hutson
as Girl in Park
Charles Glover
as Sideshow Kid
Molly Shaiken
as Astronaut
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Critic Reviews for Kicks

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (12)

Tipping, who also co-wrote the polished script, captures this unique mix of adolescent anxiety, urban decay and societal friction in a remarkably confident fashion ...

September 23, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The motif of a faceless, imaginary spaceman following the boy around is overly precious, but what does work is Tipping's focus on sensitive boys hardening in reaction to their father figures (or lack thereof).

September 22, 2016 | Full Review…

Tipping throws all sorts of tricks at the screen, most of which don't work.

September 16, 2016 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Tipping's admittedly artful style is relatively ambiguous, focusing mostly on cheap visceral thrills, to the point where it's impossible to glean what he thinks about the depths to which Brandon will go.

September 15, 2016 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Kicks is not without its flaws, but even the flaws show Tipping's willingness to take risks, to go for the big gesture and to go for it honestly.

September 9, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The characters have enough dimension to avoid appearing to be symbols of a social tragedy, and the movie's relative gentleness makes the harsher realities of Brandon's world all the more distressing.

September 8, 2016 | Full Review…

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