Its clichés and overly melodramatic tone take prominence here, but Lowriders still manages to be a quietly entertaining family drama with fine performances and worthy themes.
Official Synopsis: A young street artist in East Los Angeles is caught between his father's obsession with lowrider car culture, his ex-felon brother and his need for self-expression.
Plot: A slice of life looking at the Alvarez family, who get torn apart due to crime and death, turn to culture and lowriders to help bring them back together.
Take: The marketing for this movie probably pushed a lot of people away from seeing it and focused on one demographic, which is a shame. Overall this is one of the better told stories of the year. It is directed well by Ricardo de Montreuil, who by all accounts is making his feature debut in an English language film.
The script is put together well by Cheo Hodari Coker (Notorious, Luke Cage) and Elgin James, a relative newcomer.
This story follows Danny (Gabriel Chavarria) as he tries to connect with his father Miguel (Damian Bichir) who is a stern and specific man, and his older brother Francisco "Ghost" (Theo Rossi) who was recently released from prison. Miguel wants to keep his auto shop functional, but focusing on that has separated him from his family. Danny and Ghost become their fathers' rivals in the process and the family splinters, until a tragedy forces them to reflect.
As for the rest of the supporting cast they filled in well and nobody was out of their depth; Melissa Benoist (Supergirl, Whiplash), Yvette Monreal, Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Dope), Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), Noel Guglimi (Training Day, Bruce Almighty), and Cress Williams (Friday Night Lights) were all very good.
Overall this movie was a nice change of pace from the big summer blockbusters and ridiculous car movies we see with the Fast & Furious franchise. A small story about family and the meaning of the cars to a culture.
Recommendation: Lowriders was not made for me. It was not marketed for me. But, in the end this was one of the better overall movies of the year so far. I'd highly recommend going out of your way to see this when it is available for you, whether it is in theaters, streaming, or on home video.
You ever hit switches?