Washington Heights (2002)

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Carlos (Manny Perez) is a talented artist who draws comics for a living. He's desperate to move out of his Washington Heights neighborhood. His girlfriend, Maggie (Andrea Navedo) feels more connected to the neighborhood. She's not so eager to leave. Carlos's best friend, Mickey (Danny Hoch), works as a super in the building his father owns, but he dreams of being a professional bowler. He's scheming to raise three grand to enter an open tournament in Las Vegas. Carlos's father, Eddie (accomplished Cuban-born actor Tomas Milian, who starred in Michelangelo Antonioni's Indentificazione di una donna), owns a neighborhood grocery store, and is well-liked in the neighborhood for his friendly way of doing business. Despite his advanced age, he's also a ladies' man, and was so even before Carlos's mother passed away. His philandering ways account for a lot of the tension between father and son. Carlos wants to draw his own comic book, but his boss, David (David Zayas) tells him that while he's got technical ability, his work is soulless. But Carlos's plans for the future are disrupted when Eddie is shot and critically wounded during a robbery at the store. Carlos resentfully takes care of his ailing father, and runs the store until Eddie can go back to work. Carlos's growing understanding of his community, and his father's importance to it, is reflected in his work, and he has a creative breakthrough. Meanwhile, Mickey's moneymaking schemes get him into trouble with Angel (Bobby Cannavale), Maggie's gangster brother. Washington Heights was directed by Alfredo De Villa, who wrote the script with Nat Moss. Novelist Junot Diaz (Drown) wrote additional dialogue. The film was shown at the 2002 Urbanworld Film Festival, and at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival, where it received a Special Mention.
Rating:
R (adult situations)
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Manny Perez
as Carlos
Danny Hoch
as Mickey Kilpatrick
Jude Ciccolella
as Sean Kilpatrick
Andrea Navedo
as Maggie
David Zayas
as David
Callie Thorne
as Raquel
Manny Hoch
as Mickey
Judy Reyes
as Daisy
Jaime Tirelli
as Guillermo
Michael Hyatt
as Michelle
Sara Ramirez
as Belkis
Josh Stamberg
as Dr. Field
Denia Brache
as Flirting Woman
Ann McDonough
as Mary Kilpatrick
Gloria Irizarry
as Senora Marquez
Jose Ramon Rosario
as Bodega Guy
Gary Perez
as Comic Store Owner
Brian DeJesus
as Steven
Lisa Hammer
as Berna
Michelle Zangara
as Overnight Woman
Yvette Mercedes
as Female Tenant
Luis Jiménez
as Radio DJ
Moon Shadow
as Radio DJ
Marcos Palma
as Rafael
Don Juarez
as Congo Player
Fernando Baez
as Man on Street
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Critic Reviews for Washington Heights

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (18)

Considering the money this film cost to make, its short shooting schedule, and its unpandering ethnic content, it's a triumph.

Full Review… | June 7, 2014
indieWIRE
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | April 8, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | July 20, 2005
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

A promising debut that makes us anticipate this Columbia University film grad's sophomore work.

Full Review… | July 31, 2003
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Buoyed by strong performances from Perez and Miami-resident Milian, Washington Heights overcomes the familiarity of its premise through its passion and conviction.

July 31, 2003
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Washington Heights is sloppy and often undernourished, but it convincingly creates a neighborhood throbbing with activity and caring.

July 23, 2003
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Washington Heights

Not surprisingly, the film is strongest when its characters are simply hanging out, shooting the breeze and venting their feelings, while moments of high drama fall flat.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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