White Lightnin'

2009

White Lightnin'

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

81%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 16

72%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 587
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Movie Info

The colorful subject of the popular underground documentary Dancing Outlaw finds his outlandish life story adapted for the big screen in this biopic penned by Vice Magazine's Shane Smith and Eddy Moretti (Heavy Metal Baghdad), and directed by UK commercial veteran Dominic Murphy. West Virginia native Jesco White was just six years old when he started huffing gasoline and lighter fluid to get high. As a troubled adolescent young Jesco bounced between work camps and reform schools until the day his father, famed mountain dancer D. Ray White, taught him how to tap dance. That skill would prove indispensable in helping Jesco keep his wicked ways in check after his father is murdered and the demons come knocking. Lacing up his father's tap shoes and taking his show on the road, Jesco (Edward Hogg) eventually meets Cilla (Carrie Fisher), the woman he will eventually call his wife. But even true love can't prevent Jesco from being split by the double-edged sword of revenge and redemption, and for the man who craves both there is truly no peace. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for White Lightnin'

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

  • There's a crazy-dirty energy to White Lightnin' that's rarely seen in films, a raw beauty and awfulness that's both scary and exciting.

    Feb 26, 2010 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • This debut British feature weaves sundry biographical details into an awkward cross-hatch of oblique celluloid portrait and backwoods horror thriller.

    Sep 25, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • If you thought Deliverance was too subtle, too refined, too delicate, and that the hillbillies in it were far too much like characters from Jane Austen, then this is for you.

    Sep 25, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Seething with blighted fervour and over-ripe with religious wrath, the wild, elemental imagery generates something truly disturbing. With its strange religious overtones and inevitably fitful conclusion, White Lightnin' is elusive and bleak.

    Sep 25, 2009 | Rating: 4/5
  • Merging real-life events and unbridled fiction, writers (and co-producers) Shane Smith and Eddy Moretti have crafted a bold, nightmarish tale of Southern darkness...

    Sep 26, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Dominic Murphy's pseudo-biopic is as visually assured as it is audacious, but behind the slickly edited imagery, the debutant's storytelling is exposed by shallow characterisation.

    Sep 25, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for White Lightnin'

  • Jan 12, 2012
    If you watch the Whites of W. Virginia, this dramatic take on the Jesco begs the question if the truth is something crazy in between.
    wicked A Super Reviewer
  • Jan 18, 2011
    By far the best crazy,tap dancing,hillbilly drug movie of all time. Crazy independent movie that my brother told me to watch. Not for everyone,but I liked it.
    Everett J Super Reviewer
  • Jan 10, 2011
    Very strange, completely psychotic man. Very strange, completely psychotic movie.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer

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