White Lightnin' - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

White Lightnin' Reviews

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August 5, 2017
Loosely inspired by the life of Jesco White, Dominic Murphy's feature film debut is a nightmarish journey into the underworld of Appalachia.
½ May 22, 2014
Although well-filmed with some beautiful black and white scenes, the question here is why? Why would someone who so ruined his life be glorified in a film like this? The dancing was interesting and the main reason I watched this film. I could see the connection between this form and Irish step dancing, such as Lord of the Dance, or even James Cagney's style in Yankee Doodle Dandy. But the rest of the film made Appalachia seem the haunt of just poverty (which is true} and horrendous drug use and violence (which I'm sure is not the whole story). I'm sure Jesco White's story is not unique, but I wonder if it is the rule, either. From the people we see in this film, Appalachia is a place one would want to stay as far away from as the worst slums of New York City or L.A. Between this film and Deliverance, I think native Appalachians should lobby Hollywood to give them better image.
January 11, 2014
The early years entertaining,the middle years amussing and the last years bewildering....the end was unsatisfying
½ August 29, 2013
A demonic tragedy that is shot differently but mostly sloppily. Begins better then it ends and derails far from the true story.
February 2, 2013
Crazy acid trip of a movie. Its more of a horrific nightmare than anything. Insane!
½ November 25, 2012
How the hell did I miss this and find it for the first time surfing NETFLIX? great movie based on the DANCIN' OUTLAW : JESCO WHITE... took a VERY dark approach and was a great watch, VERY COOL soundtrack with a lot of HASIL ATKINS ,,,, the guy that played Jesco really reminded me of a young Bruce Campbell as well, cant recommend this enough, It would be in your best interest to seek out THE DANCIN' OUTLAW first though and learn about Jesco first though ...
November 3, 2012
The movie was disturbing, enough to keep you with the nightlight on, but that doesn't excuse it for being poorly-structured and derivative, at times unfocused from it's material.
August 30, 2012
I probably would have liked this film more had it not been in any way related to The Dancing Outlaw. The very few actual biographical details taken from Jesco White's life are completely gratuitous to the story being told. It could have been anyone. However, the film itself is beautifully put together and very well-acted even if it is pure exploitation.
August 25, 2012
Great performance by Hogg. Shot well. Good all around.
July 11, 2012
Jesco White uses tap dancing to keep his demons at bay. At the tender age of six, he started getting high by huffing gasoline and stolen lighter fluid. Growing up, Jesco often found himself shuffling between reform schools, work camps, and his home in West Virginia-until his father, famous mountain dancer D. Ray White, taught him how to tap.

Black and white photography is used to great affect in 'White Lightnin'. The black and white is mixed with a very slight colour tint at times, notice the scene which Jesco confronts a group of bullies and the switch knife he is holding is blue and the rest of the shot in still in black and white. This give the film an overall impressive cinematography.

Eward Hogg is fine as the lead, selecting an interesting unhinged performance where you don't quite know when he will turn from a nice talented dancer to a violent individual. Also a special note must go to Owen Campbell who is impressive as the young Jesco. Sadly the only other character to get a worthy part is Carrie Fisher who is value for money as the the wife who abandons her family to party with the laudably unhinged Hogg.
The odd ball quality is somewhat miss leading, with the film sometimes varying off into madness, with the closing section of the film a prime example. Also the narration can get a bit too dependent on tell the story. Still these are minor irritations to an otherwise interesting at times individual piece of cinema
June 28, 2012
I would have to say this is one of the best movies I've seen in a very very long time and not because he's related, because he is very convincing at being absolutely bats**t crazy. The sound track was equally disturbing and I hope to see more of Ed Hogg. Wow...........
½ February 13, 2012
now we are talking about real film... with guts! stunning on every level...
February 11, 2012
Brilliant, what an under seen, twisted little movie.
Super Reviewer
January 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.
January 9, 2012
wow, what a brillant movie!
December 3, 2011
A life story of a drug addict who after childhood in a family of a violent father adolescence in a foster home and youth in a prison boils on a mix of violence and murder. After having a ' lightning' he has a revenge on thugs who had killed his wife, disfigures himself and dies. Hard stuff I will never like.
November 21, 2011
See the "Wounderful White of West Virginia" first since this fills you in on a little of the history of the Notourious family. A great gem that I never have heard of. On netflix streaming now.
½ September 12, 2011
"white trash" psicótico, demente, brutal, duro. muito bom.
August 25, 2011
Gritty, bizarre, emotional, religious, horrifying and beautiful. What more can you ask for? Well, maybe to do without the quasi-goth forest stills narrated by deep south preaching, but the cannibalism makes up for that.
½ July 13, 2011
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.
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