'Dope' Reviews: You'd Be a Dope to Skip This 'Risky Business'-Style Comedy

Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons and Shameik Moore in "Dope"
Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons and Shameik Moore in “Dope”

“Dope” charmed audiences at Sundance and Cannes, and that positive festival vibe pulses through most of the reviews of this indie mashup of “Boyz in the Hood” and “Risky Business” that opens this weekend.

The result is heartfelt, thoughtful, unique and, most important, very funny, according to most critics, and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 92 percent rating.

‘Dope’ is top-tier satire told with passion, intelligence and conviction, a wild, sometimes-unruly risk taker that makes us laugh loudly but has something serious to say about how society traps youths based on their skin color and ZIP code” –Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News

“It is a bracingly smart piece of work that’s also wildly entertaining and insightful” — Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“… a crazy combination of high-school comedy, urban drug-dealing drama, raucous teen romance and social commentary, and it all works together beautifully” — Sean Means, Salt Lake City Tribune

Some critics say “Dope” stumbles in places, but its ambitions — and comedy — make up for the miscues.

“… a buoyant teenage caper that has at least as much in common with John Hughes-style high-school comedies as it does with most ‘hood narratives involving drugs, gangs and crime. That mix risks silliness at times, but there’s so much playful energy and wit … that few viewers will mind” — Dennis Harvey, Variety

But for some, the alchemy just didn’t work.

“… as a comedy, the film isn’t especially funny, and as a screwball drug caper a la ‘Go,’ it’s raggedly plotted, with ridiculous coincidences popping up everywhere” — Kyle Smith, New York Post

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