American Violet

Film
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Pretrial depositions don’t have quite the dramatic heft of a courtroom showdown, which is perhaps why Tim Disney’s legal thriller lacks tension overall. But the true-life tale upon which the movie is based is indeed extraordinary: Dee Roberts (Beharie), an African-American single mom, is wrongly arrested for drug dealing and, rightly miffed, sues an odious district attorney (Patton) for racial discrimination. Throughout, the director adds in ominous TV footage of Gore winning, then conceding, the 2000 election; this counterpoint of idiotic legal rulings, along with scenes of the incarcerated Roberts talking to her children, practically guarantees moist tear ducts.—Anna King

Opens Fri. .

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