Struggles in `ATL' feel real

Review B-

March 31, 2006|By CHRIS KALTENBACH | CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

Esquire wants to get into an Ivy League university. Rashad wants to keep his little brother out of trouble. Ant wants a taste of the good life, and isn't much concerned with the consequences. New-New wants to live her dreams, not her father's. Question is, does their Atlanta 'hood hold enough promise to satisfy such divergent pathways to adulthood?

The four teenagers' struggle with issues of maturity, responsibility and social class form the basis of ATL, a promising feature debut from director (and Harford County native) Chris Robinson that excels at moving beyond conventional Hollywood stereotypes. If only Robinson and screenwriter Tina Gordon Chism had paid as much attention to matters of story and narrative flow.

ATL (Warner Bros.) Starring Tip Harris, Evan Ross, Keith David, Lauren London. Directed by Chris Robinson. Rated PG-13. Time 105 minutes.

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