The film follows the story of Malcolm (Shameik Moore) and his two best friends, Jib (Tony Ravolori) and Lily (Kiersey Clemons). They're three straight A students with a passion for 90s culture. They're also in a band together. Their band hasn't really gone anywhere, but they enjoy themselves and to them, that's what matters. Trying to impress a girl named Nakia (Zoë Kravitz), Malcolm encourages Jib and Lily to come to a drug dealer's birthday party with him. They go, and everything's going great until an unexpected raid occurs and everybody flees, Malcolm ending up with a back full of drugs that he must now get rid of without being caught.
Taking the lead role is Shameik Moore, his previous roles consisting mainly of one-off characters in little known television shows. He's an actor with very few roles under his belt, but he's full of potential. His performance in this movie is full of life, realism and energy, and I highly doubt that this is the last we've seen of him. His performance is raw and honest, but with just the right amount of fun, perfectly fitting in with the vibe of the entire film. He gets what the film is going for and he plays off of that.
A huge element of this movie is the culture of the 90s. The three leads are infatuated with it, relishing every component of it, hip hop especially. This aspect of the movie, while only playing a minor part of the plot itself, feels so right in the context of things. It adds layers and personalities to these characters, proving them to be more than just your run of the mill teenage geeks. It gives them much needed depth and character, allowing this story to work as well as it does.
To sum up, Dope is a fresh, funky and extremely well done movie that's both hilarious and honest. It's a masterful effort from director Rick Famuyiwa with a powerful message that'll stick with you long after it's done.