- 1 hr 45 min
ATL is a coming-of-age film set in Atlanta, Georgia, that follows the four friends, Rashad, Esquire, Ant, and Brooklyn, and their experiences with love, family, and the pursuit of their dreams. Rashad, played by rapper T.I., is a hardworking and ambitious young man who works at a local skating rink to save up for college tuition. Despite his academic prowess, he struggles to connect with his father and find his place in the world. Esquire, played by Jackie Long, is Rashad's best friend and the life of the party. He is a talented artist but struggles to find the motivation to follow his dreams. Ant, played by Evan Ross, is the youngest of the group and struggles to balance his love for music with his obligations to his family and friends. Brooklyn, played by Lauren London, is the girl next door and Rashad's longtime crush. She is beautiful, witty, and independent but has a complicated family life that she tries to keep hidden from her friends. The film follows the group as they navigate the ups and downs of their teenage years. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles, including financial hardship, family dysfunction, and relationship drama. Rashad's job at the skating rink serves as a backdrop for much of the film's action and allows the characters to explore themes of identity, class, and community. The rink is a place where young people from all walks of life come together to skate, dance, and socialize, and it is a symbol of the diverse and vibrant city of Atlanta. The film also touches on themes of fatherhood and masculinity through Rashad's complicated relationship with his absentee dad and Esquire's efforts to reconcile his artistic ambitions with his desire to be seen as a "real man" by his peers. The female characters in the film are not mere props for the male leads; instead, they are fully realized characters with their own goals, fears, and desires. Brooklyn, in particular, is a standout character, as she navigates the challenges of being a young woman in a world that doesn't always value her worth. Overall, ATL is an engaging and heartfelt portrayal of youth culture in 21st century America. It is a film that celebrates the joy and resilience of Black youth while also acknowledging the challenges and injustices they face. The film's mix of humor, drama, and romance is balanced by strong performances from the ensemble cast, especially T.I., who brings depth and nuance to his role as Rashad. Whether you're a fan of coming-of-age films or simply looking for a movie that captures the spirit of a particular time and place, ATL is definitely worth checking out. In conclusion, ATL is a coming-of-age film that tells the story of four friends in Atlanta, Georgia, as they navigate the challenges of youth and try to find their place in the world. It is a beautiful and inspiring film that celebrates the strength and resilience of Black youth and the power of friendship and community.