American Violet

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Released 2009

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Movie Summary

Director:
Tim Disney
Released:
2009
Rating:
PG-13

American Violet is an American drama staring Nicole Beharie as Dee Roberts based on the true story of Regina Kelly, a victim of Texas police drug enforcement tactics. Set in Texas amidst the 2000 presidential election, American Violet follows the story of Dee Roberts, a 24 year old African American waitress and single mother of four. A drug bust in the housing projects where she lives leaves Dee falsely accused of drug dealing. Dee is taken from work, handcuffed and thrown in the women's county prison. Even though no evidence was found and Dee has no previous drug charges she is put in a tough position and has to decide to either plead guilty and go home as a convicted felon or stay in prison, away from her family, and fight the charges risking losing custody of her children. Dee ultimately decides on the latter and tackles the Texas justice system with the help of an attorney (Tim Blake Nelson).

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Dee is an engaging, admirable lead character, and the striking, petite Beharie, in only her second screen role, is a real winner, bringing energy and fortitude to a woman who easil...

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times

    The narrative is infused with chilling facts, and the filmmakers know how to build their case, but a drama demands more. We should have been immersed in Dee's wrenching journey, no...

  • 50

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    The movie's staunchly liberal point of view extends to the 2000 presidential election, which is shown unfolding in the background. Al Gore's concession speech is used to suggest th...

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    Drama