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Money Changes People. Some Films Will Not

Movie Review: Lottery Ticket (2010)
Spoilers: none

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Kevin Carlson lives in the projects. Life with dear sweet grandmother is a challenge when it comes to paying the rent and bills, but all of that changes when he wins the lottery.

As the news gets out that Carlson is destined to be a multimillionaire, the family is suddenly inundated with enemies, friends, so-called friends, and distant relatives—all wanting a piece of the pie.

Times will remain tough for Carlson before he can cash in on his 370 million dollar winnings due to having to wait through the 4th of July weekend until the downtown claims office opens. Will he be able to survive three days with an unsigned winning lottery ticket in the crime cesspool known as the projects?

If you supposed that a movie that helps us dream of what we would do with lottery money can't be too bad, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Lottery Ticket is not as much a bad film as it is an evenly paced trip down the stream of mostly embellished characters and a story made much less compelling due to iffy writing.

Here, the talents of Loretta Devine and Ice Cube are essentially do-nothing additions, whereas the true emotionally invested performances come from Carlson (Bow Wow) and his best friend Benny (Brandon T. Jackson). Certain characters – like Keith David as "Sweet Tee," a local crime boss, and Ice Cube as "Mr. Washington" – border on clich├ęd, even silly.

Lottery Ticket does a fine of job at demonstrating how money can so drastically change those around us, but it doesn't hit the high marks that it needs to. The film will fair better as a standard broadcast on BET and other made-for-TV movie venues than it has as a major release picture for the big scream.

(JH)

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Grade: C- (2 stars)
Rated: PG-13 (for sexual content, language, including a drug reference, some violence, and brief underage drinking.)
Director: Erik White
Summary: Kevin Carson is a young man living in the projects who has to survive a three-day weekend after his opportunistic neighbors find out he's holding a winning lottery ticket worth $370 million.
Starring: Bow Wow "Kevin Carson," Brandon T. Jackson "Benny," Naturi Naughton "Stacie," Loretta Devine "Grandma," Ice Cube "Mr. Washington," Keith David "Sweet Tee," Terry Crews "Jimmy the Driver," Mike Epps "Reverend Taylor," Charles Q. Murphy "Semaj"
Genre: Comedy / Drama
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