Rated R • 114 minutes
While this fledgling directorial effort from screenwriter Boaz Yakin borrows conventions from inner-city thrillers about drug dealers and clients, here they are invested with startling new inventiveness. At the film's center is Fresh, a 12-year-old crack and heroin courier, played with enigmatic intensity by Sean Nelson. Yet Fresh is no cliched ghetto innocent. Much like the game pieces Fresh and his father (Samuel L. Jackson) manipulate so skillfully when playing duels of speed chess, Fresh's oblivious employers are unaware what is to come.
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