T.I.’s debut on the big screen, via “ATL,” has the Atlanta native playing the role of Rashad, a 17-year-old faced with the challenge of being the man of the house, taking care of himself and younger brother Ant (Evan Ross) after a car accident take the lives of their parents.
Though Rashad is a talented artist, who has dreams of drawing newspaper comics, Rashad doesn’t see much of a future for himself besides helping his Uncle George at a cleaning service after school.
His girlfriend New-New (Lauren London), who he met at the local skating rink, sees potential in Rashad, but is hiding her family’s wealth, fearing that her upscale living situation would ruin her chances with Rashad and his friends. That lie, coupled with Ant selling for local drug dealer Marcus (Big Boi) and his best friend Esquire not telling him about New-New’s wealth, has Rashad feeling that the ones he cares about most are deceiving him.
Ultimately, Ant gets robbed for drug money and owes Marcus $2,000. As Marcus prepares to assault Ant, older brother Rashad attempts to save his younger sibling. In the process someone gets shot.
“ATL” is an enjoyable film, which shows a bond between friends and family, but the bigger scope of the movie is about decisions and the circumstances that guide them. It’s about searching for a better life, but living to survive. And that is the beautiful struggle of “ATL.”
Our rating: 3.0 out of 5.0