An 11-year-old boy gets a crash course in what it means to be a man when he spends a day with the uncle he idolizes in LUV, a poignant and gritty coming-of-age story featuring standout performances by Common, Danny Glover, Dennis Haysbert, Charles S. Dutton and newcomer Michael Rainey Jr. With his mother in rehab and his father out of the picture, young Woody Watson lives with his grandmother in suburban Baltimore and longs for his family to be reunited. His charismatic Uncle Vincent has recently returned home after eight years in prison, determined to straighten out his life by opening a high-end crab shack that will establish him as a solid citizen with a legitimate future. Soon Vincent finds himself pulled back into the violent world he is trying to escape- and Woody has to decide whether to follow his hero- or become his own man. (Indomina Releasing)









Film information

Starring: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Release date: Jan 18, 2013
MPAA rating: Rated R for violence, language, child endangerment and some drug content
Official website:
Runtime: 94 min
Movie Reviews:
  • 75
    New York Post - by Farran Smith Nehme
    Candis gets some wonderful performances from his impressive cast. ...

  • 75
    Chicago Sun-Times - by Roger Ebert
    Here is a film about African Americans that sidesteps all the usual, hopeful cliches and comments on how one failed generation raises another. ...

  • 63
    Slant Magazine - by R. Kurt Osenlund
    As a film that largely works as a subdued twist on the familiar drama about crime and family, LUV needed more intimacy and focus. more

  • 60
    NPR - by Joel Arnold
    So it's nice that, despite some cliched rhythms, the flawed-ex-con-makes-good drama LUV gets the details of childhood-cut-short heartbreakingly right. more

  • 60 - by Andrew O'Hehir
    Both for good and for ill, LUV has a film-school feeling about it, and channels a legacy of fatalistic American crime cinema that includes "Mean Streets" and "Treasure of the Sierra Madre." more

  • 60
    The New York Times - by A.O. Scott
    It does not entirely succeed, but at its best Luv shows the kind of heart and intelligence that is always welcome - and often missing - in American movies. ...

  • 50
    Los Angeles Times - by Robert Abele
    What begins as a promising peek into the tragic cycle of waylaid promise that's crippling broken inner-city families is itself dispiritingly pulled sideways in the Baltimore-set indie LUV. ...

  • 50
    San Francisco Chronicle - by Peter Hartlaub
    The strength is in the performances and visual detail. The flaws are mostly in the script, which asks the youngest cast member to pull off a near-impossible transformation. more

  • 50
    The Hollywood Reporter - by David Rooney
    Even if some of them are playing hackneyed gangster-film types, the strength of the actors makes it almost possible to forgive the formulaic plotting and artificially movie-ish developments. Candis and Justin Wilson's screenplay stretches credibility thinner and thinner as the story advances. ...

  • 42
    Entertainment Weekly - by Owen Gleiberman
    The rapper and actor Common has become a highly skilled screen star, but this touchy-feely dud does him wrong. more

  • 40
    New Orleans Times-Picayune - by Mike Scott
    Thank goodness for Rainey. Even when the story feels false, he never does, operating with an open-faced sense of easy honesty that is missing from much of the rest of the film. more

  • 40
    New York Daily News - by Elizabeth Weitzman
    The first half of the movie is painfully tense, drawing us into a relationship that we desperately want to see work. But the screenplay lets its characters down, as it devolves into platitudes and melodrama. more

  • 40
    Village Voice - by Melissa Anderson
    Although Common and Rainey make a well-matched duo, their chemistry is frequently squandered by a script that boxes them into impossible roles in one clichéd scene after another. more

  • 40
    Time Out New York - by Eric Hynes
    With its rock-skimming male bonding alternating between grisly homicides and a florid Mexican standoff that begets a tidy take-the-money-and-run finale, this tale seems less timely than merely tall. more

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User Comments & Reviews

  1. Liana Shimunova

    A day in the life of this Baltimore kid couldn’t get more interesting as his haunted uncle tries to get his business straight.