Sollers Point ★★★★

A surprisingly good film about a young man coming out of prison with a history of drug dealing who, although he makes an attempt to get his life together, drifts back to dealing and a messed up life. Sollers Point, the neighborhood of Baltimore where the film is set, is as central to the film as the lead character. It's basically a community that never bounced back after the Bethlehem Steel plant that was its anchor and main employer shut down. The young director himself (Matthew Porterfield) is also from Baltimore and set all of his three prior films there.

The plot is not the draw here. The challenges for an ex-con to rebuild a life parallel the decline of a neighborhood left behind. I was very impressed with McCaul Lombardi as Keith, the lead. A subplot centers on the complicated and tense relationship with his father, well-played by Jim Belushi. The other characters all reflect working class people struggling to survive, mostly by illegal means - drug dealers, strip dancers/sex workers, ex-steel workers still reliving their glory days, and a scary White Supremacist gang. Very much a slice-of-life film rather than a storyline that builds in dramatic tension. But it works quite well, and I find myself interested in seeing some of the director's other work.

I saw it on Amazon Prime, and it's free to stream if you are a member.