Movie Review: 'Gimme The Loot'

Gimme The Loot is a new independent film that's had a charmed life, including winning the best narrative prize at South by Southwest and an appearance at Cannes. The comedy is written and director by Adam Leon.

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"Gimme The Loot" is a new independent film that's had a charmed life, including winning the Best Narrative prize at South by Southwest and an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival. Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan says it's worth the fuss.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: We meet Malcolm and Sofia as they're stealing spray paint from a hardware store.



TURAN: They're committed graffiti writers and best friends, living in the grittiest part of the Bronx. He's easy-going and affable while she is unapologetically fierce.


WASHINGTON: (as Sofia) All right. Listen, listen, listen. So this is what we're gonna do. Don't you want to trade some (unintelligible) working Shea Stadium?

TY HICKSON: (as Malcolm) You mean Citi Field where the Mets play at?

WASHINGTON: (as Sofia) Citi? Dude, I'm not calling it after some stupid bank. It's called Shea Stadium. And do you know (beep) or not?

HICKSON: (as Malcolm) Who?

WASHINGTON: (as Sofia) Fool. (beeping) paid you or some (beep)?

TURAN: The action gets going when a rival group of taggers defaces one of their rooftop masterpieces. Malcolm and Sofia fume about not getting any respect and wonder what they can do to make the world sit up and take notice. Then inspiration strikes.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Anybody who is living up in this fine city knows that when someone on the Mets hits a homerun, this goofy apple pops out of the stands and everybody goes crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Man, come on.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Somebody's going to write graffiti on that apple and their name's just going to ring out in our world.

TURAN: It turns out that Malcolm and Sofia have a weekend to come up with $500 to gain access to the stadium and immortality. It's one of the most venerable of movie tropes to make characters complete a task while the clock is ticking. But writer-director Adam Leon's gift is for people, for getting natural, likable performances out of his actors.


WASHINGTON: (as Sofia) You're always saying, oh, we're going to be the biggest brands in New York City. Well, do what you're gonna do to make that happen.

TURAN: "Gimme the Loot's" off the cuff bravado perfectly captures the texture of youthful exuberance even though it's only 81 minutes long and was shot on the fly in a variety of New York locations. Malcolm and Sophia are not exactly a latter day Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, but they are two kids trying their hardest to put on their own kind of show.

Will they get what they want, what they need, or something in between? The only sure thing is that being along for the ride on a day they won't forget is unforgettable for us as well.


GREENE: That's Kenneth Turan. He reviews movies for MORNING EDITION and also for the Los Angeles Times.


GREENE: And you're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.


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