Movie Review: 'Luv' -- 2.5 stars

Michael Rainey Jr., left, and Common in a

Michael Rainey Jr., left, and Common in a scene from "Luv." (Credit: Michael Rainey Jr., left, and Common in a scene from "Luv." )

Luv
2.5 stars
Directed by Sheldon Candis
Starring Common, Michael Rainey Jr., Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover
Rated R

In the Baltimore-set "Luv," an ex-convict named Vincent (Common) pulls his 11-year-old nephew Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.) from school to take him around for a day and teach him to be a man.

This involves meeting shady figures from Vincent's past, running drugs and learning how to fire a gun.

It's not exactly your everyday bonding experience, and "Luv" strains credibility in its portrait of Woody's ride through Vincent's melodrama.

The convoluted narrative detracts attention from the terrific performances by Rainey Jr. and Common, who at once is convincingly suave and helpless.

The movie understands that sometimes our closest relationships are also the most destructive ones. It's got the heart and soul, but not the brain.

Tags: ENTERTAINMENT , MOVIE REVIEW , ROBERT LEVIN

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