American Violet

REVIEW Lawyer movies can be really entertaining. Tim Disney’s American Violet certainly is. I was sucked in from minute one. Based on true events, it’s the story of Dee Roberts (an awesome performance by Nicole Beharie), a single mother with four little girls living in the projects of a small Texas town. In these particular projects, there are frequent drug raids. The law states that a single informant’s testimony justifies an indictment — and Dee is wrongfully accused. ACLU lawyer David Cohen (a brilliant Tim Blake Nelson), believes Dee’s community is being harassed because residents are black, although the theory is very difficult to prove. The district attorney Calvin Beckett (a sadistic Michael O’Keefe) is tough, and he likes plea bargains. David, Dee, and do-the-right-thing local lawyer Sam Conroy (the great Will Patton) challenge Beckett. American Violet is not only an interesting story, it’s based on a true one. You can’t help rooting for Dee and hoping that justice will prevail.

AMERICAN VIOLET opens Fri/1 in Bay Area theaters.