Grammy-nominated rapper T.I., whose real name is Tip Harris, gives an inspired performance as the star of ATL. Set in Atlanta, Georgia, and directed by music video veteran Chris Robinson, ATL tells the story of a group of teenagers facing the harsh rea......more
Grammy-nominated rapper T.I., whose real name is Tip Harris, gives an inspired performance as the star of ATL. Set in Atlanta, Georgia, and directed by music video veteran Chris Robinson, ATL tells the story of a group of teenagers facing the harsh realities of life. T.I. plays Rashad, a young man making tremendous sacrifices so his little brother, Ant (Evan Ross, son of Diana Ross), can have a better future. Orphaned after their parents died in a car accident, Rashad and Ant work after school as janitors with their uncle George (Mykelti Williamson), who has taken them in to keep them out of foster homes. Every Sunday night, Rashad teams up at the roller-skating rink with his best friends: Esquire (Jackie Long), who has a shot at going to the Ivy League if he can make the right connection; Brooklyn (Albert "Al Be" Daniels), a soft-spoken poet carving out a career in the fast-food industry; and Teddy (Jason Weaver), who works at Eddy's Gold Teeth and provides much of the comic relief. At the rink, they get to be the stars of the show, whirling around, impressing girls, and just being themselves, far away from the daily grind. Rashad soon hooks up with New-New (Lauren London), who refuses to let him see where she lives, harboring a secret that could tear their growing love apart. Meanwhile, Ant starts doing jobs for local drug dealer Marcus (OutKast's Big Boi), attracted to the fancy cars and fast money, and Esquire has some tough choices to make after meeting a high-powered businessman (Keith David). With the critical roller-skating contest right around the corner, things reach a fever pitch, all set to a cranking crunk soundtrack. ATL was inspired by the real-life experiences of music producer Dallas Austin and TLC's Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins; the story is by Antwone Fisher, the subject of Denzel Washington's 2002 directorial debut.
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