Kicks ★★★★

This film took me back to my childhood. There are so many relatable moments that perfectly captured my neighborhood's ideology, and the constant test of masculinity that we faced on a daily basis. It's easy to be harsh on that kind of environment, but this film presents it in a sincere and authentic manner - one that takes the protagonist’s perspective and shows it as alluring and appealing instead of grotesque. I love its nonjudgmental execution, but I do wish the filmmaker showed more restraint when it came to the film’s visuals. The hallucinations become redundant, and there’s enough slow-motion in this to make Zach Snyder blush. That being said, it's still an impressive directorial debut, and I found it to be an insightful and personal experience.