Baltimore’s urban dirt-bike culture was explored in the acclaimed 2013 documentary, 12 O’Clock Boys, revealing a side of African-American life that most people simply don’t know about. Now that story is coming to the big screen again in the narrative adaptation, Charm City Kings, which is expected to be one of the biggest world premieres at Sundance later this month.
Meek Mill, Teyonah Parris, and Jahi Di’Allo Winston star in the coming-of-age drama, which expands on the documentary by telling the story of Mouse, who wants to join the Midnight Clique, the same crew of dirt-bike riders his older brother was part of before his untimely death.
The film is directed by Angel Manuel Soto, from a story developed by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. One can easily see why Jenkins would be attracted to another movie that brings attention to an unexplored aspect of black culture.
SYNOPSIS: Fourteen-year-old Mouse (Winston) desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets. His older brother, Stro, was their top rider before his tragic death—a loss that consumes Mouse as much as his passion for bikes. Mouse’s mom (Parris) and his police mentor, Detective Rivers (William Catlett), work overtime to help the charismatic teen reach his full potential, but when the Midnight Clique’s leader, Blax (Mill), takes the boy under his wing, the lure of revving his own dirt bike skids Mouse toward a roadway past the straight and narrow.
Charm City Kings will have its world premiere at Sundance on January 27th, before hitting theaters on April 10th.