One of the best movies to emerge from Sundance this year, and definitely my personal favorite, Charm City Kings should have been in theaters by now. Sony Pictures Classics picked up the Baltimore dirt bike racing drama, with plans for a stop at SXSW. Then, COVID-19 happened. Yeah, it’s a familiar story. With nothing theatrical in sight, the rights were sold off to HBO Max, and y’know what? Unlike others, I’m happy about that move if it means more people will see this incredible coming-of-age story in comfort.
Directed by Angel Manuel Soto, Charm City Kings is set against the backdrop of Baltimore’s black motorcycle club culture. Jahi Di’Allo Winston plays Mouse, who has dreams of joining the famous Midnight Clique, and he’ll do just about anything to get a bike and prove he can be as fearless as they are.
Rapper Meek Mill stunned the Hell out of me in his acting debut, playing Midnight Clique leader, Blax, who tries to steer Mouse away from a life of crime. Others in the cast include Teyonah Parris, Chino Braxton, Lakeyria “Wheelie Queen” Doughty, Donielle Tremaine Hansley, Kenzii Curtis, Chandler DuPont, David A. MacDonald, and Will Catlett. The film was inspired by the acclaimed 2013 documentary 12 O’Clock Boys.
Charm City Kings hits HBO Max on October 8th. It’s bounced around the schedule a couple of times, and I think I’ve even posted it here on some occasions only to have the date moved. But this time the release is for sure.