Local Reviewer Finds Compelling Thriller Within Preachy "Snitch"


Dwayne Johnson, left, and Melina Kanakaredes in a scene from "Snitch." (AP Photo/Summit Entertainment, Steve Dietl)

Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:27 p.m.

In the movie "Snitch," a teenager agrees to accept a shipment of illegal pills for his friend. The teen is arrested upon receipt of the pills, and is told that if he doesn't provide another target for the DEA, he will serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. Unfortunately for the kid, he's not at the bottom rung of a larger cartel, so he can't rat out any drug lords to reduce his sentence. He's just a teenager who made a stupid mistake.

The rest of the movie deals with the teenager's father, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, working with the DEA to set up a drug sting in order to have his son's sentence reduced. Surprisingly, Johnson gives a nuanced and believable performance as a straight-laced suburban dad who is forced to delve into the underbelly of society.

The makers of "Snitch" make no bones about the fact that they find mandatory minimum sentence laws unjust. We are presented with several civics lessons about the absurdity of these laws. I found these digressions to be a bit preachy. Fortunately, within this heavy-handedness is a pretty compelling thriller.

- David Green, 31, Lakeland

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