03/26/2015 01:30 pm ET | Updated Mar 26, 2015

The Trailer For Sundance Breakout 'Dope' Is As Dope As The Movie Itself


Put June 19 on your calendar. That's when "Dope," the Sundance Film Festival's primo breakout comedy, will hit theaters. The first trailer was released Thursday, and it is as retro and engaging as the rollicking film itself. Incorporating psychedelic animation, social media, video games and footage from the film, the clip introduces Malcolm (Shameik Moore, destined to be one of our next great stars), the flat-topped, '90s hip-hop obsessive who unwittingly finds himself caught up in a drug dealer's ring after attending a rowdy birthday party with his two nerdy high school pals (Kiersey Clemons and "Grand Budapest Hotel" star Tony Revolori). The events that ensue comprise what we promise will be one of the funniest and most unexpectedly poignant movies of the year.

Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa ("The Wood," "Brown Sugar"), "Dope" also stars Kimberly Elise, Zoë Kravitz, Chanel Iman, Keith Stanfield, Blake Anderson and A$AP Rocky in his film debut. Again, mark your calendars. June 19.


  • "The Witch"
    Written and directed by Robert Eggers
    Starring Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson

    This eerie supernatural film, which chronicles a paranoid Puritan family in 1630s New England, gives the horror genre more hope than any film released in the past decade. First-time filmmaker Robert Eggers won the festival's directing prize for the bone-chilling take on terrors both real and imagined. A24 and DirecTV acquired the breakout movie in a seven-figure deal. (Read our review.)
  • "Brooklyn"
    Directed by John Crowley
    Written by Nick Hornby
    Starring Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Emory Cohen, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters

    After reports of "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" selling for a record-breaking $12 million proved to be overblown, it looks like "Brooklyn" is the most lucrative distribution deal of this year's festival. Fox Searchlight snatched up the movie for about $9 million, and Saoirse Ronan became one of several names bandied about as contenders for the 2016 Oscar race. Based on Colm Toibin's novel of the same name, Ronan plays an Irish immigrant who must choose between her homeland and the romance she's found in the United States. (Read our interview with Ronan.)
  • "Dope"
    Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa
    Starring Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoë Kravitz, A$AP Rocky, Kimberly Elise, Chanel Iman and Keith Stanfield

    Thought by some to be the definitive breakout movie of Sundance, "Dope" is a clever look at three high school nerds who get caught up in a drug dealer's vicious ring. Come for the infectious central trio (Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons) and "Yo! MTV Raps" nostalgia, stay for the Bitcoin high jinks and Macklemore jab. "Dope" snagged an impressive $7 million deal with Open Road Films and Sony Pictures, which outbid The Weinstein Co. and Fox Searchlight. (Read our review.)
  • "The Hunting Ground"
    Directed by Kirby Dick

    In spite of all the attention being paid to universities' systemic cover-ups of sexual assault, the most shocking thing about "The Hunting Ground" is just how shocking it is. Specifically, it's a rage-inducing sobfest that raises too many troubling questions about the priorities of those steering the schools that purportedly nurture students' interests. Radius-TWC will release the film on March 20.
  • "The Stanford Prison Experiment"
    Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez
    Written by Tim Talbott
    Starring Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, Tye Sheridan, Johnny Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, James Wolk and Nelsan Ellis

    The slow-burn chiller about the infamous 1971 social experiment in which Dr. Philip Zimbardo (Billy Crudup) split male undergraduate volunteers into prisoner and guard roles morphs into one of the festival's most intense films. Despite an excellent supporting cast and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, "The Stanford Prison Experiment" is still awaiting a distribution deal. (Read our interview with Crudup.)
  • "The End of the Tour"
    Directed by James Ponsoldt
    Written by Donald Margulies
    Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel, Anna Chlumsky, Joan Cusack, Mamie Gummer and Mickey Sumner

    Add Jason Segel to next year's Oscar odds, too. As David Foster Wallace, his quiet mannerisms speak volumes about the author's simultaneous resistance to fame and longing to be liked. By chronicling Foster's intimate road trip with a Rolling Stone journalist, James Ponsoldt ("The Spectacular Now") teaches us more about the Gen X sensation than any cradle-to-grave biopic could hope to. A24 secured rights to the film before its premiere. (Read our review.)
  • "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"
    Written and directed by Marielle Heller
    Starring Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Kristen Wiig and Christopher Meloni

    One of Sundance's surprises, this adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner's inventive novel, which features hand-drawn illustrations that factor prominently into the film, is like a mea culpa for all the coming-of-age tales that fail to capture the messiness of adolescence. Bel Powley, playing a 15-year-old who begins an affair with her mother's boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård), is one of our next great young stars, imbuing a fussy energy into her emotionally immature character in a way that reminds anyone of their own teen years, regardless of gender or generation. "Diary" also gives us one of two excellent Kristen Wiig performances (the other being "Nasty Baby"). Sony Pictures fetched the film for $2 million. (Read our review.)
  • "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"
    Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
    Written by Jesse Andrews
    Starring Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon and Nick Offerman

    The runaway hit of the festival, "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" garnered the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film. A high school wallflower (Thomas Mann) befriends a classmate diagnosed with leukemia (Olivia Cooke) in the quirky, "Fault in Our Stars"-esque weeper. Initial reports put "Me and Earl" on track to yield a record-setting $12 million distribution deal, but Fox Searchlight teamed up with Indian Paintbrush for what resulted in a still-impressive mid-seven figures.
  • "James White"
    Written and directed by Josh Mond
    Starring Christopher Abbott, Cynthia Nixon, Scott Mescudi, Makenzie Leigh and Ron Livingston

    Josh Mond, who produced "Martha Marcy May Marlene," crafts a surreal portrait of a restless New Yorker (Christopher Abbott) whose aimlessness is compounded by his cancer-stricken mother's (Cynthia Nixon) final days. Winner of Sundance’s NEXT Audience Award, the movie is still seeking distribution. When it does, it'll spotlight career-best work from its two stars. (Read our interview with Nixon and Abbott.)
  • "Tangerine"
    Directed by Sean Baker
    Written by Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch
    Starring Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O’Hagan, Alla Tumanian and James Ransone

    Shot primarily on an iPhone 5s, "Tangerine" is the energetic story of a transgender sex worker who treks around Los Angeles with a friend in search of her unfaithful pimp boyfriend. Hailed for its uproarious but grounded take on an under-represented group, "Tangerine" went to Magnolia Pictures for a deal in the upper six figures. (Read our review.)
  • "The Overnight"
    Written and directed by Patrick Brice
    Starring Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godrèche

    Anyone who's moved to a new city knows what it's like to make friends. In "The Overnight," Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling learn it the interesting way when they're invited to have dinner at another couple's (Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godrèche) Los Angeles home. It's billed as a playdate for their children, but we soon learn there is much more on the itinerary once the kids' bedtime has arrived. The explosive comedy, which involves Scott and Schwartzman prancing around wearing prosthetic penises, was one of Sundance's funniest, earning a reported $4 million bid. (Read our review.)
  • "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief"
    Directed by Alex Gibney

    If your Scientology obsession is on point, you've already marked your calendar for March 16. That's when HBO will broadcast Alex Gibney's juicy exposé based on Lawrence Wright's buzzy book of the same name. There isn't a ton in the film that can't be found in print, but hearing former high-ranking members of the church discuss the abuse and manipulation that goes on inside was worth the wait to get into one of Sundance's hottest titles. (Read our review.)
  • "Z for Zachariah"
    Directed by Craig Zobel
    Written by Nissar Modi
    Starring Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Chris Pine

    Based on Robert C. O'Brien's 1974 post-apocalyptic novel, "Z for Zachariah" could be one of 2015's blockbusters. Not everyone at Sundance adored it, but those who did agree Craig Zobel's sleek direction makes Margot Robbie a movie star and reminds us why Chiwetel Ejiofor is becoming one of Hollywood's best leading men. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions bought the film before the festival, with no release date established. (Read our review.)
  • "I Smile Back"
    Directed by Adam Salky
    Written by Amy Koppelman and Paige Dylan
    Starring Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles, Thomas Sadoski, Mia Barron, Terry Kinney and Chris Sarandon

    We see a new side of Sarah Silverman in "I Smile Back," which finds the comedian going dark with the tale of a suburban mother battling a depression that threatens to send her down a spiraling recklessness. The movie hasn't found a distribution deal yet, but pay attention when it does. (Read our review.)