Parents' Guide to

Bosco

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Police brutality, language in prison escape true story.

Movie NR 2024 99 minutes
Bosco movie poster: Black American man center sits on bed in prison cell as an inmate with a barred window above him and various faces of other people above title

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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The performances are very good in this prison escape drama. Aubry Joseph (Quawntay Adams) shows a depth and integrity that grounds Bosco in reality, and the supporting cast, from Tyrese Gibson (Adams's father) and Vivica A. Fox (Adams's mother) to Thomas Jane (the warden) and John Lewis (the Bull), are all excellent. Running a bit over 90 minutes, the pacing is quick, but the film lingers long enough and spends plenty of time simply being with Adams in his cell, which helps show the kind of solitude he experienced, the containment of his body and mind that daily threatened his hope and sense of dignity. Unflinchingly showing how callous and brutal guards and the warden were toward inmates, this dramatic thriller also shines a brief unapologetic light on injustices within prison culture between police, guards, and inmates, as well as the unfair severity of Adams's 35-year sentence for his nonviolent drug offense crime.

But this film isn't perfect. The true-story finale is given away in the very beginning as if to implore the viewer to stick around to watch just how Adams manages to escape a maximum-security prison, but the final act feels rushed and unsatisfying. The entire setup prepares the viewer for a thrilling escape to freedom, which then quickly and summarily ends without much pomp or circumstance, which in this context, most viewers will desire after having watched over an hour of careful preparation, planning, deception, and strategizing. It would be like if Andy in The Shawshank Redemption, right after escaping, simply turns himself back in a day later, only to find himself staring up at his prison cell walls after years of careful planning, his dreams fulfilled and then thrown away. Bosco simply doesn't quite stick the landing, rushing to the epilogue right after Adams is back in prison, wherein viewers are treated with the truth of what the real Adams is up to now.

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