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Cast: Rockmund Dunbar, Lynn Whitfield, E. Roger Mitchell, Jean-Luc Mc Murty, Adam Aalderks

Director: Brandon Thaxton

Genre: Drama

Year: 2016

Rating: NR

Smart, popular and star pitcher of his high school team, Nolan has managed to put his troubled childhood behind him with the help of the two things he could always depend on: his love of baseball and his best friend, Sam. But just as Nolan's future is looking bright, Sam starts leading him into trouble - playing hard and partying harder. Even with the help of people who love him and will risk everything to save him, it's up to Nolan to keep his head in the game before he strikes out for the last time.

"Curveball" tells the story of Nolan, a star player on his high school baseball team. He seems to have a bright future ahead of him but when his best friend, Sam leads him down the dark path of drugs his dreams begin to slip away. As the film opens, we see Sam and his mom sitting in a psychiatrist office. Nolan seems disinterested and he has a sling on his arm. The film then flashes back to when he was a little boy and when he first met Sam. Then it quickly switches to when Nolan and Sam are both on the high school baseball team. Things seem to be going well, the team is winning, Nolan is doing well in school and he seems to be quite popular but when Sam starts taking him out partying things begin to go wrong for both boys. After Sam dies of an overdose is when Nolan's life takes a turn for the worse, he begins doing drugs more and more, loses his spot of the baseball team and he even loses his girlfriend over his strange behavior. Nolan's mom feels helpless in her battle to save her son. A local rehab center tells her they cannot take him in for weeks so she decides to take matters into her own hands.

The synopsis above doesn't tell the whole story which I thought was a good thing but I was very surprised to find out that the film was much different from I expected and that it was a much darker look at the subject matter than I expected as well. Nolan's problems couldn't be all be blamed on his best friend Sam, After all we all have a free will to do or not to do things but we do find out during the course of the film that a lot of Nolan's problems stem from his rough childhood and having to deal with his abusive father.

What I thought would be a film about a talented teenager who develops some problems but in the end finds his way back and has a bright future is instead a film about the realities of substance abuse. This is a tough film to watch but it is also an important film as well. The cast did a terrific job in the film including Jean-Luc McMurtry who plays Nolan, Cheri Christian who plays his mom, Sharon, Adam Aalderks who plays Sam and Lynn Whitfield who plays Dr. Lane. The rest of the cast did a great job as well.

"Curveball" has two meanings here, first it is about baseball but more importantly it is about the curveballs that life tosses at you and how you handle them. Definitely a hard film to watch but I highly recommend it and I think teenagers should watch the film as well. Available now on DVD now, you can order it HERE.

Released by Image Entertainment

**** Out Of *****