Brotherly Love

Rated 2.0

In Philadelphia's Overbrook High School, where the student body is 99 percent African-American, a cheerleader (Keke Palmer) is romanced by another student (Quincy Brown); the two try to rise above the gang warfare between their two neighborhoods, despite the fact that her brother (Cory Hardrict) is the leader of one gang, while his cousin was a victim on the other side. The movie has a gritty urban atmosphere and the performances are strong—when writer/director Jamal Hill lets the actors get a word in edgewise. But his script is top-heavy with narration, with first Palmer, then Brown telling us things that a well-written script should be showing. And Hill's direction lurches awkwardly from scene to scene; the movie's only real rhythm is supplied by the hip-hop and soul music on the soundtrack. J.L.