Lottery Ticket

Loose and cheerful neighborhood comedy is just the ticket in Lottery Ticket. Kevin Carson (Bow Wow, Roll Bounce) learns the value of friendship when the lottery ticket he buys on a lark wins $370 million. Suddenly the sexy girl who wouldn't give him the time of day wants to hook up; a local gang boss wants to take him under his wing; and a surly thug just wants to pummel him and take the ticket. Kevin starts to suspect that even his best friend Benny (Brandon T. Jackson, Percy Jackson & the Olympians) just wants the money. But this story hook isn't really what makes the movie tick (which is good, because the plot falls apart at the end); most of the movie follows Kevin and Benny as they ramble around, riffing and bantering with each other and various quirky characters, including Loretta Devine (Death at a Funeral) as Kevin's grandmother, Charlie Murphy (King's Ransom) as a nosy neighbor, and Ice Cube (who also executive produced) as a reclusive ex-boxer. Lottery Ticket clearly owes a debt to Cube's Friday; Bow Wow and Jackson don't quite have the charisma of Cube and Chris Tucker, but they come across as goodhearted kids trying to motor-mouth their way out of a jam. The movie is silly but buoyant fun. --Bret Fetzer

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