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Joy Road (2004) Online

Joy Road (2004) Online
Original Title :
Joy Road
Genre :
Movie / Crime / Drama
Year :
Directror :
Harry A. Davis
Cast :
Roger Guenveur Smith,N'Bushe Wright,Obba Babatundé
Writer :
Jack Haigis,Greg Pak
Type :
Time :
1h 28min
Rating :
Joy Road (2004) Online

The Joy Road Project consists of a movie and an App. The movie Joy Road is about an upwardly mobile lawyer who gets drawn into helping his sister but then finds himself a pawn in a conspiracy to pass laws that fill up prisons. Truth being stranger than fiction, we found the real life counterpart to our fictional conspiracy here in America. The prison industrial complex, Arizona immigration law and Wisconsin Union busting laws are but a few of its accomplishments. So, to promote the film, we designed an APP to allow people to have a voice against this vast conspiracy. Using social media, we hope to be a film project, encased in and released with software that both tells a story and provides the tools for activism.
Credited cast:
Roger Guenveur Smith Roger Guenveur Smith - Charles Blocker
N'Bushe Wright N'Bushe Wright - Nia
Obba Babatundé Obba Babatundé - Dr. Howard Perkins
Melle Powers Melle Powers - Kim Smalls
Kevin Jackson Kevin Jackson - Raymond Kelly
Christian Mathis Christian Mathis - Big Boy
Benjamin B. Smith Benjamin B. Smith - Little Boy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
LaDonna Alicia LaDonna Alicia - Dominique
Yvette Araujo Yvette Araujo - Charity Event Attendee
Jay Barry Jay Barry - L.T. Stone (credit only)
Linda Boston Linda Boston - Judge Davis
Carol Angela Davis Carol Angela Davis - News Anchor
Michael Ellison Michael Ellison - Lieutenant Braun
Alecia Jai Fears Alecia Jai Fears - Sweety
Billy Flames Billy Flames - East Side Chris

User reviews



I worked with Harry Davis on a shoot in NYC and he's a funny character. Anyway, he showed me a cut of MVP that screened at Sundance and I was floored. I'm shocked that this hasn't been distributed yet. What I saw were actually just scenes and not a linear piece, but the acting was great as was the writing and directing. This film is a great legal thriller. Not BS Hollywood glam like John Grisham stuff, but REAL inner city courtroom drama and crime. I'm telling you, this film is worthy of winning awards. The only reason I can think that this hasn't gotten out yet, is the stars aren't big and let's be real, black films are a hard sell, unless it's got hip hop stars or Will Smith. Look out for MVP!


Before I go further let me say that I watched the 2010 re-make of this movie on Netflix. This version has Wood Harris (Avon Barksdale in the Wire) as the main character, whereas in the original shooting of the film Roger Smith was the main character.

That being said this was an amazing movie. As far as the theme, I'd sum it up like this...

By portraying the guy who escaped the hood through his law career only to forget who he was - Harry Davis (the director) was able to make the point that no matter how successful you become you never forget your family or your community.

I enjoyed about the film is that it was gritty without going overboard. Besides that the movie was thought provoking. Not sure if they won any awards for the film, but if they didn't the movie is certainly worthy of several rewards.

In fact the only reason I gave this movie a nine instead of a ten is that you can't watch it in a family setting - due to the language and adult situations.

Of course, if you take the strong language out the movie probably loses it's realness so it's almost a catch-22.

So if you haven't watched this movie yet, do yourself a favor and check it out!


I wanted to like this movie for a number of reasons; first off, it was shot, and about, my hometown Detroit, Michigan, second it stars the delectable and underrated N'Bushe Wright. Unfortunately, despite a very gritty Motor City feel, the film fails to reel in the audience with it's characters, led by Wood Harris (The Wire, Remember the Titans), in a stoic performance. Harris plays Tony Smalls, a successful Detroit lawyer, primed to make the move to the more lucrative side of law practice, that is, until his sister Nia (Wright) recruits him to save her street thug boyfriend Big Boy, from a murder charge. What follows is a generally captivating journey through the seedy and corrupt world of Detroit politics and street crime. Director and Detroit native Harry A. Davis, manages to capture the natural ambiance and general "scariness" of inner-city Detroit. Where he, and the film falls short is in the unevenness of the story, and the general lack of character depth. We know that Tony and Nia, while brother and sister, were given unequal chances on making it out the hood, but we never get a pulse on just who they are. Why Tony and Nia are at odds, why Nia is so driven to "dangerous" guys like her boyfriend Big Boy (a strong performance by Christian Mathis). N'Bushe Wright gives another solid performance, but is highly misused. The film would have benefited from having her on the screen more, and developing her character more evenly. Kevin Jackson as Ray, Tony's investigator steals every scene he's in. The cinematography by David Phillips is at times surreal, but at some points seems overindulgent. Overall, the film is worth watching (for native Detroiters, it's a looking glass into the hood, the true hood), the political corruption is right out of the headlines of today's Detroit; however, it misses the mark as an action-drama, with a sluggish pace, and undefined characters.


I saw MVP at a free premiere at the 2007 All-Star game in Las Vegas. I had never heard of the movie so I really didn't know what I was going to be seeing. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised. This movie was really intense. It had action, suspense and also elements that were touching. Jamie Hector did his thing. I love the intensity that he puts into his characters.He makes not like and also love him at the same time. Wood Harris showed a sensitive side that I had never seen before in him. He was able to let you know that even though you love a family member sometimes you have to give that tough love, no matter how much it hurts. I can't believe it hasn't hit the theaters or at least on HBO or Showtime. This is a must see!


Gripping multi-faceted tale filmed with all the grittiness that contemporary Detroit can offer. It's a courtroom drama, following the reluctant legal hero as he honors his family and the neighborhood that rejected him in his youth. But it's also a street justice flick, making use of Detroit's desolate setting as a backdrop for the double-crossing warlords. Moreover, it's a tale of corporate intrigue, uncovering the distanced puppeteer that draws in the big bucks while its impoverished, unknowing victims struggle. This corporate robber-baron facet is a delightful twist that would have benefited from expansion in the film, particularly if it had been highlighted in the riveting final courtroom scene. Director-writer Harry Davis delivers this marvelous film deftly, nuancing the unblinking ruthlessness of Training Day or Goodfellas with the character- driven narrative of New Jack City or A Few Good Men. Although the bumpin' musical soundtrack is apt for most every scene, the film's only technical shortcoming is the wavering, whispering sound that relegates some characters' lines to oblique mutterings. Further, the sinewy storyline nearly loses itself in a large number of characters who probably could have been consolidated. Still, AfroPixFlix plants seven joyful-roadie fork tines in this film. Looking forward to more films from this gifted filmmaker. See it!