Made on a $500 budget Matthew Jones wrote, directed, and produced his first short film at 17 years old.
When Joshua, a young teenager with great potential, gets caught up in drugs, basketball, and some bad influences, he soon pays the price for his distractions.
Film Review by Nathaniel Bell: "Crime and Punishment" A smashing debut for director Jones, rich in feeling and plainly sympathetic to the plight of its characters. Some of it—especially the depiction of the protagonist's home life—feels like the stuff of after school specials, but the harsh, dynamic visuals (including a haunting final shot) lend it vitality uncommon among films of this ilk. And the loose, improvisational style of the actors is sometimes worthy of Charles Burnett. That the film does not withhold judgment from its central character (a teenaged African-American boy "distracted" by basketball, rap music, and marijuana) indicates a moral toughness—sort of like a ghetto Dostoevsky—that narrowly avoids being mawkish, maudlin, or preachy.