Killing Lazarus

A diffident and religious drug dealer (Deji LaRay) butts heads with his volatile business partner and best friend from childhood (Tracey Dukes) in this gritty drama, which explores the mental and emotional survival strategies of black males from rough neighborhoods. The film follows the two men over a weekend, with occasional flashbacks to their middle-school days, and frequently cuts to the police team that’s tracking them down in the present. The opening scene suggests that one of the duo will be dead by Sunday, but even as the clock ticks, the narrative drags, in large part because writer-director Desmond Faison includes several unnecessary scenes and side characters that hamstring the plot’s momentum.