Evolution of a Criminal

Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award 2014Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award 2014


As a teenager, filmmaker Darius Monroe was an honor student, well liked by his teachers and peers. But he was overwhelmed by his family’s money problems; there was constant anxiety about being able to pay the bills and keep afloat. At the age of sixteen, he took matters into his own hands when he and two friends, one of whom was armed, robbed a suburban Houston bank. He was caught and tried as an adult and ultimately accepted a plea deal of five years in prison, of which he served three. Here, he returns home to boldly explore the lead-up to and the aftermath of his dire actions by interviewing family, friends, prosecutors, and, amazingly, victims who were in the bank at the time of the robbery. A remarkable reenactment of the day’s events weaves in and out of the commentary, which reveals just how juvenile the plan was. As Monroe continues to peel back the layers, he forces us to confront how little we may know about people we are often quick to define.  ST


Darius Clark Monroe


Darius Clark Monroe, Jen Gatien, Spike Lee, Jay Kubassek, Mike Offit


Doug Lenox


Daniel Patterson

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

83 minutes