The Upside tells a feel-good story with no real surprises. But that’s okay. The movie’s pleasures lie in its details and its top-drawer performances.

We know exactly what’s coming the minute we see Dell (Kevin Hart), a wisecracking black ex-con, turning up at the palatial New York penthouse of a white millionaire named Phillip (Bryan Cranston). Phillip is a paraplegic (he broke his spine in a paragliding accident) and he’s in need of a new caregiver—someone to lift him from bed to wheelchair every day, to take him outside for walks, and to generally be on call 24/7. The job comes with deluxe room and board, and naturally there are many highly qualified candidates for it, writes Kurt Loder.

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