Lowrider is a term that refers to a certain type of low-riding car andthe people who drive them. Lowrider cars have been modified withhydraulics so they can be raised or lowered by the flick of a switchand many of the cars can also bounce. They also have wire-spoke wheels,whitewall tires and detailed unique designs painted on them. Lowriderculture developed among the Mexican-American community in Los Angelesin the years following World War II. The hydraulic modifications cameabout after California passed a law making it illegal for any part of acar to be lower than the bottom of its wheel rims. The ability toadjust the height of the chassis allows the driver to skirt the law byraising the car when law enforcement is in the area and lowering itagain after the danger of getting the lowrider impounded has passed.The painted designs are also a statement of individuality, celebratingHispanic culture. These various aspects of the East L.A. car cultureare found throughout the drama "Lowriders" (PG-13, 1:39) – along withthe emotional story of one family being pulled apart by conflictingvalues.<br><br>Danny (Gabriel Chavarria) is a Mexican-American high school seniorwho's torn between his priorities and those of his father, Miguel(Demián Bichir). Miguel is a widower and recovering alcoholic who ownsa custom garage and wants nothing more than to win an annual lowridercompetition with his 1961 Chevy Impala, "Green Poison", which sports ahood design painted by Miguel's father. Danny considers himself anartist, but his canvases have all been L.A. bridges and buildings.After Danny gets arrested for a particularly dangerous graffiti stunt,Miguel is beyond disappointed, telling Danny that he's turning out justlike his brother, Francisco (Theo Rossi), who people call "Ghost" andwho is spending time in prison.<br><br>When Ghost is released from prison, he angers his father by takingGreen Poison cruising – with Danny along for the ride – and announcesthat he's competing against Miguel in the upcoming lowridercompetition. As the tension between Miguel and his older son rises,Danny continues fighting for his right to make his art. He startsdating a photographer named Lorelai (Melissa Benoist), who helps Dannyget his art noticed, but not the way that he wants. The result of thatlowrider competition accelerates the escalation of tensions betweenMiguel and Ghost, putting Danny in the middle, and leading to someserious consequences. In the midst of all this, a local policedetective (Cress Williams) is repeatedly involved in the family'sturmoil, Danny's best friend, Chuy (Tony Revolori), gets caught up inthis whole mess and Danny's new stepmother, Gloria (Eva Longoria), isfighting to keep the family together.<br><br>"Lowriders" is engaging, interesting and entertaining. Although thedetails differ from family to family, the film's drama is something towhich most people can relate. The script, by several writers, includingElgin James ("Little Birds") and Cheo Hodari Coker ("Notorious"),sometimes has the various family members take some nonsensical actions,but the strong cast (especially Bichir and Rossi) helps sell the story.And, thankfully, this is one movie about Mexican-Americans that hasnothing to do with drugs (except for some alcohol). For many MovieFans, the main attraction will be the vehicles of the film's title.Director Ricardo de Montreuil (helming his first American feature)celebrates lowrider culture without deifying it. The movie's balancemakes it easy to enjoy seeing and learning about these rolling murals,which really are mechanical marvels, along with Danny's struggle foracceptance and the poignant family drama at the film's heart. "B"