Parents' Guide to


By Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Humanizing look at start of civil rights movement.

Movie NR 2001 118 minutes
Boycott Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 1 parent review

age 11+

more interesting for adults than for kids

While there's little in this movie that is inappropriate for older kids, it was not engaging for my 12-year-old, and I don't think that it would be for most kids and teens unless they had a very big interest in civil rights history. The movie has a lot of dialog, and a documentary like style. Within the dialog we learn about different angles the adults were thinking of as they approached this boycott that became a movement. As an adult, I found those nuances fascinating, but my son was bored, and I think he would have absorbed more from a movie that either told the story more quickly or had more of a story. I found the documentary style somewhat intellectually interesting, but also distracting and sometimes confusing--for example sometimes there was a jumping around in time. I think this added to the difficulty my son had engaging in the movie.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This fantastic movie stars underrated actor Jeffrey Wright who brings the iconic Dr. King's humanity and vulnerability to the screen. His portrayal reminds viewers that King was a very young man, new father, and new pastor when he was elected leader of the MIA. He and other organizers, including Rev. Ralph Abernathy (Terrence Howard) and Jo Ann Robinson (CCH Pounder) are shown as real people, often wondering if they were doing the right thing and worried about the repercussions of their actions.

In another smart decision, director Clarke Johnson shot the movie documentary style, creating an intimacy between the audience and characters. Johnson also used a dynamic mix of music and a "what if King lived now" segment to bridge the gap between the '50s and today -- providing an excellent jumping-off point for discussion. DVD extras include more information about key figures in the Montgomery boycott, civil rights facts, and a featurette with the actors and director of the film.

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