Parents' Guide to

Catch a Fire

By Jane Boursaw, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Gritty apartheid drama pushes PG-13 limits.

Movie PG-13 2006 101 minutes
Catch a Fire Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Glamorizing Terrorism

This movie justifies terrorist attacks. Bombers claim to not be targeting innocent people. At the terrorist camp they all sing songs like it's some sort of summer camp. Terrorists are the heros in this movie. The filmmakers should be ashamed of themselves.

Is It Any Good?

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

Though the subject matter of Catch a Fire is heavy, this movie does a wonderful job of explaining a complicated situation, told through the eyes of a real-life hero who helped change history. Luke gives a heart-wrenching, Oscar-worthy performance; when he says, "I will make this right," you believe him. You can feel his passion, as well as that of the other members of the ANC who feel they have no other choice but to fight.

The other actors -- including Robbins, Henna, and Michele Burgers as Vos' wife – also deliver emotional performances, showing the many grey areas that exist between "right" and "wrong." The movie is vibrant with the sights, sounds, and people of Africa. The freedom songs that the natives sing to console themselves are beautiful, as is the Bob Marley reggae music that was popular at that time (and for which the film is named).

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 26, 2006
  • On DVD or streaming: January 30, 2007
  • Cast: Bonnie Henna , Derek Luke , Tim Robbins
  • Director: Phillip Noyce
  • Inclusion Information: Black actors
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 101 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: thematic material involving torture and abuse, violence and brief language.
  • Last updated: September 30, 2023

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate