Romeo Must Die
By Nell Minow,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
This hip-hop Romeo and Juliet is awful.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of fighting, characters killed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief, including same-sex scene.
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Very strong language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking, smoking, and drug use.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has very strong violence, some girl/girl kissing, drug use, and that it's really dumb (especially the ending, in which Han and Trish wander out of a house full of dead people, and the police completely ignore them).
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Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
In this hip-hop take on Romeo and Juliet, Isaak O'Day (Delroy Lindo) is a gangster who dreams of going legit. He loves his children, Colin (D.B. Woodside) and Trish (Aliyah) deeply and wants to protect them. But Colin wants to "be a man," and for him that means taking matters into his own hands. Kai Sung (Russell Wong) is the leader of the rival gang. Like O'Day, he has a son who wants to be a player. He and O'Day are trying to get the deeds to the shoreline property in their districts, to turn it over to a sleazy developer. When Sung's son is killed, his brother Han (Jet Li) breaks out of a Hong Kong prison to come to the US to avenge his death. He meets Trish, and they find that they have more in common with each other than with their sides in the fight.
Is It Any Good?
ROMEO MUST DIE is a tired tale of rival gangsters. Fans of martial arts will do well to wait for it to come out on video, so they can fast-forward through all the meaningless exposition and endless shots of people giving mean and meaningful looks at each other and get to the good stuff.
There are some nice fight scenes, though it seems an insult to Jet Li's extraordinary talent to trick them up with computer graphics. If we want to see people suspended in the air while they kick each other, we can rent The Matrix. Little flashes of x-ray shots of bones being crunched are an interesting touch. When you're fast-forwarding the video, be sure to stop and see it.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about racism and the way that children prove their independence, or maybe just how such bad movies get made.
- In theaters: March 22, 2000
- On DVD or streaming: August 1, 2000
- Cast: Aaliyah, DMX, Jet Li
- Director: Bart Bartkowiak
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 115 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence, some language and brief nudity
- Last updated: April 1, 2023
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