Romeo Must Die

Common Sense Media says

This hip-hop Romeo and Juliet is awful.





What parents need to know


Lots of fighting, characters killed.


Brief, including same-sex scene.


Very strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, smoking, and drug use.

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).

Parents say

Kids say

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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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about racism and the way that children prove their independence, or maybe just how such bad movies get made.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 22, 2000
DVD release date:August 1, 2000
Cast:Aaliyah, DMX, Jet Li
Director:Bart Bartkowiak
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:115 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence, some language and brief nudity

This review of Romeo Must Die was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn September 5, 2011

Fine for most teens

It really isn't very bad considering most R Rated action movies out there, but there are still some very graphic and brutal fight scenes which contain bone crunching sound effects. Also, there is a some strong language, mostly in rap music lyrics. There is some extremely brief nudity at the begining and some drug references. That's it.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byyoka February 26, 2009

its my luck to see this site

not very important

Teen, 14 years old Written byzazmopepperz April 14, 2010

Nowhere near R-rated material.

This review is a f*cking piece of crap. There's a lot of martial art fighting but none of its bloody, sometimes you can see the skeleton to see the bone fracture. Two girls kiss in a club with no nudity. Also there are only three uses of the f-word. Easily PG-13 material. However the bad is that all Chinese and black characters are shown as crime lords or gangsters, which is bad. Also the characters aren't properly introduced and the story is never explained properly so it is hard to follow. Overall a really fun movie that I recommend.


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