Parents' Guide to

The Cookout

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Avoid this gross, raunchy comedy at all costs.

Movie PG-13 2004 90 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 1 parent review

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This movie's own willingness to exploit the most blatantly bigoted stereotypes for the cheapest possible humor is so disappointing. And it's too bad that a fresh, smart, and courageous look at the conflictions African-Americans feel about racist stereotypes, that sometimes feel more real to them than they would like to admit, gets lost in a tired and lazy script littered with jokes about poop, dope, and clueless white folks. The movie's willingness to poke fun at black-on-black bigotry provides its few sharp moments, even more welcome because it is the only humor that is understated, the point powerful enough that it does not have to be amplified.

The African American characters are just as likely to assume the worst stereotypes about each other as the other characters are to feel about them. The security guard (Queen Latifah, who also produced the film) may be African American, but she is just as bigoted as the residents are. When she sees Todd and his agent together, she assumes Todd is mugging him. We even see a glimpse of sheepish embarrassment and confusion from characters who are educated and financially successful about relatives who conform to stereotypes.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 3, 2004
  • On DVD or streaming: January 18, 2005
  • Cast: Eve , Queen Latifah , Tim Meadows
  • Director: Lance Rivera
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Black actors
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 90 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: drug content, sexual references and language
  • Last updated: May 17, 2023

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