A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Deals with overcoming obstacles of racism in a very honest, often painful way. Other issues include stereotypes, poverty, and the possibility of abortion; all are dealt with in a thoughtful, realistic way.
Positive Role Models
The African-American Younger family works very hard to overcome racial prejudice -- despite obstacles like a white man (representing the family's new neighborhood) who offers to buy the family's house to keep them from moving in.
Violence & Scariness
Family members don't always agree, but they don't get violent.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In one scene, Walter tries to stroke his wife's breast during an intimate moment.
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Walter says the "N" word once.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie -- which is based on the landmark play by Lorraine Hansberry -- deals with racism in a very honest, often painful way. Mature topics and themes include abortion and poverty; one African-American character demeans himself by playing into white stereotypes of African-Americans and uses the "N" word, but it's understandable within the context of the story. The central family members don't always agree, but in the end they're all working for a better life. Aside from the complex subject matter, the movie has very little iffy content, making it an excellent choice for watching with older tweens and teens. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This made-for-TV film was adapted from the play's award-winning 2004 Broadway revival and features most of the same cast in the principal roles -- and the performances are amazing. There's a reason McDonald won the Tony for her role, and the rest of the principal cast members don't miss a step, either. Combs is the weak link, but even he can hold his own. This is a great example of what can happen when really good actors take on truly great writing (even though this is an adaptation, much of the original play's script is in the movie).
The film is beautifully shot and deeply moving. While the subject matter is often uncomfortable and sometimes outright painful, the story remains relevant and rich. As a starting point for talking about the hurt of racism, it's invaluable. But part of what makes it so is that it's such a good piece of work, something that will stand the test of time even when we (hopefully) reach the halcyon days when racism is truly a thing of the past.
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.