A Raisin in the Sun

  • Review Date: May 5, 2008
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 131 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Thoughtful, play-based drama examines racism.
  • Review Date: May 5, 2008
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 131 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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

Family members don't always agree, but they don't get violent.

Sex

In one scene, Walter tries to stroke his wife's breast during an intimate moment.

Language

Walter says the "N" word once.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Not yet rated
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Kids say

What's the story?

A RAISIN IN THE SUN began its life as play by Lorraine Hansberry, written right as the Civil Rights Movement was beginning, about an African-American family living in poverty in Chicago and dreaming of more. The action revolves around a $10,000 life insurance check that Lena Younger (Phylicia Rashad) receives after her husband's death. Lena's son, Walter (Sean Combs), wants to use it to open a liquor store, to earn more money for the family. Lena's daughter, Beneatha (Sanaa Lathan), wants to go to medical school. Caught in between is Walter's wife, Ruth (Audra McDonald), who's pregnant and not sure she can raise a second child in a home that's already tiny and crowded. Lena chooses to use the money to buy a house in a white neighborhood, with the rest going to finance Walter's dream. Even though she asks him to set aside money for Beneatha's education, Walter sinks everything into his store -- only to have it stolen by one of his partners.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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. 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how media can be used positively to counteract negative stereotypes. What stereotypes were present in this film? How did the characters fulfill or dispel them? What message did the movie send about stereotypes in the end?

  • What did you learn as a result of watching this movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 22, 2008
DVD release date:May 5, 2008
Cast:Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashad, Sean P. Diddy Combs
Director:Kenny Leon
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:131 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of A Raisin in the Sun 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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Quality

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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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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byhoneybee123 February 28, 2011
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
The movie shows how African American men and women there struggles and how they come back together as a family.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byiluv2write April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

I cried, and i laughed

this movie is very good.

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