Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Acrimony Movie Poster Image
Selfish characters in Perry's violent, overlong drama.
  • R
  • 2018
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie seems to be saying that relationships can't work because people are ultimately too selfish and shallow. Rewards here are monetary rather than emotional.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character is a vicious, hateful person who blames her troubles on others. The main male character performs one generous gesture but otherwise doesn't seem to care much about others, either; he's very passive-aggressive.


Guns and shooting in one scene. Attack with an axe. Bloody wounds, brief blood spray. Characters die. Car crashes into an RV trailer. Couple shouts and fights/grapples.


Brief sex scenes include thrusting and naked male bottom. Kissing. Naked man climbs into a tub (bottom shown). Brief sex talk.


Very strong language throughout, including "f--k," "motherf----r," "bulls--t," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "bastard," "dumbass," "damn," "hell," "d--k," and "whore."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Main character smokes cigarettes. In a few scenes, her apartment is littered with empty alcohol bottles, but drinking isn't actually shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Acrimony is a Tyler Perry-written and -directed drama about a doomed marriage in which one partner (Lyriq Bent) winds up making a fortune and the other (Taraji P. Henson) tries to get revenge. Violence includes a scene with a gun and shooting, an axe attack, some bloody wounds and blood sprays, and shouting/fighting. A character also crashes a car into an RV trailer. Sex scenes include thrusting and naked buttocks, as well as kissing. Language is very strong, with many uses of "motherf----r," "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "bastard," and more. The main character smokes cigarettes, and an array of empty alcohol bottles is shown, although drinking isn't actually shown.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byUniqueoneSohna M. April 3, 2018

What many women have felt and today's reality

I enjoyed the movie! It kept me at in suspense not knowing what was going to happen next. I felt that the movie made sense in real life and what many women fee... Continue reading
Adult Written byjaparis20 January 1, 2020

I had to watch it twice!

It's definitely not for the kiddos! The plot is elaborate and brilliantly delivered, thanks to Mrs. Henson. OMGoodness, I love this movie! I literally watc... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byVictoria18 April 7, 2018

Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry's new movie is really good and I haven't seen anything like this from him before. It's beautifully crazy. I love it!!!!

What's the story?

In ACRIMONY, Melinda (Taraji P. Henson) is on the receiving end of a restraining order filed by her ex-husband, Robert (Lyriq Bent). The court orders her into therapy, and her story unfolds in flashback. She meets Robert in college, and they quickly fall in love and marry; Melinda uses money from her mother's life insurance to finance his dream project, a self-charging battery. Years go by, and Melinda continues to support Robert, with no hope on the horizon. Their marriage disintegrates, partly due to the re-emergence of Diana (Crystle Stewart), a former flame of Robert's. After Melinda and Robert's divorce, Diana helps him sell his idea, and they become wealthy. But despite Robert paying Melinda a generous amount of money, she still believes that her life has been stolen from her -- and only revenge can quench her ferocious rage.

Is it any good?

This endless, crushingly serious drama explores a disintegrating marriage between two shallow, selfish partners, and then, for its ridiculous third act, it turns into an awful thriller. Writer/director Tyler Perry's Acrimony may have a highbrow-sounding title, but it nevertheless aims for the lowest common denominator. It has nothing to say except that people are pretty much fundamentally awful, and there's nothing to be done about it. Robert is a parasite who passively aggressively sucks the life out of Melinda, and she's a hateful, miserable woman, bent only on her own satisfaction.

Spending any time with these two would be a trial, but Perry asks us to sit for a full, painful two hours. Robert eventually makes a gesture that seems to come from genuine regret and kindness, but it doesn't go far as the ludicrous plot mechanisms kick in for the brain-dead finale. Henson is a fine actor, and she seems to have worked hard here, as have some of her co-stars, but unfortunately, their efforts are wasted in a movie that may leave viewers feeling hopeless and lousy. Not even the occasional music of Nina Simone helps to add any heart or soul.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Acrimony's use of violence. What's the difference between the main characters' fights and the more thriller-like use of weapons? In what ways did the different scenes affect you? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How does the movie portray sex? What value does it seem to say that sex has within a relationship?

  • Is Melinda a strong female character? Is she in charge of her own fate? Is she a victim?

  • How would you describe the appeal of Tyler Perry's movies? How does this one compare to others you may have seen?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrillers and stories about women

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