All Eyez on Me

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
All Eyez on Me Movie Poster Image
Edgy but bland biopic fails to capture Tupac's genius.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 140 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Can be seen as a cautionary tale about the dangers of fame. There are brushes with the law, violence, dangerous sexual encounters, drugs, and alcohol, and the movie argues that the white establishment makes it especially easy for African Americans to succumb to all of them. But it also champions the idea that a great artist has the potential and the opportunity to be a community leader, educating and spreading positive messages. On the other hand, women are objectified.

Positive Role Models & Representations

On the one hand, Tupac was a great artist who was highly inspirational and influential. But on the other, his private life -- which included violence and prison time -- isn't the stuff of role model dreams. Diverse cast.


Guns and shooting, with some bloody wounds. A small child is accidentally shot. The main character shoots at people. Cops beat up African Americans. Characters are stabbed and sliced with knives. Fighting. A character is convicted on sexual abuse charges.


Topless women. Kissing. Sexual situations. Scantily clad groupies hang around in many scenes. Close-up shot of a woman's behind while she's walking. Women are objectified.


Constant, extremely strong language includes countless uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," the "N" word, "son of a bitch," "p---y," "hell," etc.


Tupac himself has become a brand.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A secondary character is a drug addict and checks into rehab. The main character smokes cigarettes and occasionally pot; he also drinks hard liquor. Party sequences include drinking. Minor characters use cocaine (the main character does not).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that All Eyez on Me is a biopic about rapper/actor Tupac Shakur (played by Demetrius Shipp Jr.). While the music and performances are dynamic, the drama is bland and disappointing. There's some strong violence, including gun use and shooting, knives and stabbing, bloody wounds, beatings, a child accidentally getting shot, and a character is convicted on sexual abuse charges. Topless women are shown, and there are sexual situations and some kissing, as well as many scantily clad groupies and women being objectified. Language is near constant and extremely strong, with countless uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," and the "N" word. The main character smokes cigarettes (as well as pot, though less often) and drinks occasionally. A secondary character is a drug addict who checks into rehab. Liquor and drugs are shown in many party sequences.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byOnly1lolli2 August 5, 2018
Parent Written byJo B. August 7, 2017
Teen, 14 years old Written byFonie August 5, 2018

What's the story?

In ALL EYEZ ON ME, Africfan-American activist Afeni Shakur (Danai Gurira) is released from prison just weeks before she gives birth to her eldest son, Tupac. Years later, the family has moved from New York to Baltimore to Oakland, and Afeni becomes a drug user. The well-educated Tupac (now played by Demetrius Shipp Jr.) realizes that he must support the family and lands a job performing with hip-hop group Digital Underground. This quickly leads to his own solo career, but despite many huge hits, he never seems to have any money. He has many brushes with the law, and his legal fees keep climbing. While in prison for a sexual abuse charge, he signs with Death Row records, which run by the notorious Suge Knight (Dominic L. Santana). Suddenly Tupac has freedom, but at a price. A new kind of violence enters into his life, and September 1996 is fast approaching.

Is it any good?

Newcomer Shipp Jr. is well cast as Tupac, but the movie, unlike Tupac's own storytelling, is sluggish and generic; it doesn't adequately capture the artist's unique genius. Director Benny Boom has made music videos and one other feature, the terrible Next Day Air. Working from a screenplay by three writers, he frames the movie with Tupac giving an interview to a journalist while in prison. It's an old device, and it allows the filmmaker to smooth over (or ignore) the more challenging aspects of Shakur's life.

All Eyez on Me -- named for Shakur's 1996 double-LP masterpiece -- proceeds through chunks of time, showing what happened but not really clarifying how or why. Some events are covered so lazily and some characters are so poorly introduced that only die-hard fans who already know his story will be able to fill in the blanks. On the plus side, the music sequences are dynamic and truly come alive thanks to Shipp's dynamic embodiment of the performer and the fact that Shakur's actual recordings are used. But this is an unworthy movie, and viewers would be better off checking out Shakuir's Live at the House of Blues video or his performances in movies like Juice and Gridlock'd.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about All Eyez on Me's violence. How does the fact that much of it happened in real life affect its impact?

  • How is sex depicted in the movie? Is it intimate or impersonal? What's the difference? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • How does the movie portray women? Are women objectified? What message does that send? Are there any female characters you'd consider role models?

  • How are alcohol, smoking, and drugs portrayed? Does the movie glamorize them? Tupac refuses to use drugs; does that excuse his use of other substances?

  • What did you learn about Tupac from this movie? How accurate do you think it is? Why might filmmakers decide to change things in stories based on facts?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love biopics

Themes & Topics

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