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Parents' Guide to

American Skin

By Jordan Elizabeth, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Father seeks justice in violent police brutality drama.

Movie R 2021 89 minutes
American Skin Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 18 parent reviews

age 12+

This movie is highly underrated

Thought-provoking. Black Lives Matter vs. The Police & The Judicial System. In truth, the script writers for this movie were too authentic, and I believe that's why it's receiving poor reviews from people who don't want you to watch it (for obvious reasons).
age 16+

To timely to be missed!!

All chickens will eventually come home to roost. A must see if you have the courage to grapple with the glaring hypocrisies witnessed daily in America around acceptable means of defense, justice-seeking and conflict resolution.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (18 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Police brutality is an important topic in American society that's worthy of being depicted with thoughtfulness, nuance, and deep knowledge -- unfortunately, this drama falls short on all three. Star Parker also wrote and directed American Skin, and while the characters are diverse in their identities, their voices reek of his heavy-handed, self-important style. American Skin feels much like a play: one room, a small cast, and many preachy monologues. There's no subtlety in its design, either, with "Blue Lives Matter" and "Back the Blue" flags hanging on the precinct walls.

The arc of American Skin hinges on Randall's ability to empathize with the trauma of being held at gunpoint -- reducing systemic racial justice to an exercise in social-emotional learning. Characters who've been taken hostage unrealistically put aside what must be immense fear in order to go along with the mock trial. And the trial is "justice by force," which goes against Linc's desire for an unbiased outcome. American Skin doesn't do its own topic justice.

Movie Details

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