Parents' Guide to

American Son

By Marty Brown, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Stage adaptation superficially grapples with complex issues.

Movie NR 2019 90 minutes
American Son Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Must See

This movie is an incredible movie, adapted from the play "American Son" which was on broadway for about 6-7 months. This movie clearly depicts the struggles that all parents face, however it is more directly focused on the struggles of African American parents. This movie is a great way to start a conversation about these topics. I highly recommend that every single person watch this!! Not to mention, Kerry Washington is absolutely incredible in this, as well as the rest of the cast!!

Is It Any Good?

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

Movie adaptations of stage plays can be tricky, if for no other reason than that theater is a verbal medium while film is visual. American Son, based on a 2018 Broadway play with the same cast, has minimal visual intrigue and relies almost solely on its dialogue to drive the narrative. It is, effectively, a 90-minute argument about race, racial identity, and police brutality. But American Son chooses pure melodrama over thoughtful, informed debate, so it consistently undermines any real impact it could have.

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