By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Sobering celebration of a Black teen's life ended by racism.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It’s a story about what a young man’s life could have been had he not been murdered for being Black. It also highlights the existence of racism and racial violence in Britain, and the real harm that it causes. But most of all, it's a celebration of Anthony Walker's life.
Positive Role Models
Anthony and his family are British Black and of Jamaican descent. He is a loyal friend, a good husband and father, as well as a youth and church volunteer. He aspires to be a civil rights attorney. His girlfriend and wife are White, as are his killers.
Violence & Scariness
Racial violence is a major theme. A violent attack sequence, which includes the use of an ice pick, is partially visible, and cries of pain can be heard. No blood or injuries are shown at the scene but a lifeless body is visible. An x-ray image showing an ice pick sticking out of a skull is shown. The death of Walker in the hospital is shown. Domestic abuse is also alluded to.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirting, dating, and marriage are themes. Crude references like "t--s" and "knob" are sometimes used.
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There’s some strong language, including words like "piss" and "arsed." The word "s--t" and local British curses are audible. The "N" word, along with other racist epithets, are used during altercations.
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Products & Purchases
The Air Jordan logo is visible on sportswear and a Mercedes-Benz is shown, but none of this is obvious or offered in a commercial context. A popular British game show is featured.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One cast member is an alcoholic. Wine, cocktails, and beer drinking are visible.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Anthony is a dramatic work of fiction inspired by the unprovoked, racially motivated murder of Anthony Walker, a young British Black man, in 2005. While most of it is upbeat, it contains a strong message about the severity, and consequences, of racism in the U.K. It also contains some cursing and crude language, including "piss," "arsed," "s--t", and the "N" word. Drinking and drunken behavior is seen. The attack on Walker, and the ice pick used to kill him, is partially shown, and cries of pain are heard, but there is no blood. His passing in the hospital -- and the grieving loved ones he left behind -- are also featured. All of this said, the movie is a celebration and positive testament of the young man’s life.
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Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
ANTHONY is a dramatic movie about what a young British student’s life might have been had he not been murdered simply for being Black. On the evening of July 29th, 2005, 18-year-old Anthony Walker (Toheeb Jimoh), a basketball-loving aspiring lawyer and youth mentor was brutally attacked by two drunken, racist thugs in a park just outside of Liverpool, leaving him with a horrific and fatal head injury. From making his mother (Rakie Ayola) a grandmother after marrying his wife Katherine (Julia Brown), to helping his best friend Mick (Bobby Schofield) overcome his demons, it paints a lovely picture that highlights what he could have accomplished and how he may have helped others.
Is It Any Good?
Heartbreaking and beautiful, this movie based on a true story chronicles the life of a bright young man and his contributions to society that were cut short because of the color of his skin. It draws from anecdotes about Anthony Walker’s short life shared by those who knew him, highlighting his goals and hopes, like becoming a civil rights lawyer and having a family of his own. Adding to the narrative are some key fictional characters and some dramatic moments to round out his imagined adult life.
The story is told as a series of flashbacks, starting when Walker is 25 and ending with his brutal death at the age of 18. As creative as this format is, it doesn’t take away from the clear message it sends about confronting racism in the United Kingdom. It also successfully humanizes this lesson by showing the future this young man deserved. But throughout it all, Anthony is a celebration of Anthony Walker’s life and the wonderful person that he was.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the concrete efforts being made to combat racism in the U.K. What is being done to prevent hate crimes and other racist acts throughout the country? Did the murder of Anthony Walker motivate these changes?
How does Anthony compare racism in the United States with racism in the U.K.? Do you agree with the assessment it offers?
There has been a lot of media coverage of racist events both in the United States and Great Britain. But these topics can be difficult topic to talk about, especially with kids. What are some constructive ways we can talk to them about these issues?
What other stories about racism have you seen, read, or heard about? What sort of things can you do in your own community -- and in the world at large -- to battle injustice and combat racism?
- On DVD or streaming: July 27, 2020
- Cast: Toheeb Jimoh, Rakie Ayola, Julia Brown, Bobby Schofield
- Director: Terry McDonough
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studio: Peacock
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Friendship
- Character Strengths: Communication, Compassion, Empathy, Humility, Integrity, Self-control
- Run time: 106 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
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Where to Watch
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