Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Earnest but awkward coming-out story has edgy content.

Movie R 2015 99 minutes
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Blackbird is as far from truth as it can possibly be; it's more like an after-school special. One of the characters in BLACKBIRD talks to Randy about wanting to make movies about truth like John Cassavetes did; Randy is even seen reading a book about Cassavetes. Unfortunately, director/co-writer Patrik-Ian Polk shows no familiarity with that legendary director's work.

The drama here is supremely awkward, forced, and amateurish, from the first moments of badly lip-synced singing to the final moments of unearned, coincidental triumph. Characters never seem to connect and can never get beyond the feeling that they're merely reading dialogue at each other. Not even an Oscar-winner like Mo'Nique or a powerful actor like Isaiah Washington can rise above their pedestrian moments. Still, the movie is very earnest and might have been helpful for young, struggling teens like Randy -- if not for the fact that it has so much strong language and drug- and sex-related content.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: April 24, 2015
  • On DVD or streaming: August 4, 2015
  • Cast: Mo'Nique , Isaiah Washington , Julian Walker
  • Director: Patrik-Ian Polk
  • Inclusion Information: Black directors, Female actors, Bisexual actors, Black actors
  • Studio: RLJ Entertainment
  • Genre: Drama
  • Topics: High School
  • Run time: 99 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: sexual content, language and some drug use - all involving teens
  • Last updated: April 4, 2023

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