Blindspotting

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Blindspotting Movie Poster Image
Smart, thoughtful dramedy explores race and violence.
  • R
  • 2018
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Thoughtfully explores complex themes like perception of race and gentrification, discussing -- both with humor and anger -- how black men are the targets of police and how white people moving into black neighborhoods has its pros and cons.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The two main characters are enormously likable, but they're both deeply flawed and have both succumbed to violence. Collin has at least seemed to learn his lesson, and he works hard to be a better person.

Violence

A cop shoots a man in the street. Two men beat up another man; kicking, punching. Man on fire. Another brutal fight with punching and head slamming. Blood shown. A child gets ahold of a gun. Characters are held at gunpoint, threatened. Scary dream. Angry arguing. Gunshots in air. Bloody chest wound. Cuts and bruises.

Sex

Fairly frequent sex talk, innuendo.

Language

Many uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," the "N" word, "p---y," "ass," "d--k," "bitch," and "Jesus" (as an exclamation). Middle-finger gesture.

Consumerism

Reference to Uber.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Main characters smoke pot. Cigarette smoking. Social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blindspotting is a mature indie dramedy about how two friends in Oakland -- one black and one white -- are affected by race and gentrification. Co-written by stars Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) and Rafael Casal, it's a very funny and exuberant yet thoughtful and touching movie that's a must-see for older teens and up. That said, it has some pretty intense violence, particularly involving guns and shooting: Characters are threatened by guns, guns are fired, and a child gets ahold of a gun. There are also scenes of angry arguing and brutal fighting, with punching, kicking, beating, and pummeling, and one man catching on fire. Some blood is shown. Language is very strong, too, with many uses of "f--k," the "N" word," "motherf----r," "s--t," and more. Viewers will also see some drug use (pot), cigarette smoking, and social drinking and hear some sexual innuendo and sex talk.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMovieGods August 3, 2018

Blindspotting

Blindspotting tells the audience a great story about empathy and prejudice. I would say it is a must watch. I am rating is 17+, but believe that anyone 14+ with... Continue reading
Adult Written byStevie111 July 27, 2018

Incredible, smart film with a brilliant blend of drama and humor

Blindspotting is a complex drama that deals with racial issues, while also having a smart sense of humor. The writing is terrific. The film is more dramatic tha... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycavanim August 11, 2018

4/5, not for kids

fantastic film, thoughtful and well acted with an amazing screenplay by diggs and casal. however, it isn't for kids at all. hardly any cases of sex but has... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byCece Giancola July 28, 2018

Witty, with a deep message

Blindspotting is a great movie to see as a family. A mature 13-15 year old could easily handle it. It brings up many important conversation starters about race,... Continue reading

What's the story?

In BLINDSPOTTING, Oakland resident Collin (Daveed Diggs) is a convicted felon out on parole, with only three days left until he's totally free. He's determined not to get into trouble, but then his temperamental best friend, Miles (Rafael Casal), suddenly decides to buy a gun. And then, on the way home, while waiting at a long stoplight, Collin witnesses a white cop shooting an unarmed black man in the street. Over the next few days, Collin is haunted by the incident but continues to work with Miles at a local moving company, where Collin's ex-girlfriend, Val (Janina Gavankar), is a dispatcher. Collin, Miles, and Miles' wife, Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones), bitterly discuss the gentrification of their city, and later Miles and Collin go to a party hosted by hipster white folks, where Miles gets into a violent fight. And when Miles' son gets ahold of his gun, it sends everything into a tailspin.

Is it any good?

This indie dramedy could have been a hard-knock urban story, but instead it's funny and insightful, with heartfelt characters, and it's astute enough to explore many sides of the issues at hand. Co-written by its two stars, Blindspotting is constantly surprising, using its plot mechanisms -- the shooting, the introduction of the gun, and even a box of curling irons -- to open up further discussion, rather than trudging down familiar paths toward violence or conflict. Destruction -- or self-destruction -- isn't the only/inevitable ending here; things are discussed and reasoned.

Directed by Carlos López Estrada, making his feature debut, Blindspotting is also very funny for a long time, although, as with so many comedies, the laughs tend to dry out as the story threads are wrapped up. But it's so good for so long that that's easily forgiven. Diggs, a Tony winner for Hamilton, has a warm screen presence, even though his character is somewhat passive, given his parole-related storyline. Casal is the surprise, turning his explosive, troublemaking character into a genuinely thoughtful one. And as in Sorry to Bother You, the city of Oakland is used as a fascinating locale, full of personality and inner conflict. Overall, this is a bracing achievement, a movie worth seeking out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Blindspotting's violence. What effect does it have? Is it shocking or thrilling? How does the movie achieve this effect? What does it mean for the story? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How does the movie address and handle the topic of race? Is race a concrete thing, or does it depend on others' perceptions?

  • What is gentrification? Does it seem like a good thing or a bad thing? What makes it a complicated issue?

  • What makes the main characters sympathetic, even though they have flaws/checkered pasts?

Movie details

For kids who love movies that make you think

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