Parents' Guide to

Block Party

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Comedy about Juneteeth celebration has strong language.

Movie NR 2022 90 minutes
Block Party Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

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This comedy is a perfectly fine film to watch if you want a little diversion or a lighthearted way to celebrate Juneteenth. Overall, the cast is competent, providing a sense of fun and joy to the film. Black Hollywood mainstays like Gary Anthony Williams, Luenell, Bill Cobbs, John Amos, Faizon Love, Felonious Munk, and Merle Dandridge get to shine as members of Keke's family and community. But certain characterizations leave something to be desired. And it's a bit disappointing that Block Party seems to tilt more toward social media's view of Blackness than a more authentic take on Black culture. Perhaps it's because the film was produced by Buzzfeed that Block Party feels like it's more for a younger, "hashtag-woke" audience, with buzzwords and hot topic conversations about topics like reparations, Black hair politics, the "Black card," "Karens," and predatory lending interspersed throughout the film. Just because a film mentions lots of buzzy topics doesn't mean it's actually interested in investigating the discussions behind these words and ideas.

To be fair, the film does villainize those who prey on the Black community, which is appreciated. But the film's view of Blackness seems too surface level to feel truly authentic. On a character level, Tasha is the only one who's nearly unbearable to watch. Brooks plays her well, but Tasha's characterization is thinly written, and her control-freak tendencies become more incomprehensible as the film goes on. Making matters worse, her husband, Sean (Williams), is vastly underwritten as a happy-go-lucky dad. Both the easygoing father archetype and the controlling mother archetype are tired -- turning a mom into a baddie for trying to do right by her child is boring and reductionist at this point. Still, on the whole, Block Party is the type of film that you can put on to turn your brain off and relax.

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