Movie review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Boycott Movie Poster Image
Humanizing look at start of civil rights movement.
  • NR
  • 2001
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The message of nonviolence, equal rights, and humane treatment for all prevails over discrimination, hatred, and acts of violence.


Scary images of people being arrested, homes firebombed; a woman flashbacks to a man's body hanging from a tree after he is lynched. A man receives threatening phone calls.


Kisses, hugs, and cuddling between man and wife. People dance close in a nightclub. A man describes himself as a homosexual.


Some racial language and a few swear words.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults are shown smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie deals with the civil rights movement and segregation in the American South. While not as violent as actual footage from the movement, there are some scary images including fire bombings and arrests as well as a general undercurrent of fear. There is also racial name-calling and stereotypes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byBayMama January 15, 2018

more interesting for adults than for kids

While there's little in this movie that is inappropriate for older kids, it was not engaging for my 12-year-old, and I don't think that it would be fo... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

BOYCOTT is a behind-the-scenes look at the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955. When Rosa Parks, a black, upstanding citizen of the community, refuses to give up her seat to a white man, she is jailed, giving the black community of Montgomery an opportunity to stage a one-day bus boycott to protest bus segregation. A young preacher, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is selected as the leader of the newly formed Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization that will lead the boycott. The movie follows how a one-day event turned into a standoff that lasted well over a year and gave rise to some of the greatest leaders of the nonviolent civil rights movement.

Is it any good?

This fantastic movie stars underrated actor Jeffrey Wright who brings the iconic Dr. King's humanity and vulnerability to the screen. His portrayal reminds viewers that King was a very young man, new father, and new pastor when he was elected leader of the MIA. He and other organizers, including Rev. Ralph Abernathy (Terrence Howard) and Jo Ann Robinson (CCH Pounder) are shown as real people, often wondering if they were doing the right thing and worried about the repercussions of their actions.

In another smart decision, director Clarke Johnson shot the movie documentary style, creating an intimacy between the audience and characters. Johnson also used a dynamic mix of music and a "what if King lived now" segment to bridge the gap between the '50s and today -- providing an excellent jumping-off point for discussion. DVD extras include more information about key figures in the Montgomery boycott, civil rights facts, and a featurette with the actors and director of the film.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about discrimination and standing up for what is right. Are there people in our time that are discriminated against? Why is discrimination wrong? What methods could kids today use to protest an unjust rule?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate