A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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 ...
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
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.