Burning Sands

Movie review by Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Burning Sands Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

Violent movie about fraternity hazing; cursing, sex.

NR 2017 96 minutes

Parents say

age 17+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 1 review

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Real, Insightful, Not for faint of heart

While some won't consider this a family movie, this really depends on the ages of your kids and what you consider valuable as a family. There's definitely graphic violence (paddling, hitting, kicking, etc. which results in injury), swearing and sex (a short scene with a partially naked couple along with some sounds and such in other parts of the movie). Since it's about college fraternities it's likely okay for older teens who can watch 17+ stuff and/or those entering or in college. The movie itself tackles a really tough topic with many layers, weaving deep insights about belonging, history, staying strong in the face of challenge, what that means and can bring that's both bad and good. All of the acting is stellar really, each playing their part of the whole to create a picture we can learn from. I feel there are plenty of positive messages shared about relationships, belonging, honesty, brotherhood, personal integrity and more, but the review here doesn't really hone in on them. The focus is much more on the violence and negative messages, which are plentiful as well, but the positive insights along the way shed light on them in subtle and ways. A couple of poignant Frederick Douglas quotes are woven through and even the very ending points to the main character's inner commitment, which of course shows itself when things get very rough. So, don't watch it with kids who it's not appropriate for, but if you want a movie that's real (although somewhat sensationalized of course) and tells a story of African-American fraternities working to create belonging and community (and sometimes take it too far), open your mind and watch the movie. It's not for the faint of heart, though, it's for those who want to understand - and those who are interested in positive change.

Movie Details

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