Parents' Guide to

Cesar Chavez

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Plodding labor leader biopic shows protests, beatings.​

Movie PG-13 2014 101 minutes
Cesar Chavez Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

Good message, beware of language

Great message about the life work of C. Chavez. Provides several historic references. To represent the experience and the setting, racial slurs were prevalent. Beware of the adult language throughout. Should be viewed with parents or responsible adult. I suggest possibly skipping minutes 54:17-56:51 for severe adult language.
age 15+


This movie was very disappointing my 2 10 year olds watched it and they said it includes very violent torture, beatings, murdering. Also includes use of very strong language which includes 14 curse words which include b****, a**, f***ing, and s***. Also includes drinking and very intense and scary material for children with young age, but includes great messages and positive role models.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

No doubt Cesar Chavez, the man, makes the perfect subject for a biopic; his life and achievements deserve to be cemented on-screen, but Cesar Chavez, the film, does a lackluster job of doing so. Peña succeeds in bringing the civil rights icon to life, but his Cesar lacks charisma and doesn't hold the audience's gaze throughout the film, failing to inspire. It doesn't help that his arc is told in a predictable and linear manner. With so much rich material to work with, surely the filmmakers could've found a more interesting way to tell his story?

That said, Cesar Chavez does illuminate a crucial figure, time, and place in our history. Rarely do you see a Latino story on the big screen in which the majority of the cast in front of and behind the scenes is also Latino. It is the story of how ordinary people, without resources, but with will and creativity, drive changes that end up benefiting many in society. And while Peña's performance may seem weak, those who knew Chavez point out that he was shy and introverted; he didn't have MLK's gift of the gab, but he was able to organize and mobilize people against all odds. Teens and adults who watch the film may find themselves surprised by the intricacies of the movement: the role Filipino migrant workers played; Chavez's personal life, and how it fared against the larger backdrop of history in the making. Not enough insight is dispensed, however, to rescue Cesar Chavez from a severe lack of momentum.

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