Parents' Guide to

Chi-Raq

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Complex messages in messy, sex-oriented Spike Lee drama.

Movie R 2015 127 minutes
Chi-Raq Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 17+

Feminism and Terrible Pacing

Like in the first half of the movie it's just Nick Canon rapping about Chicago then another part of him rapping at a concert then theres a shoot out randomly with no backstory to it and that's not even the worse part, there's a whole plot of random women including Felisha Pearson and the Sasha rapper denying sex and when they did the anti-sex oath i turned the movie completely off, the pacing is like sonic level fast for example, When Angela Bassett and the main character were having a conversation it was a camera switch after the endingnofneach parties sentences, do not watch unless you want to be creeped out?.

age 18+

Emotional, Edgy, and Hilariouus

This movie does not have a dull moment. It is very hard to categorize because of how much it bounces from politics to dramatic life loss, and vulgar sex and innuendos. All star cast, incredibly entertaining but is absolutely Not For Kids. 8 out of 10

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Director Spike Lee based his movie on the 411 B.C. play Lysistrata by Aristophanes; written in hip-hop rhyme, it's a reckless, ambitious, overlong mess, but its message is furiously passionate. With Samuel L. Jackson serving as a funny, flamboyant "Greek Chorus," the movie definitely has a few laughs (Snipes brings a loony quality to his character, and the always-hilarious Dave Chappelle is on hand for one scene), as well as lively musical and dance numbers. Moreover, the presence of Snipes and Bassett help recall Lee's earlier work rather than his more recent misfires.

With all that's going on, the characters sometimes get lost, but Lee and co-writer Kevin Willmott remain clear on what they want to say. Cusack, in his role as a priest in a black church, gets the bulk of the movie's sermoning; he talks about the evils of guns and the role of prisons. Yet CHI-RAQ isn't an angry film; it's ultimately a call for compassion and tolerance.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: December 4, 2015
  • On DVD or streaming: January 26, 2016
  • Cast: Nick Cannon , Angela Bassett , Teyonah Parris
  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Inclusion Information: Black directors, Black actors, Female actors
  • Studios: Roadside Attractions , Lionsgate
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 127 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong sexual content including dialogue, nudity, language, some violence and drug use
  • Last updated: October 23, 2023

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