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Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Brilliant, mature coming-of-age story explores race, class.

Movie R 2015 115 minutes
Dope Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 15+

A Smart Film

This is one of my favorite films of all time. Reviewers who complain about nudity, sex, drugs, and language are missing the entire point of the movie. This movie examines America in both race and class. It's not too much in any of the things people complain about. It's realistic. I think it's great for kids to watch this movie and be opened up to the way race plays a huge part in peoples' lives in America.
age 16+

It's so ironic...

...that other reviewers scold this movie for being inappropriate because it includes violence, swearing, and talk about sex (and full frontal nudity? If your child is a girl, I've got some news for you: she has definitely stood in front of a mirror before). They fact that you think this movie is so unrealistic shows how desperately it is needed. Poor kids, kids of color, minority kids, kids who are in trouble, we grow up believing there is no one like us and there is no hope for us and we have no place in the world because people think that our lives are 'inappropriate' and therefore shouldn't be seen on the big screen. Shame on anyone who thinks this way. *Deep breath.* Anyway. Great movie. Solid acting. Funny at times (the hacker friend, oh my gosh :'D). Important message.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (13 ):

Director Rick Famuyiwa's Sundance hit Dope is a coming-of-age comedy that's simultaneously clever, edgy, touching, and thought-provoking. Produced by Forest Whitaker (who also doubles as narrator) and Pharrell Williams (who also provided the original music), Dope is about a group that's largely without a voice in popular culture -- working-class African-American (or other minority) geeks who struggle to fit in and must always be aware of their surroundings. Moore gives a tour-de-force performance as young Malcolm, who desperately wants out of The Bottoms and into the kind of future he believes an Ivy League education can provide.

Equal parts crime caper, coming-of-age tale, and friendship comedy, Dope is brimming with energized performances, a perfectly complementary soundtrack, and lots of powerful social commentary. The philosophizing is never preachy; it's spot-on and occasionally harsh -- where you come from matters, and the color of your skin definitely matters. Malcolm, Jib, and Diggy can't afford to make mistakes, because one wrong turn, one extra pause could cost them everything. Despite its heavy themes, Dope is also hilarious, offering a biting reflection of youth culture's dependence on social media, where drugged out kids (and adults) will share anything and everything. This story comes down to one stereotype-defying boy who's basically a genius but who -- because of where he's from and what he looks like -- could just as easily end up in prison as Harvard Yard. And that's worth unpacking and discussing -- after you've laughed and laughed and laughed some more.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: June 19, 2015
  • On DVD or streaming: October 13, 2015
  • Cast: Shameik Moore , Kiersey Clemons , Tony Revolori
  • Director: Rick Famuyiwa
  • Inclusion Information: Black directors, Black actors, Female actors, Queer actors, Latino actors
  • Studio: Open Road Films
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Topics: Friendship , High School
  • Run time: 115 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language, drug content, sexuality/nudity, and some violence - all involving teens
  • Last updated: November 21, 2023

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