Parents' Guide to

For Ahkeem

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Excellent docu on teen's struggles in inner-city St. Louis.

Movie NR 2017 90 minutes
For Ahkeem Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+


This documentary allows you the opportunity to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. It deals with a reality that many young people face today .

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a timely and important documentary about individuals and a community struggling to survive. In one of For Ahkeem's more moving and poignant scenes, 17-year-old Daje Shelton and her boyfriend, Antonio, are hanging out by the Gateway Arch in their hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Expecting their first child, they face the Mississippi River and talk about if they would live anyplace else besides St. Louis. Daje suggests Hawaii, to which Antonio jokingly responds about how he can't surf because he's black. The takeaway overall is both an incomprehensibility and awareness of living anyplace else but where they live, in the marginalized neighborhoods of north St. Louis. It reveals so much in mere minutes about the movie's overall themes of institutional racism and economic injustice as Daje, Antonio, and everyone else in the documentary struggle to keep their heads above water in a system clearly skewed against them in many ways.

Classroom posters of Barack Obama on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and faded murals of 2008 "Hope"-era Barack Obama on long-abandoned storefronts symbolize the maddening lack of progress in the racism that has been a part of America since its very inception. And as Daje attends funerals of peers who were killed on the streets, and Antonio must face the criminal justice system, Ahkeem himself becomes a kind of symbol. This is revealed as Daje tells her little baby that while he might be seen as cute to the world right now, the world will not be so kind in a matter of years.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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.

See how we rate