A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that younger teens are going to want to see this movie. It includes frequent violence (shooting, stabbing, fist fights) and its consequences (loss of friends and family, funerals, desires for revenge and discussions of alternatives). The hero appears in the hospital, in emergency surgery, and near death, as the film flashes back to his birth in a diner. A woman is burned to death in her home (her killer claims to have raped her first, though we don't see this). The hero starts his drug dealing career as a child, shoots rivals, and is shot himself, in a brutal scene shown twice. Prisoners fight in a shower, showing naked bodies and bloody effects of stabbing and beating. One sex scene includes close-ups of body parts. Dialogue and lyrics include frequent cursing (including "f--k" and the "N" word).
What's the story?
GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN' centers on Marcus (50 Cent), whose mother is killed when he's only eight years old. Luckily, he's surrounded by friends, family, and would-be killers who repeatedly declare their love for him. The film opens with Marcus' shooting -- based on 50 Cent's famous "nine times," then segues into flashback of his youth. His search for the father he never knew, which leads to relationships with outsized men, including brutal Majestic (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and cellmate Bama (Terrence Howard), who becomes his rap music manager. The partners' release from prison leads to a collision with Majestic, who feels possessive toward Marcus as his "hardest working" dealer. Before it ends, the movie returns to Marcus' shooting as Marcus lies on an ER surgery table. On finding that Marcus is still alive, Majestic demonstrates the film's most hysterical love. After he assaults one non-Marcus associate with a machete, Majestic arrives for Marcus' big opening at a local club. Unable to convince his onetime protégé to step back, Majestic goads him into a fight. Barely conscious after he's been throttled and beaten, Majestic gurgles, "I love you, man." Everybody does.
Is it any good?
In this mythic, formulaic, and utterly earnest movie, everybody loves Marcus. He appears repeatedly in the sort of elegant, evocative filtered-light frames favored by director Jim Sheridan and DP Declan Quinn. This visual softening underlines Marcus' fundamental decency and devotion to his mother.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Marcus' choices: to be a drug dealer (to "get paid") or to try another route to "get out of the ghetto." How does the movie make Marcus sympathetic despite the fact that we see him shoot another dealer? How does this story add to the myth that 50 Cent has created about his life? Does the movie glamorize a violent lifestyle? Do your kids think this movie is true?
- In theaters: November 9, 2005
- On DVD or streaming: March 28, 2006
- Cast: 50 Cent, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Terrence Howard
- Director: Jim Sheridan
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 134 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence, pervasive language, drug content, sexuality and nudity
For kids who love rap
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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.