A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Again, the hero is a drug dealer, though he learns to "express himself" in music rather than violence.
Violence & Scariness
Shooting opens the film (brutal assault on hero, who then tells his story in flashback); multiple shootings, stabbings, fist fights, and one death by machete.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual language and slang for genitals; two sex scenes (one implied, the second shot in softlit body-part close-ups); naked male prisoners fight in a shower (long shot on this scene holds for a couple of minutes, to show bodies in desperate struggle).
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Frequent cursing (including f-word) and use of n-word, in dialogue and lyrics.
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Products & Purchases
Young characters yearn for new sneakers; discussion of wanting money to buy shoes and other gear.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Hero is a drug dealer who goes straight; film includes smoking, drinking, and drug use and making.
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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). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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.