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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This take on origin story of the USA, including intricacies of early political in-fighting, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers, holds plenty of inspiration, relevant lessons for viewers today. Also has messages of empowerment for people of color, women, immigrants. On the downside, the realities of slavery and the fact that many of these historical figures owned enslaved people are minimized.
Positive Role Models
Casting these all-White historical figures with diverse group of actors offers reimagined role models for young people thinking about what it means to be American. Characters are largely depicted as intelligent, persevering, brave, faithful, and/or funny, but they're also flawed and reveal jealousy, fierce ambition, disloyalty, and a willingness to die or kill in name of honor or principle. Plus, many owned enslaved people, a fact that's largely minimized/glossed over, and the voices of those people aren't heard in the musical. Angelica does speak up in favor of including "women in the sequel," drawing attention to fact that United States' founders focused almost exclusively on rights of White men.
Violence & Scariness
Hamilton and his son are both killed (shot) in duels. Men call each other to revolution and war. Soldiers dance with weapons while gun and cannon blasts sound in the background. A suicide by hanging is alluded to. Hamilton says he should have shot someone "in the mouth." Arguments.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Hamilton and Eliza share a kiss on their wedding day. Even after he's married, Hamilton flirts with his sister-in-law and has an affair with another woman, highlighted in a somewhat steamy dance number. Song lyrics include reference to intercourse, "deflowering" women, stripping "down to our socks," and keeping a woman's "bed warm" while her husband is away. Aaron Burr has a long-running affair with another man's wife.
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Two uses of "f--k" have been cut from the original version, but plenty of strong language remains, including one "f--k," various forms of "s--t," "damn," "bastard," "whore," hell," "ass," and "pr--k," and "God" and "Jesus Christ" used as exclamations.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink socially at various events ("pour me another brew, son").
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hamilton is the much anticipated filmed version of the original Broadway production about America's founders. Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote and stars as Alexander Hamilton in the hip-hop-inspired musical. Both young fans of the show and new audiences are likely to be interested in the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning play: It's a true cultural phenomenon, with easily recognizable songs and references. The story does have mature themes, including adultery (there's a steamy number between Hamilton and a mistress) and dangerous rivalry throughout. Language includes a use of "f--k," plus "s--t," damn," "God," "bastard," "whore," hell," "ass," "pr--k," and "Jesus Christ." Darker scenes deal with war and deadly pistol duels. A suicide by hanging is alluded to, and the realities of slavery and the fact that many of these historical figures owned enslaved people are minimized. But there are plenty of inspiring and empowering messages here, as well as a strong theme of perseverance. And casting these White historical figures with a diverse group of actors offers new role models for young people thinking about what it means to be American. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This filmed performance will delight the hordes of die-hard fans of the theater production's now iconic musical score, story, and original cast. It may also give viewers who couldn't get -- or couldn't afford -- a coveted ticket to Hamilton during its extraordinarily successful run on and off Broadway since 2015 the sense that they're catching up on something they missed.
The shift to the small screen does mean a loss of some of the immediacy and emotional punch of a live performance in front of a large and invested audience, but this version offers many rewards of its own. Multiple cameras supply new perspectives on the action, from bird's-eye views above the stage to close-ups that allow viewers to really see the actors' expressions -- right down to King George's spittle during his hilarious numbers. Fans can stop, rewind, repeat, and study these original, groundbreaking performances. Captured on film principally during a live Broadway show in 2016, the moments that seem to get the biggest applause in this recording are the most political: one-liners about enslaved people, women, and immigrants. It reminds you why Hamilton continues to feel so contemporary, relevant, and valuable -- in any format.
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.