Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Hope & Fury: MLK, the Movement and the Media

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Civil rights documentary has graphic violence and racism.

Movie NR 2018 85 minutes
Hope & Fury: MLK, the Movement and the Media Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

A solid examination of the role that the media plays in advancing and suppressing racism, this documentary broadens its scope beyond the iconic work of Martin Luther King Jr. while keeping him at its center. First broadcast by NBC in 2018, Hope & Fury: MLK, the Movement and the Media was one of several programs that marked the 50th anniversary of King's assassination. An opening sequence that replays the graphic images streamed online shortly after the shooting of Philando Castile by police officers in 2016 is typical of the unflinching look this documentary takes at the way in which racial tensions continue to cause problems in U.S. society. The inclusion of modern-day Black Lives Matters activists such as Brittany Packnett Cunningham help contextualize this further, citing numerous examples of controversial deaths of many Black American citizens and how these have been amplified by both traditional press coverage and social media.

Because of the lengthy historical period that the documentary covers -- stretching back to the 1955 murder of Emmett Louis Till -- there is a lot of ground to cover in its 85-minute runtime, so it's best to view this as both a primer and a reminder of several important incidents. There's also a question of whether this documentary could've explored how ownership of different press outlets can affect coverage. Instead, it prefers to hit the same point repeatedly about how mass media can help but also polarize views about civil rights issues. But this is still a well-crafted explainer of why the media and societal change are indivisible, and how in his handling of the media, King was a pioneering figure in more ways than many people might realize.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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