Hotel Rwanda

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Hotel Rwanda Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Excellent but disturbing film is too intense for kids.
  • PG-13
  • 2004
  • 115 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 19 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Intense and constant peril, machetes and guns, dead bodies, non-graphic violence, characters beaten and killed.


Some mild language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking cigars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie includes a realistic, though mostly non-graphic, depiction of genocide and compellingly portrays the sense of horror and insanity. Characters drink, smoke, and use some mild language.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5-year-old Written byGrandpaD58 August 18, 2019
Adult Written byMisterB February 12, 2019

Inspirational - it deals with a difficult reality with style and class.

This film addresses a difficult issue - ethnic cleansing/genocide - but does it in a way that shows the power of standing up for principle, and the dignity of h... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byJanelle Hope November 19, 2013

Excellent, but frightening content to be examined.

"Hotel Rwanda" was definitely on my top 10. However, parents need to decide whether the content is appropriate for their children. Paul Rusesabagina i... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byDawgamer05 April 10, 2020

Most teens should be able to handle it.

Its violent not over the top but still pretty hard stuff for pg 13. There's brief sexual content but its not that bad theres also swearing but nothing mos... Continue reading

What's the story?

HOTEL RWANDA reveals the story of Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), manager at a luxury hotel and the man who always knows what it took to get things done and survive in an explosive political situation. Two ethnic groups, the nomadic Tutsis (also known as Watutsis) and the agricultural Hutus had been pitted against each other by the white Belgian settlers, who literally measured skin tone and nose width to elevate the Tutsis to preferred positions. When the conflict exploded into violence in 1994, the Hutus began a full-scale slaughter of over 800,000 Tutsis and any Hutus who supported them. Amidst this madness, Rusesabagina hid more than 1000 Tutsis in his hotel. Using the same skills that made him successful as a hotel manager, he cajoles, barters, and bluffs his way into keeping them safe, and keeps hoping for help from the UN or the US.

Is it any good?

Cheadle is infinitely moving as Rusesabagina and Sophie Okonedo is quietly magnificent as his wife. The sensitivity of their performances is matched by the script and direction, which make their points, both personal and political, with grace, not bitterness.

Like Schindler's List, this film takes us deeply into the horror of one of the 20th century's greatest tragedies by allowing us to focus on the illumination cast by one small story of grace, courage, and humanity.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about about the slaughter in Rwanda and how the role of the UN and other nations is determined. Families could also talk about the way that an ordinary man became capable of extraordinary courage. How do we know what we would do? How do we make sure we do the right thing?

Movie details

  • In theaters: December 22, 2004
  • On DVD or streaming: April 12, 2005
  • Cast: Don Cheadle, Nick Nolte, Sophie Okonedo
  • Director: Terry George
  • Studio: MGM/UA
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 115 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: violence, disturbing images and brief strong language
  • Last updated: September 21, 2019

Our editors recommend

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate