A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie highlights the inequality of historically marginalized and underserved communities -- particularly those from immigrant backgrounds -- and how this can often lead people to criminal behavior. Racially-motivated police brutality.
Positive Role Models
Vinz, Saïd, and Hubert are intelligent young men, who have fallen victim to the system and been shaped by the society they have grown up in. They commit various crimes, including smoking and selling drugs, stealing cars, and pick pocketing. They can be violent and also display misogynistic behavior. The police interrogate and use dirty tactics, humiliating the three main characters. They display racist behavior, often presenting itself in the form of police brutality.
The film is incredibly diverse, featuring a trio of central characters who are Jewish, Muslim, and Black, respectively, all of whom are from underserved backgrounds. The film is set in the historically marginalized immigrant communities of suburban Paris, with a focus on North African refugees and migrants. There are, however, no real female characters of note.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
The film opens with real news footage of protests, showing looting and burning cars. Killings include one particularly graphic murder where someone is shot in the head. Character plays Russian roulette. Violent encounters between the public and the police. Racially motivated attacks. Fascists spit at their victims. Someone is captured at gunpoint, but when the person with the gun goes to kill them, they realize they cannot pull the trigger. Violent threats including someone saying that they will cut another's throat.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Graphic sexual references, including a discussion about oral sex. But no scenes of a sexual nature.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Countless uses of the word "f--k" as well as words like "a--hole," "s--t," and "p---y." Characters use racist language. A Jewish character is referred to as a "kike" and fascist skinheads refer to a Black character as the "N" word. A character calls another a "retard."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are seen rolling joints and smoking marijuana. One character cuts up hashish with the intention to sell it. Characters also smoke cigarettes.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that La Haine is a superb but very violent French drama (with English subtitles) that shines a light on societal issues including police brutality, immigration, and racism. Shot entirely in black and white, three friends -- Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui), and Hubert (Hubert Koundé) -- wander the streets of the Parisian suburbs after a violent riot. The trio are all deeply flawed. They carry weapons, steal, and sell drugs. They are also misogynistic. But, to a degree, they are sympathetic, seemingly victims of a system not designed to help people from marginalized backgrounds -- Vinz is Jewish, Saïd is of North African descent, Hubert is Black, and all three are from lower-income homes. The trio are at the receiving end of racially-motivated police brutality as well as racist attacks by fascists. The language is strong and frequent, ranging from "f--k" and "s--t" to racist slurs such as "kike" and the "N" word. Characters can be seen smoking and selling drugs, as well as smoking cigarettes. Sex is referenced rather than shown, though often crudely and in misogynistic terms. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
One of the most striking and powerful films in cinema history, this hard-hitting French drama was directed by Mathieu Kassovitz when he was just 27 years old. La Haine has an energy and anger that was reflective of its time, and what's more it remains disturbingly still pertinent today. Kassovitz's decision to shoot in black and white gives the film a timeless quality, and given it's about police brutality against marginalized communities, its relevance is sobering.
Earning the filmmaker the Best Director award at Cannes, it feels like a film that was made by someone young. Its unapologetic rawness and punk-like indignation toward the system makes it one of the most profound, political films in French history. The leading trio of performers are all exceptional, with Vincent Cassel's stunning turn as the angry Vinz bringing him to the attention of international audiences. La Haine is a film that everybody needs to see, at least once.
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.