Loving

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Loving Movie Poster Image
Moving drama about interracial couple's historic fight.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 123 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Love conquers all, even hatred and prejudice. What matters is the people you love and the life you've built with them -- and standing up for that life and that love against all odds. Compassion and perseverance are strong themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Richard and Mildred seek to change the law not for praise or honor but because they want to be free to love whomever they love, regardless of race or class.

Violence

Some scenes have a menacing air, especially those that hint at people's dark, violent feelings toward Richard and Mildred. A sheriff manhandles a couple when they're arrested. Verbal threats. 

Sex

Kissing.

Language

"Bastards" is heard, as is "damn," "hell," "ass," and the "N" word. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Period-accurate smoking -- especially by one lead character -- and social drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Loving is a powerful drama inspired by the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), an interracial couple who got married in Virginia in 1958, even though it was illegal at the time. The Lovings are arrested, manhandled, and kicked out of their home as a result, and there are scenes with a menacing air due to others' dark, racist feelings toward them. Verbal threats and insults include the "N" word (and "bastard" is said in reference to the Lovings' children). Expect some social drinking and period-accurate smoking. But ultimately the message is one of hope and courage: Love and compassion conquer all, even hatred and prejudice.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byddiesel January 31, 2017

Major Oscar snub

This movie was wonderful historic and should be required viewing. Simple believable and respectable characters fighting for the right to simply live and love.... Continue reading
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bytooprecious December 18, 2016

Mildred is to become an unmarried single mother.....

The review by commonsensemedia does not include the fact that although sex is never shown in the movie, Mildred is pregnant out of wedlock. This obviously p... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byBrigidArmbrust November 19, 2018
Teen, 14 years old Written bymovielover159 March 25, 2017

Slow

I am happy to report that there is no violence, drugs, or iffy content! Although this was a plus, it was all a bit slow and boring. This story is amazing and... Continue reading

What's the story?

In LOVING, it's 1958, and Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) are a newly married interracial couple living in Virginia. They're expecting their first child when they're arrested and thrown into jail because Virginia's miscegenation laws make their union illegal. But their one-year sentence is suspended on the condition they leave Virginia and never return -- at least, not together. Years later, they're living in Washington, D.C., but still longing for their relatives back home and the land on which they grew up and had planned to raise their family. Then the American Civil Liberties Union takes up the Lovings' case on the grounds that they were treated unequally on the basis of race. The fight ends up going all the way to the Supreme Court. 

Is it any good?

This drama is the disciplined, steadfast, and ultimately moving story of one of the most groundbreaking cases ever to reach the Supreme Court. With confident hands, writer-director Jeff Nichols traces the hardships that Richard and Mildred Loving faced on their way to helping overturn the miscegenation laws that for years that prohibited marriage between races in some states, including Virginia.

The challenge for filmmakers taking on real-life events is how to show each step in the story -- some of which may seem more process-focused than exciting when translated to the screen -- while entertaining audiences. Loving succeeds because it quietly and confidently paints a picture of a couple and their family who just want to be left alone to live and love as they wish. Edgerton and Negga are up to the task, their performances subdued but powerful. Loving is a triumph.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Loving depicts the historic events at its center. How accurate do you think it is? Why might filmmakers choose to alter the facts? What are the challenges of adapting a true story for the screen?

  • Are Richard and Mildred role models? Why? How do they demonstrate perseverance? Why is that an important character strength?

  • What does this movie teach us about history and how both laws and public opinion change over time? What other laws targeting specific groups of people have been amended/overturned?

Movie details

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