A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
One person can make a positive difference in the lives of so many others. Set out to make a dream come true.
Positive Role Models
Martin Luther King Jr. became an icon in America's civil rights movement and used nonviolent ways to end racial segregation; 1963's March on Washington attracted multicultural support from notables such as singers Harry Belafonte and Mahalia Jackson, actors Marlon Brando and Burt Lancaster, and novelist James Baldwin; and President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Representations include civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., who became a minister at the age of 25 and received a Nobel Peace Prize a decade later; Barack Obama, first Black U.S. president; African American seamstress Rosa Parks, who defied America's rules of racial segregation; John Lewis, Black U.S. congressman and civil rights activist; Colin Powell, first African American U.S. Secretary of State, Sidney Poitier, first Black man to win a Best Actor Oscar, and Black supermodel Naomi Campbell.
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Violence & Scariness
Images include photos of Martin Luther King Jr.'s body after his assassination, lynchings, police officers attacking protesters with dogs and fire hoses, church bomb killing kids, and Ku Klux Klan burning crosses at rallies.
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Racial slur includes the "N" word; swear words "bulls--t," "hell," and "damn it.”
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Products & Purchases
Representations include smartphones, cameras, and apparel with logos and messages.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Images of smoking; drugs inside a pharmacy.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Martin Luther King Jr.: One Man and His Dream is a bio documentary about the civil rights leader's launch of a movement to end racial discrimination and segregation in America. The film's 2018 release date marked 50 years since King's death. Violent images include photos of King's body after his assassination, lynchings, police officers attacking protesters with dogs and fire hoses, a church bomb killing kids, and Ku Klux Klan burning crosses at rallies. Language includes the "N" word racial slur and swear words "bulls--t," "hell," and "damn it." The documentary's main message is how one person can make a positive difference in the lives of so many others. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
McDonald's film is assuredly one of the most definitive, well-reported documentaries about King's role to rid racial segregation in the United States. According to McDonald in Martin Luther King Jr.: One Man and His Dream, the civil rights leader "dreamed of black and white children playing together. People of all races around the same table." And says supermodel Naomi Campbell about King, "He was fearless. Someone who put himself on the frontline to sacrifice and speak up for the people that couldn't and didn't have a voice." King's influential words still resonate today and may inspire kids and teens to take part in civil rights activism.
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.