A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Meet the Blacks is a spoof of The Purge horror series. Mike Epps stars as a shady Chicago patriarch who uses ill-gotten money to move his family to a posh gated community in Beverly Hills -- right before the annual American purge. Language is constant, with hundreds of uses of the "N" word (by both white and black characters), "f--k," "s--t," "motherf--ker," "a--hole," "p---y," and more. And the second half of the movie is full of violent scenes which are occasionally played for laughs but still bloody and deadly -- several people die from gunshots, explosions, and stabbings. There are also scatological jokes, crass sexual references (including allusions to masturbation, premarital sex, adultery, stalking, and more), and pot smoking.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MEET THE BLACKS feels like a parody mash-up of The Purge movies and the sitcom Black-ish: Chicago-based Carl Black (Mike Epps) steals a drug dealer's cash and weed stash and packs up his family to move to Beverly Hills. Consisting of his curvy Latina wife, Lorena (Zulay Henao); his teen daughter, Allie (Bresha Webb); his wannabe vampire son, Carl Jr. (Alex Henderson); and his recently released from prison cousin, Cronut (Lil Duval), Carl's family arrives in their new neighborhood just as the annual Purge is about to start. As President El Bama (George Lopez) announces, the Purge provides immunity for all crimes committed in one 12-hour window. Although Carl thinks no one in his posh new gated community will Purge, he and his family end up facing a combination of angry white locals upset to have a black family in their midst. And then all of Carl's Chicago enemies descend to kill the Blacks...
Is it any good?
The crass jokes, racist cliches, and casual violence wear thin very quickly, making this Purge spoof a must-skip horror comedy. Not even 10 minutes into the movie, it's obvious what will happen: Everyone Carl Black has swindled, defaulted on, or disrespected will come during the Purge he thinks won't be an issue in posh Beverly Hills. Of course the big laughs are supposed to come courtesy of the fact that the rich white folks act polite and even bring welcome baskets before the Purge but then turn on the Blacks when the consequence-free killing begins.
Performance wise, Henao is surprisingly sympathetic as Carl's trophy wife, but neither of the kids is particularly noteworthy. Henderson's character's obsession with vampires isn't well developed, and Allie is reduced to a stereotypically social-media-obsessed teen whose boyfriend arrives with a one-track mind to have sex and to confront Carl Sr. There's little to redeem this movie, and even small roles played by Mike Tyson and Charlie Murphy are so over the top that it feels like a late-night comedy sketch, not a theatrical release.
Talk to your kids about ...
What's the movie's perspective on race? What do you think of the way it portrays racism in affluent neighborhoods?
The "N" word is used frequently during the movie. Do you think using the word so often makes it any less offensive?
What makes something a spoof? Do you have to be familiar with the original to appreciate a spoof of it?
- In theaters: April 1, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: August 2, 2016
- Cast: Mike Epps, Charlie Murphy, Zulay Henao
- Director: Deon Taylor
- Studio: Freestyle Releasing
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: pervasive language, some sexual material, violence and drug use
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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