Movie review by Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Ray Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Excellent portrayal of extraordinary musician.

PG-13 2004 152 minutes

Parents say

age 14+

Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 16+

Based on 7 reviews

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.

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

a movie about sin, redemption and strength

Before watching this movie I always thought that Ray Charles was born blind. This movie told me that his blindness came by accident because soap fell into his eyes as he was being bathed. He was about 7 at the time. The movie also showed how Ray coped with being blind and the occasional problems that he had because of that condition. The movie also showed how his drug use and his many extramarital affairs very nearly destroyed his marriage, as well as how his marriage healed once he kicked those habits. When Ray Charles refused to perform in a place that didn't allow black customers, he was banned from performing in Georgia. To put it another way, he was banned from that state because he stood up for what he believed in. This movie showed how African-Americans- and people in general- dealt with racial issues in the pre-Civil Rights era. Eventually people agreed with him that the ban was unjust, and the ban was lifted, proving that, if you stand up for what you believe in, people may eventually come around to your way of thinking, and your views, in any event, will be known. While they could've shown more of his music than they did, what they did show came across well. This movie shows the devastating effects of sin, the consequences of sin, and the rewards that follow when one "goes away" from sin. Older teens can learn from this.
age 13+

Ray Charles biopic = fair

It is a good movie with an Oscar-winning performance. Very well deserved. Drugs are the only concern. If you watch with a younger one, assure them it is not good to take in drugs. Other than that, great movie about the life of Ray Charles.

This title has:

Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Coal Miner's Daughter Poster Image

    Coal Miner's Daughter

    Loretta Lynn's tough but heartwarming biopic.

    age 14+
  • Walk the Line Poster Image

    Walk the Line

    Fascinating biopic, best for mature teens and up.

    age 15+
  • La Bamba Poster Image

    La Bamba

    Sweet, sad rock-idol tale has violence, cursing, drinking.

    age 14+

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