Parents' Guide to

Service to Man

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Medical school drama about racism has cursing, violence.

Movie NR 2016 92 minutes
Service to Man Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 2+

Based on 1 parent review

age 2+


I have always told you racism is in all people nations

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This movie does a perfectly serviceable job of telling a story that needs to be told, even as it evokes other similar movies about prejudice and bigotry. Think Hidden Figures meets School Ties. Service to Man flips the usual racial bias scenario. Instead of a black student suffering at a mostly white medical school of the 1960s, the focus is on a white Jewish guy from New York negotiating hostility from students and faculty at a largely black Southern med school. But that clever idea suggests an equivalency so false as to belittle the systemic and widespread oppression America has waged against people of color for centuries. A white guy feeling outnumbered at a black school seems petty and inconsequential in comparison. He can step outside into the white world any time he wants and leave behind the conflict, something black students can't do. It's as if violence and racism against blacks is only important in so far as it raises the consciousness of a previously blissfully ignorant Jewish guy from New York. A far more interesting movie could be made about the struggles of the black students at this medical school, who are not only trying to earn medical degrees but also trying to help the needy and stand up against racism.

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