Parents' Guide to

Set It Off

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Friends rob banks in '90s adventure; violence, cursing.

Movie R 1996 123 minutes
Set It Off Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say: Not yet rated

This movie boasts solid performances by Queen Latifah, Pinkett Smith, Fox, and Elise. These are roles that in more conventional movies would be played by men, making this interesting even if just for that reason. Most older teens will already have been exposed to movies with equal or greater doses of violence, drug use, sexual content, language, and social commentary. Set It Off feels a bit long, but that won't keep keen young viewers from observing the unfairness of the way minorities are treated and how difficult it can be to live comfortable and productive lives without the availability of safe and high-quality housing and public education. The vivid, believable characters Gary Gray creates here are seemingly far too smart to rob a bank, and that makes their actions less than plausible at times. But the fact that they believe they have no alternative speaks volumes about their lives.

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