Parents' Guide to

She's Gotta Have It

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Spike Lee's breakout comedy has lots of nudity and sex.

Movie R 1986 84 minutes
She's Gotta Have It Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+


I liked its "mockumentary" style at first, its vivid and bold direction, the acting in general, and a couple of moments and few scenes scattered throughout the movie. Other than that, I think that Spike Lee's directorial debut isn't half as good as it's important and interesting. It's approach to the story is blatantly heavy-handed, it has tons of dull, repetitive and self-indulgent moments, a lot of pacing issues, a predictable ending, and the three main male characters are quite perfunctory and skin-deep. (5.5/10)

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

The movie that launched Spike Lee's career takes a humorous and sometimes dark look at Nola Darling's struggle to keep control of her own life and body in 1986 Brooklyn. Filmed in black and white, and structured as a series of flashbacks from people being interviewed about their relationships with Nola, this "mockumentary" doesn't pass judgment on any of the characters, inviting viewers to draw their own conclusions.

Legend has it that She's Gotta Have It was filmed on a shoestring budget in 12 days, with absolutely no retakes of anything. That may explain why a lot of the actors sound more like they're reading out loud than speaking naturally. Still, it's a sometimes funny, always insightful, effective character study. It also asks questions as important today as they were in 1986, about female empowerment, African-American representation in the media, sex, and sexuality. The frequent sex scenes and nudity make it best for mature teens ready to tackle these and lots of other adult issues.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

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