Parents' Guide to

Street Kings

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Grim, brutal bad-cop drama isn't meant for kids.

Movie R 2008 107 minutes
Street Kings Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+

good killing movie

good cop killing movie lots of action parents dont let kids see his movie 16 and over for intense violence intense language mild sex and drama

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 14+

Better than the reviews

Very violent and relistic cop moivie. Just caught it on cable...tons of f-bombs and other inapropriate verbage for kids. But...a really intense movie for those that like this type of movie. Whitiker and Reeves are really good in this flick.Overall much better than I was led to believe....BUT NOT FOR KIDS.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (3):

Directed by David Ayer -- who wrote Training Day and wrote and directed Harsh Times -- Street Kings is pretty much more of the same. The lone (white) hero must navigate the mean streets, confront an array of differently raced opponents (including Koreans, Hispanics, and African Americans here), and, oh yes, bed a "hot" Latina love interest (Martha Higareda). While Tom's boss attributes his bad behavior -- drunkenness, use of excessive force, general bad mood -- to the fact that his wife was cheating on him and then died, Tom's lack of focus doesn't actually grant him much in the way of "motive."

Worse, for all the lip service given to Tom's terrific intelligence and instinct, he's awfully slow on the uptake. Viewers can tell which characters he can and can't trust as soon as they pop up on screen, but somehow Tom is tricked repeatedly. By the time he runs into a cliché of a gangster (played by the ever-smooth Common) who calls himself "straight nightmare," you're so far ahead of him that you wonder if he'll ever catch up.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: April 9, 2008
  • On DVD or streaming: August 18, 2008
  • Cast: Chris Evans, Forest Whitaker, Keanu Reeves
  • Director: David Ayer
  • Inclusion Information: Black actors, Polynesian/Pacific Islander actors
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 107 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong violence and pervasive language.
  • Last updated: June 3, 2023

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