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Parents' Guide to

The Five Heartbeats

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

The rise and fall of a flashy, fictional 1960s rock group.

Movie R 1991 121 minutes
The Five Heartbeats Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

A Classic

This movie is a black classic. I recommend everyone watch to see themes and issues that pervaded the Motown era of music for black artists. Issues include racism, crooked music execs, drugs, sex, etc.
age 13+

The Five Heartbeats

One of the best films of all time.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Despite the spirited and exuberant direction by an ambitious Robert Townsend, THE FIVE HEARTBEATS suffers from an inconsistent tone. Comedy and romance awkwardly co-exist with tragedy and murder, plus there's the corny script with way too many hackneyed complications, and some hammy, overripe acting from usually solid performers. Though the musical numbers are staged with gusto, great costumes, and terrific moves, the songs themselves are forgettable and derivative. The result is a shallow, one-dimensional look at stock African-American characters involved in a rags-to-riches story we've seen many times before.

Movie Details

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