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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive themes of empathy, perseverance, resisting injustice in response to overwhelming bigotry and violence.
Positive Role Models
Kenneth Chamberlain displays perseverance when faced with police officers who lie, manipulate, and use hate speech when they violently force themselves into his home. Officer Rossi and a number of onlookers practice empathy and attempt to intervene.
Main character is an elderly Black disabled veteran with bipolar disorder. Police officers are predominantly White, and onlookers are predominantly people of color.
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Violence & Scariness
Police officers force themselves into Chamberlain's home, push him to the ground, and use force, including tasers. Character shown dead on the ground. Anti-Black hate speech.
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Occasional use of the words "f--k," "s--t," and the "N" word. Anti-Black hate speech.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain is a drama about a disabled Black veteran who's killed by racially motivated cops when his medical alert system is accidentally activated. When Kenneth (Frankie Faison) explains the misunderstanding to the police and exercises his right to refuse unreasonable search without a warrant, the police call for backup. Mature content includes use of the words "f--k," "s--t," and the "N" word; anti-Black hate speech; and punching, shoving, and taser use resulting in death. Kenneth displays perseverance and resistance, and some onlookers, including a police officer, practice empathy and attempt to intervene. But the movie's overwhelming themes are the violence and bigotry displayed by the cops. Steve O'Connell and Enrico Natale co-star. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain is a representative story of the many instances of racially motivated police brutality in the United States. Star Faison expertly holds the intersection of an elderly, Black, disabled veteran who's steadfast in protecting the rights of U.S. citizens -- in this instance, his own rights. His logic is sometimes flawed, and his communication is often incoherent, but he's human, and he deserves protection. The movie feels play-like, with one incident, one location, and a small cast. The racist White cops play their part but with very little subtlety -- using phrases like "these people" and referring to Kenneth as a "boy" and using the "N" word. That said, while the cops are one-dimensional, this is a movie about exposing the dimensionality and humanity of a Black man in a society where those inherent truths are so often overlooked.
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.