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Parents' Guide to

The Ride

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Language, violence in biopic with anti-racist messages.

Movie PG-13 2020 98 minutes
The Ride Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 14+
age 6+

Little known but greatly loved

Wow, what a true story. We loved it. Hope you do too.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (1 ):

The Ride takes a bit to warm up and ends with an action sequence involving a BMX biking competition, but it's what comes in the middle of this affecting biopic that will stay with viewers. The relationship between father and adopted son unfolds in a series of moving scenes between Ludacris and Graham. One, in which Eldridge teaches John to ride a bike, memorably conveys both the teen's stolen childhood and the developing trust and tenderness between the two men. Meanwhile, Graham transmits John's slow acceptance of the possibility of a future outside of bars through both his facial expressions and the way his shoulders appear to physically relax over the course of the movie.

The script, based on a true story that originally took place in Scotland, has bumped John's age up by several years and moved him to America. It also handles the topic of racism relatively lightly. Eldridge cuts racial difference down to a question of "melanin." John and Eldridge exchange racist barbs sharply at first and later jokingly, including one Eldridge hails as "clever, tasteless, and offensive!" The racist youth are basically background characters, including John's brother, who represents the past and what might have become of John. The suggestion seems to be that inherited racism, especially in kids, can be unlearned. John is portrayed as more victim than perpetrator, ultimately making both the character and his story more suitable for a younger audience.

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