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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There's plenty of gritty material in this drama, and characters certainly behave in very questionable ways, but there are also take-aways about the importance of family.
Positive Role Models
A drug dealer and his girlfriend seek and briefly take custody of her daughters -- despite their obvious inability to care for them -- and eventually abuse them (bruises on one girl's back are shown); a vengeful father crashes his car into his ex-wife's -- technicalities (and lack of witnesses) allow him to escape justice until the film's end; complaints about the ineffectiveness of politicians and police in underclass neighborhood; haughty upper-class women disparage a mechanic's status and "intentions" regarding their friend.
Violence & Scariness
Child abuse is suggested (visible bruises, etc.); fights involve shoving, punching, and kicking; Jenny clobbers a dealer who owes Joe money, then watches and laughs as Joe's crew kicks the guy (when her children cry, she laughs at them, too); Willie appears with a cut face and a bandage on the arm, attributing it to a knife attack; the climax is initiated by a violent car crash, then a fight in the street (bloody, aggressive punching and kicking, followed by attacks with a pan and a pole). Reference to a rape.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirting between romantic leads; sexual activity implied by kissing; sexual activity initiated by drinking; some tight and/or cleavage-revealing outfits; some slangy allusions (wannabe rapper admires a woman's "sexy-ass lips" and wants her legs around his waist and face); some derogatory sexualized language ("tramp," "slut," "whoring around"); Cynthia appears in bed with her boyfriend, both in their underwear and under the covers.
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Mostly mild language, including "hell," "ass," and "damn," as well as derogatory remarks concerning Monty's work as a limo driver ("little massa's boy," "slave," "Steppin' Fetchit").
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Products & Purchases
Reference to TV show Punk'd; shot of a Pepperidge Farm treats bag.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Jenny smokes cigarettes (even after her mother, also a smoker, dies of lung cancer); repeated references to Joe's drug dealing; reference to "crackhead" and brief, opening-credits-sequence shot of man who appears to be a junkie; Sierra brings a joint to school, having been instructed to sell it (Joe and her mother believe she needs a "hustle"); characters drink wine, beer, and liquor; after a night in a bar downing shots, Julia drunkenly pursues sex with Monty, who goes along until she bolts off screen to vomit in the bathroom (repeatedly).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the movie includes scenes that show and imply child abuse. One character reportedly hits her youngest daughter (bruises are visible on the girl's back), a drug dealer sends a 12-year-old to school with a joint to sell, and an irresponsible mother yells at her three daughters, offers her 12-year-old a drink, and insists they all watch a brutal beating in order to make them "tough." The mother smokes cigarettes and wears revealing clothing. The kind grandmother dies of lung cancer. There's yelling and some pushing and hitting between a father and a bad boyfriend; the showdown begins with violent car crash and ends with ferocious beatings in the street. Reference to a rape. A drunken sexual initiation leads to off-screen vomiting instead of sex. Brief kissing leads to off-screen sex. Language is mild, but the derisive terms "Steppin' Fetchit" and "slave" are used. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
None of Tyler Perry's movies are subtle, but in DADDY'S LITTLE GIRLS, he makes the mistake of omitting his broadest invention: the wildly popular drag character Madea. Instead, this film digs into Perry's most melodramatic and stereotypical inclinations to date, exploring class conflicts, single parenting, and the horrible ways that drugs, violence, and gang-bangers affect regular folks in an Atlanta neighborhood.
A disappointingly outsized villain, Jenny fills up the space left by Madea -- only she's not as strong, entertaining, or even convincing as Perry's alter ego.
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.