A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Despite plenty of destructive behavior, the ultimate message of the film is strongly positive: Women must protect themselves and their children from abusive spousal behavior. It takes great courage and perserverance to get out of a complicated interdependent relationship, but the end result is positive and life-affirming. The Buddhist precept, "If you look in life's mirror and see yourself clearly, you can change anything," is a mantra used repeatedly to great advantage.
Positive Role Models
Tina Turner is initially seen as naive, dependent, and easily taken advantage of. Over the course of the film, she learns self-determination, wisdom, and acquires great courage and faith. There are no main male characters seen in a positive light. Ike Turner and his cronies are self-promoting, insensitive, disloyal, sex-obsessed and misogynistic. Ike, himself, is a consistent heel, never able to conquer the demons that make him violent, cruel, and self-destructive.
Violence & Scariness
Several disturbing scenes of domestic violence including fierce open-handed slaps, beating with fists and a shoe, dragging, brandishing a gun, hair pulling, and choking. In all instances, results of the beatings are clearly visible: blood, swelling, abrasions, etc. In one extended terrifying scene using head shots only, Tina Turner is raped by her husband. A young woman threatens a character with a loaded gun, then moves into a bathroom from which gunshots are heard. The self-inflicted injuries do not result in death.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One prolonged love-making scene with passionate kissing, embracing, and implied full sexual intercourse. Kissing, embracing, and sensual behavior among many characters in other scenes as well. The movie vividly details Tina Turner's trademark performance persona: short, sexy clothing and lots of sensual movement and dancing.
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Frequent use of coarse, sexual language, usually uttered in anger and with the intent to insult and degrade. Many forms of "f--k," including "motherf--k," "s--t," "ass," "Goddamn," and numerous instances of racial slurs, including the "N" word.
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Products & Purchases
Coca Cola, Lux soap, Trailways buses, Fairmont Hotel, Ramada Inn, A & P Markets.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Continuous drinking and smoking throughout. Characters hold bottles of beer, shots, mixed drinks and cigarettes or cigars in clubs, at parties, during musical recording sessions, relaxing at home, et al. Cocaine abuse is seen to add fuel to Ike Turner's increasingly violent and erratic behavior. Tina Turner attempts suicide using pills.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this adult movie about an iconic musical star and her abusive husband-partner is violent, sexual, and filled with obscenities, alcohol, and drug-induced behavior. A husband graphically terrorizes and brutalizes his pliant, forgiving wife in many scenes (including an extended rape sequence). The bloody aftermaths pile up until she attempts suicide and then even beyond that. Characters drink, smoke, use cocaine, and swear (continuous use of "f--k," in many forms, as well as some racial slurs and other coarse language). There is also consensual sexual behavior, with a long passionate love scene between the two leads which includes implied intercourse and some partial male nudity. The musical performances are faithful to the Tina Turner imprint, with lots of sexy clothing and exuberantly sensual dancing. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie is fueled by dazzling performances from both Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. What's more, it's shot by director Brian Gibson with extraordinary faithfulness to the style and substance of Tina Turner's greatest hits and stage moments (both with her husband and on her own). This is a two-hour journey from the lowest lows -- many graphically brutal scenes with the unrepentant Svengali that was Ike Turner -- to the highest highs -- the fantastic Bassett re-creating Tina's iconic performances with her own astonishing versatility. The voice is always original Tina, but Fishburne's rendition of the Ike Turner sound is more than credible. The soaring talent nearly destroyed by adversity and victimhood is a familiar story, but when combined with the unique sound, style and persona that is Tina Turner, and the commitment of the two stars, it's a thoroughly engrossing film.
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.