A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Tragedy brought someone to do "the right thing for the first time" in her life. "Justice and revenge, they are just about the same thing."
Positive Role Models
Belinda is a highly flawed parent who shrugged off her sons' criminal activity and herself dealt drugs to support an addiction. She relentlessly pursues an investigation of gang members who murdered her daughter, then admits the role her own behavior played in the tragic events that left her mourning the loss of her beloved daughter. This leads her to become more forgiving of others.
Violence & Scariness
A young woman is shot and killed through the window of an SUV by a gang member for no apparent reason. Numerous people involved have violent pasts. Gang members threaten outsiders and members with murder. A turncoat gang member's family's home is burned to the ground by vengeful gang members. Belinda's methodical and manipulative impersonation online underscores the dangers of befriending strangers on the internet. A woman threatens to kill the person who murdered her daughter.
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"F--k," "s--t," " "bitch," and "sucks."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Meth addiction and illegal drug dealing are part of the story.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Why Did You Kill Me? Is a true-crime documentary about a mother who uses the social media app MySpace to find and entrap gang members who played a role in her innocent daughter's murder. The filmmakers go to lengths to present viewpoints of all the players, including police and the perpetrators themselves. Meth addiction and illegal drug dealing are part of the story. Language includes frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and "sucks." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
True-crime fans will find a lot to discuss and ponder. Why Did You Kill Me? takes a complex set of facts -- a random murder; California gangs and the socio-economic hardships that create them; a blameless victim from a family with its own history of felons and drug abusers -- and demonstrates the ingenuity of relatives who track down the killer when the trail goes cold for the police. Given all the tangents, director Frederick Munk wrangles this unwieldy story into a cogent and dramatically absorbing narrative. Lay "detectives" using the internet and social media to perform their own productive crime investigations have been chronicled in other movies, but this one shows that dogged determination can take highly motivated people to places the police might not go. Without being preachy, the documentary raises reasonable questions about the inevitability of gang violence where society provides few alternative, law-abiding paths to struggling young people.
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.