Based on the acclaimed novel by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give is a moving, thought-provoking and at times shocking drama that is unforgettable thanks to a superb central performance from Amandla Stenberg.
Teenager Starr (Stenberg) lives in two very different worlds – her home is in a poor, mostly black neighbourhood, but she attends a rich, mostly white prep school in an affluent area and dates one of the boys (Riverdale’s Apa) that goes there.
Driving home one night with her oldest friend Khalil (Smith), the pair are pulled over by a white policeman who fatally shoots Khalil, thinking the teen is reaching for a gun. Raised to protect herself, and act in a way that won’t get her into trouble, in the aftermath Starr has to decide whether to stay silent or stand up for her friend and what is right.
A powerful story that tackles race and racial profiling, violence, drug gangs, black identity and the role of the police, this balances strong scenes that will encourage debate and compassion with small, heart-warming moments that feature Starr and her family.
There’s humour too, from the prep school students who think they are cool talking like street kids (but instead they just sound stupid), and great turns from Hall and Hornsby as Starr’s parents, and Common as her police office uncle. Stenberg’s tough, unflinching and heart-wrenching performance not only makes her a talent to watch but also makes this movie one not to miss.
Is The Hate U Give suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This is a 12A certificate movie and does include adult themes. It is unsuitable for younger children (under age 11).
The shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer is shown, and we also see the teenager dying on the street.
There are drug references and mentions of drug dealing but it is not glamorised.
There is some strong language, and references to racism. Parents should note that the movie depicts drive by shootings and riots, and a gun is fired during a party (but no one is injured).
The violence in the movie is realistic and will upset viewers.
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