(2018) (Amandla Stenberg, Russell Hornsby) (PG-13)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: A black teenager tries to figure out what to do after a fatal police shooting of her childhood friend by a white cop where she was the only witness.
- Starr Carter (AMANDLA STENBERG) is a 16-year-old girl who lives two lives. One is in the predominantly black neighborhood of Garden Heights where her father, Maverick 'Mav' Carter (RUSSELL HORNSBY), was once the right-hand man to local drug kingpin, King (ANTHONY MACKIE). But after serving several years in prison for him, Mav has gone straight, runs a local grocery mart and wants to provide for his family. Beyond his wife Lisa (REGINA HALL) and Starr, there's her half-brother Seven (LAMAR JOHNSON) who Mav had with another woman, and younger brother Sekani (TJ WRIGHT).
Starr's other half is as a student at the mostly all-white Williamson private school where the teen has friends in Hailey (SABRINA CARPENTER) and Maya (MEGAN LAWLESS) and is dating Chris (K.J. APA), the latter unbeknownst to her parents and especially her father who wouldn't understand her dating a white boy. Mav and Lisa have sent them there not only for a better education, but also to keep them safe from the bad elements in their neighborhood, one of which Mav views as the police.
Starr knows his rules about how to act if ever stopped by one, and she implores her childhood friend Khalil (ALGEE SMITH) to follow them when they're pulled over by a white cop one night. But he doesn't and the cop, mistaking a hairbrush the teen has grabbed from the car at night for a handgun, shoots him dead. Starr is understandably shell-shocked and doesn't tell anyone at her school that she was the witness, something King suggests is good advice for her to follow in general, what with the teen having been a drug dealer for him.
Starr's cop uncle, Carlos (COMMON), tries to help her get through this, as does social activist April Ofrah (ISSA RAE) who'd like the teen to speak to the press and public about what she witnessed. From that point on, and with pressure coming at her from all sides, Starr tries to decide what to do.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- The fact that the film touches on real-life matters in many communities, it's possible it could be of interest to teenagers.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
- For mature thematic elements, some violent content, drug material and language.
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