Movie Review: The Hate U give



The Hate U Give
Directed By: George Tillman, Jr.
Screenplay By: Audrey Wells | Angie Thomas (novel)
Cast: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Lamar Johnson, Issa Rae, Sabrina Carpenter, with Common and Anthony Mackie
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right. THE HATE U GIVE is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas and stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr, with Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common and Anthony Mackie.


2018 is a good year for young adult genre films. Though few and far between, this year has had great, learning experience-type films. 

One great movie that everyone should rush out to watch with their favorite young adult is The Hate U Give. Adapted from Angie Thomas' novel, by the same name, Hate tells the of youth exercising the positive power of their voice. 

Hate grabbed the audience from the get-go. The opening scene introduced the audience to a family learning about the harsh realities of racial prejudice, as it related to criminal justice.  Maverick (played by Russell Hornsby) was teaching his children how to react if they are ever apart from each other and encountered by police. Maverick, and his family are Black.

But Hate isn't Maverick's story. Hate is about Starr (played by Amandla Stenberg). Starr's teenage perspective is what connects the audience to the story. Starr lives in one part of town, but goes to high school in another part of town, on purpose. Starr and her siblings attend the private school because Starr's mom (played by Regina Hall) was hoping to spare her children from the bad elements of the family's living environment. 

The script feels real.  Starr's discussion of her two facades and the elaboration of her "school self" and her at "home self" will ring authentic to younger adults, especially as it pertains to social media. Each side of Starr's self introduced its own cast and its own setting. All of the pieces of the puzzle provided broad appeal. Nothing felt too foreign. 

The story was, at times, difficult. But the topics were real. The subjects were timely.  The angst was genuine. The frustration was deserved. 

The musical aspect and connection to Tupac was an added bonus. The rapper's philosophies tied the plot together nicely. It felt like the story was trying to convey an important message and it was willing to take different approaches to that message in order to reach a larger audience. As anyone who has ever had to convey a message to a teenager knows, creativity in message delivery is a plus. 

The movie isn't perfect. The last act of Hate went on a little too long. The point had been made, the audience had been sold, and then, there was a riot, literally. The riot came with an excess ten minutes. Felt somewhat preachy. But all other aspects of the movie were great. 

Go see The Hate U Give. Take any young adult that is willing to be seen with adults in a movie theater. Bring a crowd of teens. It's not too violent or four-lettered to bring the whole family. Hate is a great discussion starter and horizon broadener. Plus, the story is gripping. The Hate U Give is playing everywhere now.


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