The Hate U Give Is a Must-See Movie


“The Hate U Give” opened two weekends ago and has done robust business in a limited release. The drama has earned some of the best movie reviews of the year. This weekend, it expands to over 2,000 theaters. The timely high school drama feels ripped from the headlines and is an important watch. We need little movies like this to do well and you should consider seeing it!

Don’t dismiss “The Hate U Give” as just a kid’s movie. It might be set in high school, but the drama deals with serious, adult issues that plague America. I found the performance very good including Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, and Algee Smith. It is ideal for high schoolers to watch but I hope adults watch it, too. Director George Tillman Jr. and Audrey Wells (who passed away earlier this month) elevate the material and setting beyond the youthful worlds of high school where kids have to deal with authentic experiences.

The subject matters like police brutality and code switching are important issues happening in the modern era. “The Hate U Give” felt like a unique movie even though it was set in high school. I really hope students watch this very topical movie and discuss it in a classroom setting. Kids can be absorbed in their cliques and ignore different types of people. One of the most unexpected elements to the movie was Common’s character discussing what police go through. It opened up the movie to allow dialogue on a different perspective.

“The Hate U Give” is an emotional watch juggling both positive and negative reactions. I felt sadness one moment, then anger the next, but there is a little joy sprinkled throughout the movie. A few scenes were very stirring especially centered around Starr. Her traumatic experience with the shooting, the cringe-worthy fight with her white friend, and the climatic protest were some of the big moments during the movie. I was encouraged with the strong Carter family who challenged Starr to be brave and seek truth.

Audiences should find “The Hate U Give” relateble and kudos to Fox for releasing two mainstream movies that deal with topics Middle America avoids but our youth is confronting on a daily basis. (The other being “Love, Simon.”) As a white man, I can say so little about the issues addressed in “The Hate U Give” other than to learn and listen to others experiences. I encourage readers to listen to WBUR’s On-Point’s insightful interview with director George Tillman Jr. and intelligent young activists about the issues. It gives me hope about the future.

“The Hate U Give” is now playing across the country and is highly recommended!

Written by
Kenny admired film criticism as a child when his mother wrote a positive review of Home Alone in his small town Arkansas newspaper and defended it against angry Letters to the Editor. Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies especially the cultural impact of a film, if something is overlooked by Hollywood, or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, specialty releases, an auteur director, a unique premise, branding, and THE much infamous "awards season." Kenny currently lives in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion working as an events marketing coordinator. He spends many Friday nights exit polling for CinemaScore (and his opinions are his own).

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