The Hate U Give

Director: George Tillman, Jr.
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 2.0

African-American teenager Starr (Amandla Stenberg), who goes to a preppy school with predominately Caucasian students and is even dating a white guy, sees her childhood friend Khalil (Algee Smith) gunned down by the police during a "routine traffic stop" (cough cough) because the officer thought a hairbrush was a firearm, which causes internal conflict between her home-life in the projects and her attempt to fit in with rich, white culture. There are a lot of good points made in this - about the fear in police who are in high-crime areas, the lack of jobs in black communities and the 'easy out' into selling drugs - but a movie shouldn't feel like a two-hour lecture, which is precisely what is (every scene is basically a political talking point, which gets tiring) - to repeat something I've written previously, actual racists aren't watching these movies and taking notes about how to improve themselves. Starr comes across as (a.) understandably wounded but also (b.) a bit of a snit, who is convinced she's right all the time and all too eager to be confrontational. There is a great scene with Common - playing a cop - where he tells Starr the world is a complicated place, and then she runs off and says it isn't ... except Common is actually correct, because extremes on both sides don't necessarily see the gray area in the middle.