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LUV Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The rapper and actor Common has become a highly skilled screen star, but this touchy-feely dud does him wrong.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter David Rooney

    Even if some of them are playing hackneyed gangster-film types, the strength of the actors makes it almost possible to forgive the formulaic plotting and artificially movie-ish developments. Candis and Justin Wilson's screenplay stretches credibility thinner and thinner as the story advances.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    An uneven but strongly acted debut feature from co-writer and director Sheldon Candis.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Here is a film about African Americans that sidesteps all the usual, hopeful cliches and comments on how one failed generation raises another.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Gritty drama follows young boy exposed to violence, drugs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LUV is a gritty drama that follows a young boy who spends the day tagging along with his fresh-out-of-prison uncle, who's at risk of being pulled back into the underworld. The boy is exposed to several violent encounters with drug dealers and is repeatedly threatened at gunpoint, all of which can be very distressing to watch. Expect plenty of additional violence and rough language (including "f--k" and the "N" word), as well as some drinking and drug content/references.

  • Families can talk about how LUV depicts Woody and Vincent's day. Do their experiences and the people they meet seem realistic? Do you think things like this happen in real life?
  • What is Vincent trying to teach Woody during the film? Do you think these are appropriate lessons for a young boy?
  • Talk about Vincent's choices. Why do you think he went to prison, and what is he trying to accomplish now?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Woody's uncle Vincent promises to teach him what it means to be a man, but the lessons in real life soon turn unpleasant. Woody learns that, for an ex-con, real life sometimes means encounters with violent drug dealers, old girlfriends who've moved on, and old friends who might not be as helpful as they claim.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Vincent initially seems like a great uncle, taking Woody along for an exciting day of grown-up activities. But the lessons eventually turn dark as the two are dragged into very adult situations, making viewers question Vincent's judgment in letting a child participate in potentially deadly activities.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: A young boy is exposed to drug deals, violent beatings, and murder while tagging along with his adult uncle. They're threatened at gunpoint at one point, and he's forced to pick up a pistol during another deal gone awry; his uncle berates him afterward for freezing during the conflict.

  • sex false1

    Sex: An adult tries to give his young nephew some tips on flirting with women.

  • language false4

    Language: Frequent swearing, with "f--k" and "s--t" in almost every sentence. African Americans frequently refer to each other using the "N" word.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: The main characters spend the day running errands in a fancy Mercedes.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink beer during a meal, and they offer one to a young boy. Several scenes feature drug dealers arranging transactions.