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Our Song Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The movie draws us into the illusion that we're simply eavesdropping on the lives of three inner-city black and Hispanic girls.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Has the courage to work without a net, aware that when you're a teenager, your life is not a story so much as a million possible stories.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune John Petrakis

    Has an assured air, rich with scenes of affection, anger and reconciliation, along with moments of unfeigned humor.

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Directed with such a confident, delicate touch. Nothing is insisted on, yet whole lives are discovered and revealed in vignettes that seem as spontaneous as a laugh or a gasp.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Honest, positive look at urban teens; mature themes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Our Song is the honest, insightful, and positive coming-of-age story of three high school girls. While almost all of the characters are African-American, Latino, or of mixed race, their stories and feelings are typical of kids of all ethnicities. The film considers boy-girl relationships, pregnancy, abortion, and birth control, as well as the broader issues of family, self-respect, and growing up. Underage teens at a party consume marijuana and alcohol, but there is no resulting drunkenness or negative behavior shown. Swearing is frequent: "f--k," "s--t," "ass." It's a thought-provoking film, without much plotting, focused more on character than event.

  • Families can talk about the story's structure and substance. Would you say that the movie resolved or had clear endings for each of the three leading characters? How do you feel about movies that leave some questions unanswered? Try to imagine what would happen to Lanisha, Maria, and Joycelyn over the next years.

  • What techniques are used to make the characters of Lanisha, Maria, and Joycelyn seem real? Does the language seem true-to-life? Do the problems the girls faced feel authentic?

  • Think about the families. What did they have in common? How were they different? Did getting to know their parents give you insight into how each of the girls would deal with their problems?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: This film stresses the importance of close family relationships, friendship, and open communication. Emphasizes trust, thoughtful decision-making, and positive support from others as methods of coping with the many challenges of coming of age generally, and, specifically, in a community where resources are in short supply.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Three teen girls (African-American, Latina, and one of mixed race) on the brink of maturity are called upon to respond to the pressures and stresses of urban life. Each girl and each involved parent has a unique way of coping, with varying degrees of success. The film looks honestly, perceptively, and without judgment at positive and negative behaviors thus letting the viewer come to his or her own conclusions. There are no consequences when the girls shoplift in one scene.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: A young woman on the fringe of the story commits suicide off-camera.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Other than a few kisses, no on-camera sexuality. There are, however, frank discussions about single teen parenting, abortion, sexually-transmitted diseases, and birth control. A prominent story line involves one girl's unexpected pregnancy.

  • language false4

    Language: Lots of cursing and use of obscenities: "f--k" in various forms, "s--t," "ass." One girl wears a T-shirt which reads "S--t Happens." Some additional playful swearing in Spanish, much of which is not translated.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Tommy Hilfiger and Tommy Girl; Essence Magazine, Jet Magazine, Levis.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A party shows underage kids drinking beer and smoking marijuana. One of the girls' fathers is in prison for dealing drugs.