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Pariah Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

She kissed a girl and... Read full review

4.0

Grae Drake Profile

For the outcast in all of us. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    79

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Rees presents this vivid, hidden culture with raw honesty.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    First-timer Dee Rees offers a fresh take on the overfamiliar coming-out genre.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The film's resolution is uplifting but not unrealistic, and Pariah exercises restraint by not tying up every loose end.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's not fair to say that Ms. Davis steals scenes - one of the movie's strengths is its ensemble cast - but she supercharges every scene she's in.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Pariah reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Smart, sad, empowering film about a teen coming out.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pariah is a compelling coming-of-age story that shows what life is like for a teenage girl who's young, black, female, and gay. There are heartbreaking moments as well as make-you-think storylines, which include fairly mature subject matter -- including a "first time" love scene that may be too intense for younger teens (kissing, but no nudity). Expect plenty of forceful language (including the "N" word and "f--k"), some underage drinking and drug use (marijuana), and painful scenes in which the main character struggles to be honest with her parents about her sexual identity.

  • Families can talk about Alike's situation. What is she afraid of? Is she a relatable character? Would you consider her a role model?
  • How does the movie portray drinking and drug use? Are there realistic consequences?
  • What is the takeaway from Pariah? Is it difficult to compartmentalize and shield part of yourself from your family? Should you have to?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie's most consistent message is that no matter what anyone says or who they are, you should be true to yourself. Determining who you really are and being able to be proud of that is a challenge, but it's worth it.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Alike is the most sympathetic character; she's caring and aims for authenticity. Though she sometimes stumbles in her quest to be true to her real self, she at least tries very hard to be as honest as she can while protecting herself, since so many people around her can't or won't accept her for what she is.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A husband and wife argue loudly and sometimes viciously. Men leer and harass a young woman at a store. Some references to street crime; also, some characters are homophobic and refer to LGBT people with slurs.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A young woman seduces a female classmate who has never had a sexual experience before (no nudity, but some kissing). Teenage girls ogle strippers at a bar. One scene shows a clothed woman wearing a phallic sex toy. A man is having an affair -- viewers don't see any of the trysts, but there are major hints -- but vehemently denies it.

  • language false4

    Language: Coarse language throughout includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "d--k," and the "N" word.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Underage drinking and pot smoking at bars, parties, and gatherings.

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