Pause for kids 16 & under
Complex Spike Lee drama starts hopeful, turns very dark.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that director Spike Lee's Brooklyn-set drama Red Hook Summer focuses on a 13-year-old boy, a neighborhood girl the same age, and his grandfather -- a bishop in a local church. As the movie reaches its final stretch, there's a subplot about child molesting; even though nothing is actually shown, it's very intense. Language also increases as the film goes along, moving from a few uses of "s--t" and the "N" word to harsher words like "c--ksucker" and "motherf----r." Other violence includes arguments and shouting and a scene of an adult pushing a boy up against a door frame. Sexual innuendo is mild and infrequent (mostly some talk about pregnant girls), but product placement is strong, with frequent use and mention of an Apple iPad in particular, plus some other products. Overall, Red Hook Summer is a film with complex messages that's clearly intended for more mature viewers.
- Families can talk about Red Hook Summer's violence and suggested sexual violence. How shocking is it? How does it affect your perception of the story or the characters?
- Is the bishop a role model? Does his past deed overshadow the rest of the good he has tried to do?
- What does Flik learn over the course of the summer?
- Does this movie encourage faith and religion, or is it more ambiguous?