Compared to Angie Thomas’ YA novel, this adaptation of The Hate U Give feels decidedly like “edutainment.” The story—about the activism of Starr (Amandla Stenberg), a young Black woman, after she witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend by a police officer—feels co-opted, and Starr, as she mourns, is subjected to a series of teaching moments. One of the film’s most ??!? moments involves a monologue Starr’s Uncle Carlos (Common) delivers from a policeman’s point of view. The whole affair feels aimed at non-Black viewers who have only just started paying attention to the struggle Black people face, and who have never needed to have a talk with their parents about how to survive a routine traffic stop.

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