The Hate U Give

Out Now On-Demand

Amandla Stenberg (Everything, Everything) witnesses the fatal shooting of her friend by police in this drama based on Angie Thomas's novel.

Raised in a poverty-stricken slum, 16-year-old Starr Carter (Stenberg) now attends a suburban prep school. After she witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend, she's torn between her two very different worlds as she tries to speak her truth.

Trailers

Directed by

Written by

  • Audrey Wells
  • (based on the novel of the same name by Angie Thomas)

Drama

133mins

Rating: M Violence, offensive language, drug references & sexual references

USA

The Hate U Give is a film crafted for emotional impact. Amandla Stenberg is striking as 16-year-old Starr, a girl caught between. She lives in Garden Heights, a fictional, predominantly black neighbourhood scavenged by police and local gangs alike. But to Starr, Garden Heights means family; her father’s grocery store is central to the town. And although Starr loves her community, she doesn’t attend the local, run-down high school; she and her brothers go to Williamson Prep, the private school across town where rich white kids use black slang and Starr code-switches in order to survive.

She manages to keep her two worlds separate until her childhood friend Khalil is shot dead by a white police officer at a cop stop after a party. As the killing’s only witness, Starr is forced into conflict between friends and family, silence and statement, safety and courage.

Based on Angie Thomas’ 2017 young adult novel, screenwriter Audrey Wells, who passed away last October, successfully developed Starr’s voice into one of the first accurate cinematic depictions of the Black Lives Matter movement, and specifically its Generation Z teenagers who move between homework and activism with grace and strength.

George Tillman Jr’s (Notorious, The Longest Yard) direction is evidence of rigorous intention. It’s not the most subtle of movies, meaning the tone often feels clumsily direct. Then again, there’s nothing subtle about the racism that underpins all-consuming structural oppression.

The film perhaps goes a little too easy on the cops, but so does the U. S. justice system. Regina Hall is excellent as Starr’s cautious mother, and Russell Hornsby equally brilliant as her staunch, devoted father. New Zealand’s own KJ Apa stars as Starr’s fumbling, earnest white boyfriend. A robust portrait of the contemporary condition, The Hate U Give is a starkly effective film for teenagers concerned with the effort towards a better world.

Collider

press

Put simply, The Hate U Give is one of the best films of the year.

Vanity Fair

press

The film, directed by George Tillman Jr. and adapted by Audrey Wells, smartly streamlines characters and plots from the book, while inevitably losing some of the neighbourhood colour that made the novel and its characters feel so rich.

Vox

press

The Hate U Give succeeds spectacularly. It's anchored by Stenberg's dynamic performance, but the rest of the cast is uniformly terrific.

Hollywood Reporter

press

Solidly engineered to engage viewers across racial/economic/political spectrums.

The Guardian

press

This is mass-market entertainment with a radical bent, a loudspeaker blast of a teen movie.

Variety (USA)

press

Entertaining, enraging, and ultimately deeply moving, "The Hate U Give" is poised to be a hit, and deserves to be.

Los Angeles Times

press

A moving, emotionally convincing experience.

Rolling Stone

press

An emotional powerhouse about a police shooting of an unarmed black man. Topped by an incandescent Amandla Stenberg, whose performance grows like a gathering storm, Tillman's film snaps like a livewire. It means to shake you - and does.

Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)

press

Compelling twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the more-than-two-hour running time, while the story's tonal gear-changes are not only handled well, but breathtaking in their execution.

NewsHub (Kate Rodger)

press

The Hate U Give feels like just that kind of opportunity, and not only that, this is two hours of unforgettable cinematic storytelling which kept me enthralled from the opening few frames until the closing credits.