Higher Learning

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3 1/2

Columbus University's freshman class includes a mixed bag of people. Naive Kristen (Kristy Swanson) shows distrust for blacks, but ends up with a black roommate. Malik Williams (Omar Epps) comes from the ghettoes of L.A. and gets a white roommate, Remy (Michael Rappart), from Idaho. All three struggle with fitting in. Malik struggles with being a minority on campus and is taken in by "Fudge" Smith (Ice Cube) a six-year senior. He and others help Malik learn to think on his own. Kristen joins a feminist group after a date-rape, and Remy (Michael Rappart) falls in with a group of skin-heads. These different lives come together in a campus peace rally that ends in violence. From the director of BOYZ IN THE HOOD, HIGHER LEARNING will not have wide audience appeal.

This film stereotypes both ethnic groups and college students. Students drink beer and liquor to excess, and one scene shows a bag of marijuana being shared. When Kristen drinks too much, she goes home with a boy for sex. She complains to Fudge and friends that she was date-raped because her partner refused to use protection. Her friends' solution is to threaten the boy with physical violence. Meanwhile Kristen is drawn to a feminist group led by a lesbian, and fantasizes about kissing her when she's with a boy. The skin-heads talk about brotherhood, but then go out and beat a black man and white girl walking together. Both blacks and skin-heads use ethnic slurs, usually in a string of obscenities. Obscenities are also part of background rap music. An off-screen suicide begins with Remy putting a gun in his mouth. HIGHER LEARNING's abominable content is hardly educational.

Preview Reviewer: Paul R. Bicking
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (28) times - Mild 6, Moderate 22

Obscene Language: Many (105) (f-word 79, s-word 23, other 3)

Profanity: Several (5) times - Regular 3 (GD, JC), Exclamatory 2

Violence: Several times - Moderate and severe (hits, kicks, bloody knuckles, pistol threats, gunshots, suicide gun in mouth)

Sex: Twice (obscured nudity), implied once

Nudity: Male rear once

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (sensual caressing)

Drugs: Marijuana use at party, alcohol abuse

Other: Racial/ethnic slurs; safe sex emphasized

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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