MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

Set in the seventies, CROOKLYN focuses on the black Carmichael family living in Brooklyn. Written and directed by Spike Lee, it is said to be autobiographical. Schoolteacher Carolyn (Alfre Woodard) struggles to bring up her four boys and one 10-year-old girl properly. Her husband (Delroy Lindo), an unemployed jazz musician, brings home ice cream and candy for his kids. The neighborhood children all play in the street and on the front stoop, sometimes harmoniously and sometimes bickering, but always noisy. Tory, the only daughter (Zelda Harris), has become as tough as her brothers, but is the apple of Carolyn's eye. When Tory is invited to spend the summer with well-to-do relatives in Virginia, Carolyn insists that she go. The Carmichael's electricity has been turned off and they are on food stamps. Tory is not impressed with her over-bearing aunt or her lovely home. At summer's end she returns to Brooklyn only to find a tragic situation has suddenly robbed her of her childhood. The trials and tribulations of the Carmichael family are both hilarious and touching. Viewers with a high tolerance for non-stop noise and appreciation for music of that era will enjoy Crooklyn.

The mother is the disciplinarian who yells in frustration and exhaustion. One boy refuses to eat black-eyed peas as his mother stands over him. Rather than give in to her, he throws up in his plate. When the children fail to clean house while their parents are out, Carolyn drags them out of bed at 2 A.M. to finish their chores. But in spite of her best efforts, the children frequently lie and steal. Tory and a friend shoplift at the local grocery, and Tory even steal her brother's valuable coin collection to buy ice cream. One evening Carolyn and her husband have a bitter quarrel that becomes loud and abusive, and she falls down the stairs. The kids definitely have a cruel streak. They grab a cat by the tail and swing it gleefully. The audience laughed the loudest when Tory's aunt loses her little dog, then opens a sleeper sofa and the dead dog pops out. The foul language flies, including obscenities, regular profanity and many crudities. As young Tory learns, a loving family can overcome a multitude of problems.

Preview Reviewer:

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 (32) times - Mild 13, Moderate 19

Obscene Language: Many (10) times (s-word 5, other 5)

Profanity: Several (9) times - Regular 4, Exclamatory 5

Violence: Many times - Moderate (boy socks man; husband and wife fight, fall down stairs; hitting, slapping; cat swung by tail)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (couple dancing suggestively in grocery store)

Drugs: Few times (two men sniff glue, but not condoned)

Other: Children lie and steal; mother defends children even when they are wrong; boy throws up in plate; girl urinates on floor; TV gospel singers ridiculed)

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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