Sugar Hill

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3 1/2

After watching their mother die of a drug overdose, seeing their father shot by drug dealers and growing up in a crime infested Harlem neighborhood, brothers Roemello (Wesley Snipes) and Raynathan (Michael Wright) become very successful drug dealers. But Roemello wants out. His father is a pitiful, hopeless addict who barely survived the gang attack on him in front of his young son years ago. Raynathan is a loose cannon who uses more drugs than he sells. Roemello meets Melissa (Theresa Randle), a very classy young lady who is apprehensive about going with the handsome drug dealer, even though she is attracted to him. Suddenly Roemello and Ray's drug monopoly is threatened as a very vicious gang decides to move in on the brothers. Deals, double crosses and brutal murders become almost daily occurrences. Roemello carefully plans his escape, but more tragedies and heartbreak create almost impossible barriers. This depressing drama presents the dark side of the drug underworld that will entertain only those desensitized to violence.

Therein lies the real tragedy of SUGAR HILL. To those respectable, principled viewers, this film appears to send a powerful anti-crime message. But, as one very astute young lady pointed out, youth already flirting with gangs and drugs will see the drama played out on the screen as pure entertainment. Violence is almost non-stop, beginning with the opening scene of a young mother demanding that her 10-year-old son help her commit suicide with a needle. Then the vicious beating and shooting of the father in front of the same little boy, followed by a young man doused with battery acid and burned alive, numerous point-blank gunshot murders continue the mayhem. Over 100 obscenities and profanities are expressed throughout. In keeping with the overall tone, the one sex scene is extremely violent and completely gratuitous. Melissa is beaten and forced into unconventional sex with a man she has just met, but she successfully defends herself. Drug abuse abounds in a world centered around heroin, cocaine, needles and drug paraphernalia. Roemello does have some admirable qualities, however. He takes responsibility for his ailing father and weak brother. He also feels deep remorse that he has become the man his mother feared, a drug dealer. Unfortunately, SUGAR HILL is unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
20th Century Fox, 10201 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035

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: Several (8) times - Mild 4; Moderate 4

Obscene Language: Many (140) times (f-word 84; s-word 48; other 8)

Profanity: Many (10) times - Regular 4; Exclamatory 6

Violence: Many times - Mostly severe (man set on fire; bloody beatings, gory shooting murders; violent graphic drug overdose death)

Sex: None (attempted forced unconventional sex, no nudity)

Nudity: Near nudity few times (low cut dresses; women in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Crude terms for sex, body parts

Drugs: Many times (heroin, cocaine, needle injections; alcohol drunkenness)

Other: Desire to change; remorse for criminal activities; consequences of crime; racial slurs

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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