Get On The Bus

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -3

This drama explores various relationships and viewpoints formed and shared on a cross-county bus trip. The story is wrapped around the Million Man March of 1995, planned by Louis Farrakhan to draw African-American men together to encourage positive changes in their community. Twelve men board a bus in California to make the trip. An absentee father chained to his son, a convicted thief, by court order hopes to reconnect and change his son's life. An old man who missed the Civil Rights march in the '60s wants to be a part of history. A cop hopes the street violence that claimed his father will stop, while a gang member turned devout Muslim also wants to see a difference. Other passengers include a homosexual couple, a film student, an unemployed actor and a bus driver determined to get them to the March. With a sense of community in the cramped quarters, this interesting character study explores many stereotypes, ideas and myths about human and race relations. Humorous, thought-provoking and sometimes inspirational, it's a well-made film that has something for everyone.

Although the trip begins at an African Methodist Evangelical church in South Central L.A., religion is not always treated well. A prayer to an undefined God is interrupted by a loud crude comment, but the speaker is corrected and the prayer continues. The film ends with a prayer to God being read and gospel music. But religions are depicted as equal. A white Jewish bus driver shows sympathy for the movement, but one black man can't get past his color to understand these feelings. In a somewhat humorous scene, a black businessman boards the bus, but when he constantly uses the n-word, he is ejected. While there are no sexual scenes, one character talks about his affairs and another professes monogamy and abstinence before marriage. The lifestyle of the homosexual couple is presented as accepted by the group. The couple discuss their relationship as one kisses the hand of the other. Violence is limited to one fistfight with brutal hits and kicks. Sadly, there are no limits on foul language with over 50 crudities, 33 obscenities and five profanities. The overall theme of tolerance for all people sounds good from a humanistic viewpoint, but the film encourages acceptance of biblically objectionable lifestyles and religious beliefs. This, along with much filthy language, makes this an offensive and misleading bus trip.

Preview Reviewer: Paul 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 (60) times Mild 29, Moderate 31

Obscene Language: Many (33) times (f-word 13, s-word 13, other 7)

Profanity: Several (5) times All Regular (G-d 5)

Violence: Few times moderate (fistfight with kicks to face and body, shoves)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once - female breast nudity

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Man talks about sexual relations with women

Drugs: None

Other: Man repeatedly uses ethnic slur (n-word); prayers said, respect for religion shown, gospel song, Bible quoted; man at urinal, scene of men relieving themselves at roadside

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.