The Hate You Give Movie Review

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 image credits: Docxdrl via Bitlanders

The Hate You Give Movie Review

Only a few years ago, the Young Adult movies were massive in the cinemas. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight and a bunch of others. These movies adaption are now becoming mainstream. Adults and teenagers are inspired every day by the tales of these movies. 

2018 have seen quite a few of these movies. It pook my interest to see a  novel written by a black woman adapted to the big screen. I will say, is quite the development in Hollywood.

video credits: 20th Century Fox via youtube

The novel The Hate You Give was written by Angie Thomas  screenplay by Audrey Wells  and directed by George Tillman Jr.

The Hate You Give is a story about a girl, Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg ) living in Garden Heights,  a place terrorized by drugs and other social vices. But Starr and her half brother Seven (Lamar Johnson ) would have to attain school in Williamson Prep. Williamson Prep is a school dominated by white rich-children. Starr and her half-brother Seven are constantly switching in between two worlds.  At school, they have to behave in a manner not to be noticed they came from Garden Heights. while at home, they have to show quite the performance of being ghetto to fit in.

Trying to blend into these two worlds came to a halt when Starr witness the killing of her unarmed childhood friend-Khalil by a white police officer.  The killing of Khalil went viral on news stations and social media Starr is once again caught up in the middle of Khalil deaths deliemma.  As the witness of the killing of Khalil, she must find a voice to speak for her dead friend. She has a decision to make. Either to speak the truth or let the death of her friend go in vain.

 The Movie Short Story

Starr Carter is a 16-year-old girl, living in Garden Heights. She attends school in Williamson Prep together with her half brother Seven. Williamson Prep is a private school dominated mostly by white-rich children. After a party gone south, Khalil her childhood best friend decides to drive her home so she could be safe.

image credits: IMDB

While driving home, they were stopped by a white police officer. The police officer asked Khalil to step out of the car. After stepping out of the car, Khalil reached back into the car to get his comb but was shot by the police officer who thought Khalil had reached for his gun in the car.

The death of Khalil went viral. Starr identity was kept a secret only her family and uncle knew she was the only witness to the killing of Khalil. Her friends at school were unaware she witness the unlawful shooting of Khalil, her behaviour started changing.  She became withdrawn from her friends and boyfriend Chris (K.J. Apa ).

A civil right lawyer April Ofrah (Issa Rae ) encourage Starr to testify before a grand jury. To speak for the death and let the dead have a day in court to defend himself. Starr mother was not comfortable with April Ofrah suggestion as it will draw attention to daughter. Starr agreed to speak for the dead while being interviewed in a television station. She mentioned the drug lord of her neighborhood-King (Anthony Mackie) he retaliated by attacking Starr and her family in their house.

The grand jury failed to indict the police officer who killed Khalil.  Garden Heights erupted into riot and Peaceful protest as they mourn the death of Khalil.


image credits: IMDB

In the heat of the riot, Starr and her brother-Seven get trapped in Maverck’s grocery store. The siblings were set to be burnt alive in the grocery store by King and his goons. Police came for the rescue but Starr younger brother-Sekani point a gun at King.

Starr, then realize what Khalil was trying to tell her the night of his death

The Content of the Movie

It is dawn for new faces in Hollywood. There is a gradual and general acceptance of films that fall into the categories of Young adults (YA) movies. The Hate You Give is no exception, rather is the general expression in perspective to the black struggle in America.


image credits: IMDB

Police officers have turned black communities into live practice game reserve. They test their capacity to shoot a moving target or presumed gun carrying Blackman. As a result, America has recorded the highest police brutality in many highly black populated communities.

Angie Thomas, the writer of this novel is a black woman. She may have been influenced by her surroundings to write this novel. Also, it is possible, she draws her inspiration for the novel The Hate You Give from what she witnessed in her neighbourhood. Whatsoever the inspiration source, and the motivation behind her writing this masterpiece, it has been adapted to the big screen.

In an attempt to understand the perspective and mindset of the writer, in 2015 report shows that;

Young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015, according to the findings of a Guardian Stuy that recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year

Jon Swaine, Oliver Laughland, Jamiles Lartey & Ciara McCarthy  The Guardian 

Growing in the poor black community Garden Heights, teenagers are coercing into the life of drugs.  Khalil also grew in the same situation and started selling crack for King in order to make a living.

Starr and her sibling could have taking same path in life.  But with a father that has tasted life in a correctional facility, he chooses a different life for his children. A life free from the dealings in drugs, a lifestyle of no future and far from the clutches of King-the drug Lord of Garden Heights.


image credits: IMDB

Although the police are meant to serve and to protect, they sometimes harassed black people indiscriminately. Starr’s father was no exception. The community of Garden Heights seek a voice that could be heard, a liberating voice.  

Starr was reluctant at first because her Mother was afraid to support her. Her friends at school don’t know she was the only witness to know how Khalil died.  It was a heavy burden and her boyfriend thought she was evading him for several reasons.

The movie expresses a Blackman as someone who is feared because of his skin colour. The colour black is a weapon feared by White-men and police officers alike. Although blacks in America constitute 12.6% of the total population, they are always associated with violence.


image credits: IMDB

Understanding the writer’s point of view would have to trace it back to the Song playing in Khalil car, the night of his death-Only God can Judge me now 

The Music of one of the greatest rapper in history that is still relevant and touching lives now- Tupac

We may seen Pac without shirts while signing. And the various tattoos on his body is the inscription


It as an acronym for

 The Hate You Give Little Infants Fuck Everybody

 Starr depicts the first stanzas of the song, line 11 through 15:

And they say it’s the white man I should fear

But it’ my own kind doin’ all the killin’ here

I can’t lie, ain't no love for the other side

Jealousy inside, make em wish I died 

It is not the hate you give. It is the hate we give. The black communities in America may have witnessed harassment, bloodshed, police brutality and other racist acts. The young children grow up hating the police because of the bad memories they have as kids perpetrated by police.

To an extent, in reality, the black people are to be blamed for what is happening to them in the US’

But it's my own kind doin all the killin here

When King felt treating by Starr, he sends his gone over to shoot Starr home. He is a black man, he sells drugs in his community and owned every business in the area. If you must succeed,  you must come to shake hands with the king.

It is true that blacks in America are suffering from racism and police brutality. The police, as well as black Americans, are to blame for such happenings. This is because of The Hate You Give Little Infant Fucks Everybody (THUG LIFE). Not the hate the police give.

The Hate You Give Novel Retract Buzz

When the book entitled The Hate You Give was released in February of 2017, it quickly became one of the most talked books of 2017, however, this firm and general acceptance did not last long because

Would-be censors, who have attacked it for being ‘Pervasive vulgar’ and for depiction of drug use, profanity and offensive language

Betsy Gomez  Banned Books week

To have giving the novel mixed feelings.  

Though a lot of people in America may not agree with the perspective and the angle of Angie Thomas, South Carolina  police union have a more compelling reason to have the book removed from school summer reading list because;

Almost an indoctrination of distrust of police

Shenequa Golding Vibe 

The Hate You Give is a timely narrative of black struggle in America. It’s about a particular race of people-blacks and how they are always associated with violence. But it’s the society that is blinded by the simple and obvious truth behind the black race. They are faced with racism, poverty and police brutality. The society never seems to have noticed this about the black race.

All they see is the troubles, they don’t see the struggles

 Therefore, the novel-The Hate You Give is primarily focused on the angle of the struggles of the black race in America.

A novel like this may seem controversial especially because it is written by a black woman and focused on the black race struggle. No matter the controversy surrounding the thoughts, the idea, the concept and perspective of this novel. It depicts the birthplace and race of the writer. But then, only the author Angie Thomas can certainly state in explicit words the intentions of the novel The Hate You Give.

 The Technical Side of the Movie

The movie was focused on Young Adults. I enjoyed the quality of picture, colour separation and scenes presentation. It is one of 2018 best pictures. I admire the efforts of the digital imaging technicians Eli Berg and Cooper Dunn the Camera operator to have captured the angles of each scene to have made the movie a perfect adaptation of the novel was intriguing.


image credits: IMDB

Movies have always had their music based on the lead actor/actress race & skin-colour. It’s no wonder that 2pac music was used as a soundtrack. The movie was shot to exploits the lives of young black Americans living with the fear of been shot dead by police for no reason.  To have captured the lifestyle of these people is no small feat for the director. And to have expressed an excellent directing capacity deserve an applaud to anyone that has taken his time to have watched the movie.

The Collective Works of the Actors

We may have remembered Amandla Sternberg from her role in the movie Colombiana 2011 as she stars as young Zoe Saldana. To have come this far in the movie industry and getting a lead role for oneself is no small feat.

This clearly shows that Amandla Stenberg in the near future will definitely turn out to be Hollywood hot cake. The great performance put by Regina Hall and Anthony Mackie from his legendary & most famous role as Falcon in Avengers. It a big game changer for Regina Hall and Anthony Mackie to have performed this kind of roles in this movie.


image credits: ew

Steadily and gradually, the Hollywood career of Common has been expanding. We see his outstanding performance in movies in the past such as; John Wick Chapter 2, Small Foot,  and in the movie Hunter Killer. His performance and embodiment of the character Carlos, Starr uncle & police officer in The Hate You Give deserve commendation.  It is with pride, I would say, some of these actors over the years have are getting more screen time. This is a great development in the movie industry for both the actors and directors.

Although the performance of these famous Hollywood faces cannot be overemphasized, TJ Wright  shows an exceptional performance for his own age. The ability to bring out the desired emotions in front of the camera and crowd, it shows how versatile TJ Wright can be in the future. It goes without saying that these actors gave the movie a sense of satisfaction as we sit down to watch their performance.

Is the movie any good?

The novel offers a powerful look into soul-stirring, endearing, painful and frustrating life of a teenager intertwine between protesters and law enforcement agents.

Her life as a teenager is already full of worries. She always has to switch in between two worlds. She has to worry about not seen as the only girl from the ghetto in a white-dominated school, keeping her relationship secret in school and from her father.

These worries seemed not enough until she witnesses the killing of her best friend. This change everything about her life. It is the writer’s perspective to exploit the angle most authors don’t talk about. The angle of how the person is feeling, trying to cope with the sudden change in everything that defines his life.


image credits: IMDB

The author of the novel captured the life of the individuals that have witness police brutality and can’t talk about it? Afraid of what the society may say when they find out they knew all that happened to a fellow black man. They can’t say it because it’s a white police officer that committed the abuse.

Off course the deceased has no day in court and no lawyer. Because they are deceased. It becomes convenient for police officers, the media and the courts to shift the blame to the victims, not the perpetrator. The officer in questions had always walked free and exonerated from all charges because he carries a badge.

video credits: BlackTree TV via youtube 

It is without a doubt that teenagers would enjoy this movie, so also adults. It is a movie that encourages the youth to have a voice in society. A voice that says the truth. With each character well-developed in the movie, it gives the unfiltered language of death, grief, and societal views about the lives lost every day. It is a movie that is good for teaching the angle of the deceased who can’t speak for themselves. The movie is good to be enjoyed with family, for the teacher to use in teaching morals and children to adhering to parental teaching & guidance. In every sense of the word, the movie is good.

On a final note

It’s about time for the society to educate their children with lessons of every day’s happenings. Parents should raise their children to know what is right and wrong. Children adhering to the teachings of their parents, because it has some sense of wisdom and direction. Parents should live an exemplary life, a life worth emulating by their children, they should stand a role model to their children as Starr parent did.

The Hate You Give may not have been generally accepted in the society, but it has deep meanings within the context of the movie for lesson yet to be learned by both parents and their children.

Without a doubt, I’m watching this movie again and again.


About the author


Simple, Kind and always keeping it real

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