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Based on the best-selling novel by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give, is an emotion-driven story about the night Starr Carter witnesses her childhood friend die at the hands of a police officer. The film was directed by Gary Tillman and stars actors like Amandla Stenberg, KJ Apa, Regina Hall, Common, Algee Smith, Issa Rae, Anthony Mackie, Russell Hornsby, and Sabrina Carpenter.

This film was a good adaptation of the book and captured most of its core messaging and events from the book. As with most book to film adaptations, things are edited, cut, and made smaller to fit both studio expectations and a film’s runtime. I was worried about how this film would come out with its subject matter and the struggle Hollywood still has telling stories about people of color even with directors of color because of studio execs. A few things were changed in the film, but I didn’t feel like it took away too much.

Russell Hornsby was a standout in the film as Maverick Carter, Starr’s father. He brought so much emotion to Mav and a wisdom and groundedness to the character that really reflected and magnified Angie’s source material. I would have really loved to see the scene where he finds out about Chris play out as it did in the book to capture Mav’s emotions more, but how it played out wasn’t too bad either.

I would have also liked to see Maya ( Megan Lawless) play a bigger role other than the friend stuck in between Hailey and Starr. The film gave her a smaller role, but her own issues with Hailey painted a rounder picture of the trio’s relationship. Without it, Maya felt like a third wheel to their drama.

A character I liked that was completely cut: Devante’, a gang member that the Carter family took in and protected. Devante’ added depth and gave us a peek at the struggle of surviving gang life and the chance to get out. I also missed how Starr used her blog to reflect on everything that happened and racial injustice. Her digital activism reflects today’s world where loved ones who have lost people to police brutality and other kinds of violence can reflect and advocate for change. Everyone doesn’t have to be like Starr and hop on television or on top of a car to be heard. Some speak from behind a screen and that’s okay too.

Overall, The Hate U Give was a good film and, like the book, made me cry a few times. Amandla played Starr well. It’s worth a watch, read, and a pick up for digital download or a physical copy when its available on Digital January 8 and on Blu-ray, DVD & 4K on January 22. If you’re a fan of The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas’ second book, On The Come Up is coming out soon.

I’m giving The Hate U Give an 8 out of 10.

 

Kira McCall covers entertainment for MFST. She’s a freelance writer and alum of Towson University where she studied advertising, public relations, and creative writing. Follow her on Twitter at cocovanilla45 (GirlsofManyFandoms) and kiramira_.

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