Release Date: 10/19/18
Director: George Tillman, Jr.
Studio(s): Fox 2000 Pictures, State Street Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment,
Twentieth Century Fox.
Running time: 133 mins.
Cast: Amandla Stenberg (Starr Carter), Regina Hall (Lisa Carter), Russell Hornsby (Maverick Carter), Common (Uncle Carlos Carter), Lamar Johnson (Seven Carter), TJ Wright (Sekani Carter), Issa Rae (April Ofrah), KJ Apa (Chris), Sabrina Carpenter (Hailey), Anthony Mackie (King).
Story: Starr Carter is a 16-year-old American girl who lives in the fictional, black neighborhood of Garden Heights, but attends a predominantly white private school Williamson Prep. After a gun goes off at a party Starr is attending, Starr is driven home by her childhood best friend, Khalil. While driving home, they are stopped by a police officer for failing to signal a lane change. The officer barks orders at Khalil, such as to roll down the window and turn off the music. Khalil disagrees with the officer, who instructs him to exit the car. While outside the car, the officer retrieves Khalil’s drivers license and instructs him to not move while the officer checks his ID in the police car. Khalil reaches through the driver-side window and he picks up a hairbrush. The officer shoots and kills Khalil. As Starr mourns over Khalil, the officer realizes that he was holding a hairbrush, not a gun.
Khalil’s killing becomes a national news story. Starr’s identity as the witness is initially kept secret from everyone outside Starr’s family—leaving Starr’s two best friends, Hailey Grant and Maya Yang, and Starr’s boyfriend, Chris, who all attend Williamson Prep together, unaware of Starr’s connection to the killing. Having to keep this secret weighs on Starr, as does her need to keep her Williamson and Garden Heights personas separate.
Starr agrees to be interviewed on television and to testify in front of a grand jury after being encouraged by a civil rights lawyer. While defending Khalil’s character during her interview, in which her identity is hidden, she names the King Lords, the gang that controls her neighborhood, lead by King who is widely feared in the neighborhood. The gang retaliates by threatening Starr and her family, forcing them to move in with her Uncle Carlos who is a police detective.
After a grand jury does not indict the officer, Garden Heights erupts into both peaceful protests and riots. In reaction to the decision, Starr takes an increasingly public role, including speaking out during the protests, which are met by police in riot gear. Her increasing identification with the people of Garden Heights causes tension with Starr’s school friends, and especially with her boyfriend Chris.
Starr gets trapped in a grocery store, which is fire-bombed by King and his gang. She escapes but when the police arrive, Starr’s younger brother Sekani points a gun at King. Starr manages to defuse the situation and the community finally stands up against King, who goes to jail. Starr eventually promises to keep Khalil’s memory alive, and to continue her advocacy against police violence by “any means necessary.” Source(s): Wikipedia; IMDB; Colourlessopinions.com.