The Hate U Give opened in select theaters, 36 to be exact, on October 5 and I’m very excited to report the film scooped a strong $500,000!

The film is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas and stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr, with Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common and Anthony Mackie.

Read our review of the film written by our resident movie guru, B. Gunn.

“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” Word to James Baldwin. That rage is personified in The Hate You Give, the film adaptation of the 2017 novel, which stars an ensemble cast.

Amandla Stenberg plays Starr Carter, a teenager living in a predominantly black, poor neighborhood but attending an affluent, predominantly white prep school. One night while driving home, she and the driver, her childhood best friend Khalil, played by Algee Smith, get pulled over by a white police officer. After Khalil reluctantly complies and steps out the car, an incident happens and he is shot and killed by the officer, leaving Starr as the sole witness. Her life goes from 0 to 100 faster than that cop’s bullet when everyone attempts to pull her in different directions. By the movie’s end, I tried thinking of new film categories, because “Best Film of the Year” is beneath this masterpiece.

The opening scene is that of a powerful lesson that sets the tone for the classic piece of work. Every actor, down to the extras, have a purpose. I don’t think I’ve seen character arcs and developments this well-written. Backstories are informative. Characters are as real as they come. They all move perfectly to run a supreme film that is The Hate You Give.

Stenberg is flawless. She constantly struggles to gain acceptance from her white and black counterparts. Assimilating with rich, preppy white students who carelessly play with black culture like a gun and put it down when they’re finished, not understanding its power, then going back to the ‘hood only to be treated like a bougie, sell-out know-it-all who’s too good for her own people. Then on top of that, she’s drafted as the face of a growing movement that most adults would shy away from – none of which she wants.

Amandla Stenberg is a star. This is not up for debate. What Hate does so well is give you all perspectives, all points of view. KJ Apa plays a white student at Starr’s school and while I won’t give his role away, he plays a vital one where he too feels like a stranger at times trying to navigate his way through her life, walking on eggshells. Common plays Carlos, Starr’s uncle who is a police officer. It’s interesting to see how the black cop is treated before, during, and after this catastrophe. There’s a brief yet poignant scene between him and Starr that will leave you floored.

Listen, every actor in this movie, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Anthony Mackie…EVERYBODY is dope! Director George Tillman Jr., we’re not worthy. The storyline doesn’t let up for a second. Too many scenes will hit home. All dialogue will make you ponder society. The 1st act is one of the best-written 1st acts ever with the 2nd and 3rd flowing like the Nile River. The Hate You Give will give you life!

I normally don’t cape for movies this hard. Well, yeah I do, but not THIS hard. If I had the money, I promise I’d buy you all a ticket – with popcorn! I believe this is the kind of film ALL races need to see, but especially black and white. The dialogue in this movie is superb, but it’s time we opened up our own dialogue in real life. I have to shout out Audrey Wells. She was the screenwriter for “The Hate You Give” but died of cancer days before its release. She left us with a treasure.

I’m giving The Hate You Give a Co-sign CLASSIC. Bring your tissue and Visine. It’s that kind of party. No, I didn’t cry, my contacts are just old. Just think, this type of thing goes on every day, and we wonder why our youths are in their feelings all the time.

“Handcuffed in the back of the bus, 40 of us. Life as a shorty shouldn’t be so rough.” Word to Wu-Tang.

Watch our exclusive interviews with The Hate U Give author Angie Thomas, Amandla Stenberg, Algee Smith and Regina Hall at the Atlanta red carpet premiere.

Watch the official trailer for The Hate U Give below.

Have you seen the film?

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