Queen & Slim Parent Guide
This movie doesn't smooth out the rough edges on its complex, likeable characters. It doesn't gloss over the violence either.
Parent Movie Review
After matching over Tinder and having dinner together, Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) is driving Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) home when a police officer (Sturgill Simpson) pulls him over for failing to use his turn signal. What should be an ordinary traffic stop quickly escalates until Queen is shot and the officer is dead. Now on the run, Queen and Slim travel furtively through the backstreets of America as they make a break for Cuba.
This sounds like a dark, heavily political chase movie, but it really isn’t most of the time. It’s a combination road trip/romance/art film, and while it could have been a disorganized mess, the film is surprisingly cohesive. That’s not to say it ignores the obviously political aspects of the story, but most of the focus is on the development of the primary characters as they are forced to adapt to their situation and each other.
Director Melina Matsoukas made her name directing music videos for artists like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Beyoncé, and it shows. Lots of attention is paid to the framing of scenes, how shots direct the audience’s attention to different aspects of the environment or the characters - it’s cleverly done. On the less subtle end, there are some artsy scenes where characters are having entire conversations in voice-over. I don’t think it’s enough to discourage casual viewers, but it definitely takes a little getting used to.
This isn’t a film for everybody, thanks to large doses of sex and profanity. While the sex is limited to a fairly graphic sex scene which includes nudity and a few more scenes with scantily clad women, the profanity is near-constant. The violence is a little rough, but it’s largely confined to three distinct scenes. In Queen and Slim’s defense, I figure if you’re being hunted by every police department in the country, cussing isn’t going to be unexpected.
All that said, adult movie buffs who aren’t fazed by content issues and enjoy films that tackle serious issues could find Queen & Slim to be well worth watching. It doesn’t trot out simplistic answers to the significant political questions it raises and it doesn’t smooth the sharp edges on its complex, likeable main characters. There aren’t too many films like this one - I’m not sure if that’s too bad or if I’d appreciate them less if they were more common. At any rate, this isn’t the worst Tinder date I’ve heard of… although I probably wouldn’t recommend seeing this on a first date of your own.Directed by Melina Matsoukas. Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Bokeem Woodbine. Running time: 132 minutes. Theatrical release November 27, 2019. Updated November 28, 2019
Watch the trailer for Queen & Slim
Queen & Slim
Rating & Content Info
Why is Queen & Slim rated R? Queen & Slim is rated R by the MPAA for violence, some strong sexuality, nudity, pervasive language, and brief drug use
Violence: Four individuals are shot on screen and killed, and another is killed off-screen. A person is shot in the leg but survives. A woman is struck across the face. An individual is bumped with a car, aggravating a pre-existing injury. Someone dislocates and relocates their shoulder.
Sexual Content: A number of women are shown wearing sheer (and fairly see-through) tops. A man and woman have sex: breasts and buttocks are visible.
Profanity: There are approximately 150 instances of coarse language in the movie. By my count, there were 58 uses of a sexual expletive, 31 uses of scatological cursing, and dozens of profanities in other categories. There is frequent use of a racial slur as well.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown drinking socially and on one occasion smoking marijuana.
Page last updated November 28, 2019
Queen & Slim Parents' Guide
Queen is a defense lawyer whose work opposes the principle of the death penalty. Does your jurisdiction still have capital punishment? What are the drawbacks? Are there any advantages?
ProCon.org: Death Penalty Pros and Cons
Police shootings have sparked protests across the US and have spawned the Black Lives Matter movement. Opponents have argued that Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization while activists disagree. Do you think Black Lives Matter is a necessary voice against police violence against African American communities or do you think it is counterproductive?
Some people argue that it is police officers who are in danger and have launched Blue Lives Matter to speak out about the dangers police face. Do you think this movement is racist or do you think it represents legitimate concerns?
Racist attitudes permeate society. Do you struggle with racist assumptions? Can racism be unlearned? What can you do to improve relations between racial and ethnic groups in your school, church, and community?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a book written as a letter to the author’s son about growing up African-American in the United States, with cautionary tales about culture, crime, and the police.
Wesley Lowery’s “They Can’t Kill Us All” examines the violent intersection of policing, racism, and death in America.
Just Mercy, a book by attorney Bryan Stevenson about his battle against the death penalty, has been adapted into a movie which releases in December 2019.
Related home video titles:
The Hate U Give tells the story of another traffic stop gone wrong. In this story, an African-American teen is shot and killed by a police officer in a panicky moment.
The Fugitive features Harrison Ford as a man on the run from the police and Federal Marshalls when he is wrongly accused of killing his wife- now he has to race against law enforcement to prove his innocence before they can catch him.
Catch Me If You Can, based on the true story of Frank Abagnale, follows a young man who runs away from home and scams his way across the United States, followed by a determined FBI agent.