Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that Get On Up is an entertaining biopic about the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Wide ranging, it covers both Brown's highs (groundbreaking performances and breakthroughs) and lows (the death of his child, domestic violence, smoking crack cocaine) and includes lots of mature material, making it too edgy for tweens and young teens. Expect scenes of relationship strife (physical fights and loud arguments), fighting, a car chase, a gun being fired, period-accurate smoking, social drinking, drug use (a brief scene shows a man adding a rock-like substance to his rolled cigarettes), passionate kissing, implied sex, and some swearing ("s--t," "f--k").
Couples are shown passionately kissing. One scene involves a guy walking into a room to discover his sister having sex with his friend, though there's no nudity, and both appear clothed, at least from what viewers can see.
Brown is shown hitting his wife and throwing things around the room during their arguments (with few consequences). He also brawls with others, shoots a ceiling with a rifle, and gets into a major car chase with the cops. African-American kids are thrown into a ring to fight blindfolded for a white audience. A brief scene shows a man's corpse hanging from a tree. A child dies.
Strong language includes "s--t," "f--k," "a--hole," and the "N" word.
No matter where you come from, you can achieve your dreams through hard work and sheer determination -- though, of course, having a boatload of talent helps. Loyal friends are gold, but you have to be able to be honest with each other for the relationship to flourish.
A few brand names are seen, including Chevrolet. Flush with cash, a successful Brown buys everything from drinks to an airplane.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Lots of drinking in social settings. Some period-accurate smoking. In one scene, a character is shown adding crack cocaine to tobacco.