Red Hook Summer

2012 R 2h 1m DVD

Red Hook Summer

2012 R 2h 1m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Flik's summer vacation is upended when he's sent from suburban Atlanta to stay with his preacher grandfather in the projects of Brooklyn. As the old man tries to get religion into his grandson, Flik befriends a mischievous girl from the congregation.
Clarke Peters, Jules Brown, Toni Marie Lysaith, Nate Parker, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Heather Simms, Colman Domingo, James Ransone, De'Adre Aziza, Kimberly Hébert-Gregory
Spike Lee
Widescreen 1.78:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that director Spike Lee's Brooklyn-set drama Red Hook Summer focuses on a 13-year-old boy, a neighborhood girl the same age, and his grandfather -- a bishop in a local church. As the movie reaches its final stretch, there's a subplot about child molesting; even though nothing is actually shown, it's very intense. Language also increases as the film goes along, moving from a few uses of "s--t" and the "N" word to harsher words like "c--ksucker" and "motherf----r." Other violence includes arguments and shouting and a scene of an adult pushing a boy up against a door frame. Sexual innuendo is mild and infrequent (mostly some talk about pregnant girls), but product placement is strong, with frequent use and mention of an Apple iPad in particular, plus some other products. Overall, Red Hook Summer is a film with complex messages that's clearly intended for more mature viewers.

Sexual Content

The term "sucking off" is used. Also some innuendo, such as mentions of girls getting pregnant.


The movie's most disturbing scene is a flashback of suggested sexual violence committed by a grown man upon a 12 year-old boy (a minor character); nothing is actually shown. In another scene, three street thugs beat up the bishop, with bleeding head wounds. Also many scenes of tense arguing and/or yelling. In one scene, an adult argues with a pre-teen boy and pushes him up against a door frame. A dead rat is shown.


Language is fairly sparse until the final stretch, when "s--t" is used more than once, as well as "c--ksucker" and "motherf----r." One secondary character says the "N" word and "goddamn" several times. "Bastard" is heard once. "Butt" and "hell" are used many times.

Social Behavior

Red Hook Summer is an exceedingly complex movie, as muddled as real life, but one of its strongest themes is that faith -- whether in God, in other people, or in yourself -- can provide forgiveness and understanding.


The main character carries an iPad everywhere, shoots videos on it, and mentions its name more than once. Facebook and Twitter are mentioned several times. Characters wear Nike shoes and clothes, and the logo is seen at least once. Tylenol is mentioned once.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

A secondary character is shown to be a drunk, mixing wine with cola (he calls it "Jesus juice"), and drinking whisky. "Reefer" is mentioned.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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