The Bang Bang Club

2010 R 1h 49m Blu-ray / DVD

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The Bang Bang Club

2010 R 1h 49m Blu-ray / DVD
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Based on a true story, this unflinching drama follows four combat photojournalists who witness and document the escalating turmoil engulfing South Africa during the final years of apartheid.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 1.78:1
English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 1.78:1
English SDH
English: DTS 5.1 Surround
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 17+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 17+
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age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this true story-based drama about four news photographers in South Africa is set during the turmoil of 1990-1994 surrounding Nelson Mandela's release from prison, the end of apartheid, and disagreements among locals. Though the movie has some positive things to say about the power of photography and journalism, it's filled with intense violence, strong language (many uses of "f--k"), a character with a drug problem, and some sexual situations. Plus, the movie raises many complicated moral questions, and the history it covers isn't presented very clearly.

Sexual Content

The four main characters are seen kissing and making love with their girlfriends. No sensitive body parts are shown, but viewers do see some skin. In one scene, a girl emerges from under a desk where a male character is sitting, implying that she has given him oral sex. A montage includes a scene of a topless African woman.


The characters work while surrounded by constant, horrifying violence; sometimes they're numb to it, and other times it affects them brutally. Viewers see general unrest, with riots, chasing, yelling, and throwing rocks. There are also bloody corpses, swords, knives, guns, and shooting. Many people are killed on camera, with lots of blood. One character is burned alive and then sliced with a sword. There's a bazooka and an explosion.


"F--k" is used very frequently; there's also a handful of "s--t"s and a couple of uses of "a--hole."

Social Behavior

The characters are self-destructive and selfish and have numbed themselves to violent events. But they demonstrate teamwork while in the thick of battle, and they occasionally show empathy. Moreover, their photographs, even if they can be seen as exploitation, sometimes have a positive effect the world over.


Viewers hear Coke referenced by name a few times and see the bottles, as well as an advertising sign. And one scene plays just like a Coca-Cola commercial: During a shootout, the main character risks his life, racing across a battlefield to a shop, where he buys two Cokes. He then carries them through a hail of bullets back to his buddies. He hands one over, the buddy opens it up, takes a huge swig, and laughs heartily.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

One of the main characters is shown to have a drug problem. He's arrested for drugs and tries to clean up his act, but viewers see him lighting up and smoking pot. All of the characters drink in bars, and some are accused of drinking too much, though viewers rarely see anyone actually drunk. Some characters are seen smoking cigarettes.

  • 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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