What's Love Got to Do with It

1993 R 1h 58m DVD

What's Love Got to Do with It

1993 R 1h 58m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Ike Turner meets a singer whom he grooms into a star, marries and renames Tina. But repeated run-ins with Ike's violent side shatter Tina's spirit. With nothing left but her name and her talent, she reemerges on the pop scene at the top of her game.
Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Rae'ven Kelly, Virginia Capers, Jenifer Lewis, Chi McBride, Rob LaBelle, Richard T. Jones, Damon Hines, Suli McCullough, Tina Turner
Brian Gibson
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
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+
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this adult movie about an iconic musical star and her abusive husband-partner is violent, sexual, and filled with obscenities, alcohol, and drug-induced behavior. A husband graphically terrorizes and brutalizes his pliant, forgiving wife in many scenes (including an extended rape sequence). The bloody aftermaths pile up until she attempts suicide and then even beyond that. Characters drink, smoke, use cocaine, and swear (continuous use of "f--k," in many forms, as well as some racial slurs and other coarse language). There is also consensual sexual behavior, with a long passionate love scene between the two leads which includes implied intercourse and some partial male nudity. The musical performances are faithful to the Tina Turner imprint, with lots of sexy clothing and exuberantly sensual dancing.

Sexual Content

One prolonged love-making scene with passionate kissing, embracing, and implied full sexual intercourse. Kissing, embracing, and sensual behavior among many characters in other scenes as well. The movie vividly details Tina Turner's trademark performance persona: short, sexy clothing and lots of sensual movement and dancing.


Several disturbing scenes of domestic violence including fierce open-handed slaps, beating with fists and a shoe, dragging, brandishing a gun, hair pulling, and choking. In all instances, results of the beatings are clearly visible: blood, swelling, abrasions, etc. In one extended terrifying scene using head shots only, Tina Turner is raped by her husband. A young woman threatens a character with a loaded gun, then moves into a bathroom from which gunshots are heard. The self-inflicted injuries do not result in death.


Frequent use of coarse, sexual language, usually uttered in anger and with the intent to insult and degrade. Many forms of "f--k," including "motherf--k," "s--t," "ass," "Goddamn," and numerous instances of racial slurs, including the "N" word.

Social Behavior

Despite plenty of destructive behavior, the ultimate message of the film is strongly positive: Women must protect themselves and their children from abusive spousal behavior. It takes great courage and perserverance to get out of a complicated interdependent relationship, but the end result is positive and life-affirming. The Buddhist precept, "If you look in life's mirror and see yourself clearly, you can change anything," is a mantra used repeatedly to great advantage.


Coca Cola, Lux soap, Trailways buses, Fairmont Hotel, Ramada Inn, A & P Markets.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Continuous drinking and smoking throughout. Characters hold bottles of beer, shots, mixed drinks and cigarettes or cigars in clubs, at parties, during musical recording sessions, relaxing at home, et al. Cocaine abuse is seen to add fuel to Ike Turner's increasingly violent and erratic behavior. Tina Turner attempts suicide using pills.

  • 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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