Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie, KJ Apa, Russell Hornsby, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Issa Rae, Lamar Johnson, Common
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Crime drama directed by George Tillman Jr. The story follows Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil (Algee Smith), at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.
Our Favorite Quote:'Division is how they win. Unity is how they crumble.' - April Ofrah (The Hate U Give) Click To Tweet
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 43)
Starr Carter: [voice over] I was nine years old when I first got the talk. Seven, my half-brother, was ten. Sekani was one.
[to young Starr, Seven and Sekani]
Maverick Carter: Now, just because we got to deal with this mess, don’t you ever forget that being black is a honor because you come from greatness.
Starr Carter: [voice over] Starr. Two R’s. Daddy named me that. And don’t ask me what the extra R is for.
Starr Carter: [voice over] Mama and Daddy had me when they were seventeen. My nana even threw Mama out the house, said Daddy was no good, just a pusher for the King Lords gang. She swore raising the dead was more likely than Mama and Daddy making it. They stay proving her and everybody else wrong. And in large part, that means making sure that we don’t make the same mistakes.
[referring to her parents]
Starr Carter: [voice over] Their cuteness can be extra, but they’re adorable. I can’t even lie. They’re my OTP, One true pairing. Mama and Daddy were born in Garden Heights. Their first kiss was in the Haven Acres Projects. Daddy says our life is here, because our people are here. We got Mr. Reuben’s barbecue, Mr. Lewis’s barbershop, a Walmart thirty-two minutes away, and Daddy’s store. Carter’s Grocery is where you get your milk, Newport shorts, Hot Cheetos, hot gossip, and anything else that you might need in a hurry. Mama thinks Daddy is scared of change. She left the Garden when she was a little girl, and she wants us to get out too. Either way, you got to stay ready, because Garden Heights is always going to be ready for you.
Starr Carter: [voice over] And then there’s King. He runs the King Lords. My dad used to be his right-hand man. The high school is where you go to get jumped, high, pregnant, or killed. We don’t go there. Not since what happened to my friend Natasha. So Mama sent us to another school where everyone’s college-bound.
Starr Carter: [voice over] Garden Heights is one world. Williamson is another. And I got to keep it separate. So when I’m here, I’m Starr version Two. That means flipping a switch in my brain. Williamson Starr doesn’t use slang. If a rapper would say it, she doesn’t, even if her white friends do. Slang makes them cool. Slang makes me hood.
Starr Carter: [voice over] Williamson Starr is approachable. No stink eyes or yelling because Williamson Starr is non-confrontational. Basically, Williamson Starr doesn’t give anyone a reason to call her ghetto. And I hate myself for doing it.
Starr Carter: Look, Chris is great, but I’m just not ready. And eventually, I’ll get there, but he just assumed.
Maya: Assuming. Punishable by death.
Hailey: So, you’re going to Taylor Swift this?
Maya: She doesn’t even rank on the angry girlfriend scale anymore.
Starr Carter: No. I’m going to Beyoncé his ass. Watch.
Starr Carter: [voice over] I really want to Elevator Solang his ass.
[referring to Chris]
Starr Carter: [voice over] Damn. He’s wearing the same Space Jam Elevens as mine. He knows Jordans are my weakness. He smells like Old spice. His lips are soft. He swear he’s DJ Khaled. I can’t lie. It still gets me every time.
[referring to Chris]
Starr Carter: [voice over] We get the questions. Why is he dating her? On the real, I sometimes wonder the same thing. Now, the stares usually come from the rich white girls. But they’re way too scared to actually say anything to our faces.
Starr Carter: [voice over] Chris is the best thing about being Starr version Two. And sometimes I think that’s all I want to be. Until the weekend comes around. I’m not sure I belong at this party either though. Neither version of me.
Kenya: Man, you so lucky you go to that private school. You don’t got to deal with hoes like that.
Starr Carter: No. There’s hoes at my school, too. Trust me, hoedom is universal.
[Starr is at a party and she sees Khalil]
Starr Carter: [voice over] Khalil. Look at the sea of people parting for you like you a brown-skinned Moses. Those dimples. What am I supposed to do with that? And I used to take baths with you in your grandmama’s tub when she used to babysit me and Seven. Weird what the sight of Khalil’s brown eyes do to me now.
Khalil: Starr! Damn. What? It’s been a minute. What’s up? Where you been at?
Starr Carter: School. Basketball. Keeps me busy.
Starr Carter: But I’m always up at Daddy’s store. You the one no one sees anymore.
Khalil: Yeah. Yeah, I’ve been a little busy myself.
Starr Carter: Mm-hmm.
[she looks down at Khalil’s white shoes]
Khalil: What’s up? What?
Starr Carter: Nothing. How’s your grandmama and Cameron doing? He just turned ten, right?
Khalil: Yeah. They alright. Grandma’s sick though. The doctor say she got cancer or some shit.
Starr Carter: Damn. I’m sorry, K.
Khalil: Yeah, she’s taking chemo. But really the only thing she’s worried about is putting the wig on top of her head.
[referring to the music]
Khalil: You know this. See, I would’ve thought you was into the indie rock, or maybe country, or…
Starr Carter: Everyone knows this song.
Khalil: I mean, I know you be hanging with all the white kids. I’m just saying.
Starr Carter: [laughing] Shut up. You better stop.
[as they are driving along and listening to music]
Starr Carter: Man, so you going to come at me for my music, while you listening to this old stuff?
Khalil: Oh, old stuff? You better get up out my car with that. Tupac is the truth.
Starr Carter: Yeah, twenty years ago.
Khalil: No, even still right now. Listen, let me tell you something. Pac said, “THUG LIFE means The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody.” T-H-U-G-L-I-F-E.
Starr Carter: Meaning what?
Khalil: Meaning what society gives to us when we little, comes back to bite them in the ass when we grow up and we wild out. You get that?
Starr Carter: Damn, yeah.
Khalil: Pac’s going to always be relevant.
[as Khalil stops the car and leans towards Starr]
Khalil: So who am I kissing right now?
[he kisses Starr]
Starr Carter: Khalil, I got a boyfriend.
Khalil: Yeah, I heard. I didn’t want to hear. But it’s all good.
Starr Carter: Really?
Khalil: We’ve been together our whole lives, Starr. We got time.
Cop: Sir, can you roll your window down for me?
Khalil: Here we go.
Cop: I need to see your driver’s license and registration.
Khalil: For what? What’d I do?
Cop: Sir, license and registration.
Starr Carter: Khalil, keep your hands on the dash.
Khalil: Starr, how am I supposed to get him my license and registration if I have to stay still?
Khalil: I want to know why you pulling me over?
Cop: You failed to signal a lane change.
Khalil: Come on.
Cop: Turn the music off.
Khalil: Why? I can hear you.
Starr Carter: Please, Khalil!
Cop: Turn it off.
Khalil: This is my car. So how can you tell me…
Cop: Step out of the car.
Khalil: You ain’t got no right to do this to me.
Cop: Listen, I’m giving you a lawful order.
Starr Carter: Khalil, listen to him.
Khalil: Is it for failing to signal my lane change, or for failing to turn down my music? Which one?
Cop: Sir, out of the car, now! Either you get out of the car yourself, or I’m going to do it for you. Now!
[Khalil turns off the music and steps out of the car, Starr gets out her phone]
Cop: Drop the phone!
Khalil: Yoh, why don’t you just give me my ticket?
Cop: Hands on the car. Anything on you?
Khalil: No, there’s nothing on me.
Cop: Any drugs?
Khalil: No, man.
[as Starr is looking for her phone and the cop is back at his car]
Khalil: Starr, you okay? You alright?
Starr Carter: Go back where he told you.
Khalil: He going to take his time doing whatever he got to do.
Starr Carter: I’m not playing. Go back.
[as Starr is rummaging in the car looking for her phone]
Khalil: Why you messing up my car?
Starr Carter: Just listen to him, Khalil!
Khalil: Okay! Alright, chill.
[Khalil leans in through the car window and picks up a hairbrush from the seat, as he does the cop shoots him]
[after the cop has shot Khalil and handcuffed Starr]
Starr Carter: What did you do? What did you do?
Cop: Be quiet, ma’am.
Starr Carter: Help him!
Cop: I want you to stay where you are! Do not move, okay?
Starr Carter: He’s bleeding! Help him! Come on! He’s bleeding!
Cop: Where is it? Where’s the weapon? Okay? The gun! Where is it?
Starr Carter: What gun?
[he notices the hairbrush on the ground next to Khalil]
Cop: Shit! Shit! Shit!
Starr Carter: Khalil. Khalil, look at me! Come on, look at me, Khalil. Come on, look at me! Look at me, come on! Khalil, come on, look at me! I’m right here. You’re okay, alright? There’s a ambulance coming. Can you hear it? It’s coming. It’s going to take care of you. You’re going to be fine, alright? You’re going to be okay. Don’t be scared. Come on, look at me! Look at me, Khalil. Come on!
Maverick Carter: [to Starr] You know, not everybody got superpowers like you. Shine your light. I ain’t named you Starr by accident.
King: [to Starr] Why your daddy and Iesha name that boy Seven? What’s his middle name? Eight?
Maverick Carter: Now Natasha and Khalil both gone, and you still here, trying to make some sense out of it.
Starr Carter: It’s THUG LIFE. “The Hate U Give Little infants…!
Maverick Carter: “F’s Everybody.” I know what it stands for. What do you think it means?
Starr Carter: I think it’s about more than just the youth. I think it’s about us.
Maverick Carter: Us who?
Starr Carter: Black people. Poor people. Everybody at the bottom.
Maverick Carter: Are you on it? Pac was trying to school us on how the system is designed against us. Why else you think so many people in our neighborhood deal?
Starr Carter: They need the money.
Maverick Carter: Yeah. And there ain’t no real jobs around here, so they fall into the trap.
Starr Carter: What trap?
Maverick Carter: Drugs a multi-billion dollar industry. Brothers like me and Khalil get caught up because it look like a way out. But that shit has flown into our communities, and I don’t know nobody with a private jet. Do you?
Starr Carter: Mm-mm.
Sekani: Me neither.
Maverick Carter: And then they trap us. And we end up in prison, another billion dollar hustle. And they got us riding through there like we’re on a conveyor belt. That’s how I ended up in prison with my daddy.
Sekani: You went to jail with your own daddy?
Maverick Carter: Yep. But when I caught up with him, there wasn’t nothing he can do to help me. He was just a weak old man with regrets, and his light was gone. And I swore that would never be me. Because I’m going to break the cycle for my kids.
April Ofrah: I’m April Ofrah, a lawyer with Just Us For Justice. Just before the service, I was informed that the police have no intentions of arresting the officer who murdered this young man. Despite having a credible eyewitness. This is the last place I wanted to be today, and I know I’m not alone. But here we are again. Violence, brutality. It’s the same story, just a different name.
April Ofrah: Shamell Bell said it best. “It is impossible to be unarmed when our blackness is the weapon that they fear.” And I refuse to let our blackness be seen as a weapon or as a weakness. That is why the Harris family and I ask you to join us after the service for a peaceful march past the police station. Division is how they win. Unity is how they crumble.
[referring to the students at her school]
Starr Carter: They’re acting like Khalil was murdered just so that they can skip a chem test, and I didn’t do anything about it. Mama, I need to speak for him.
Maverick Carter: [to Starr] You, your brothers, and your mother, are my reasons to live and die. I gave each of you power in your names. Seven, perfection. Starr, light. Sekani, joy. Use it! So when you’re ready to talk, you talk. Don’t ever let nobody make you be quiet.
Chris: It’s you, right? You told me you didn’t know Khalil.
Starr Carter: Yeah, I knew him.
Chris: Did you not think that I was going to find out? Were you just going to hide everything from me?
Starr Carter: It’s not like that.
Chris: Starr, I’m your boyfriend. That’s what I’m here for.
Starr Carter: It’s not like I don’t trust you.
Chris: Then what’s it like? Tell me. Please.
Starr Carter: Chris, I don’t live at Williamson. If I had told everybody, I would’ve been “poor Starr” who saw her friend get killed. Or “Starr the charity case” who lives in the ghetto.
Chris: Do you think people really care about where you live?
Starr Carter: Yeah, I do. Jeez.
Starr Carter: Have you ever seen somebody die?
Starr Carter: Well, I have twice now. That’s why my parents put me and my brothers in Williamson. To protect us. And now, it’s like I have to hide who I am every single day. When I’m at home, I can’t be too Williamson. When I’m here, I can’t act too Garden Heights. Khalil was my first crush. My first kiss. And he was going through so much shit, and I didn’t even know because I turned my back on him. I turned my back on all of my people. Do you even know what that’s like?
Chris: No. And I’m sorry, Starr. I really am. But black, white, nobody gives a shit. We’re all the same.
Starr Carter: But we’re not. You all want to act black, but you get to keep your white privilege. You think playing ball and jumping in some lame-ass Williamson cypher makes you understand what it is to be black? It doesn’t.
Chris: Starr, I just told you I don’t see color. I see people for who they are. The exact same way I see you.
Starr Carter: If you don’t see my blackness, you don’t see me.
Chris: I see you.
Starr Carter: Baby, I’m sorry prom got ruined.
Chris: You kidding me? I don’t give a shit about prom. What I do give a shit about are the burgers we’re going to eat after prom.
Starr Carter: And the milkshake.
Chris: And the next part.
Starr Carter: What next part?
Chris: I’m going to take you home and I’m going to meet your father.
Carlos: We live in a complicated world, Starr.
Starr Carter: No. No, it doesn’t seem that complicated to me.
[Starr speaks to the crowd during the protests]
Starr Carter: My name is Starr! And I’m the one who saw what happened to Khalil! I am the witness! But so are you all! We are all witnesses to this injustice! We see it all, and we will not stop until the world sees it too! We will not stop protesting!
Starr Carter: [to the crowd] Everyone wants to talk about how Khalil died. This ain’t about how Khalil died. It’s about how he lived. Khalil lived! His life mattered!
[as Sekani points a gun at King the cops arrive, pointing their guns at Sekani]
Starr Carter: [voice over] T-H-U-G L-I-F-E. This is it. The Hate u Give Little infants F’s Everybody. Look at Sekani. He’s the little infant. The result of hate. And he’s about to fuck everybody. It’s not the hate you give. It’s the hate we give. But we can break the cycle.
[to the cops as she stands in front of Sekani to defuse the situation]]
Starr Carter: No! How many of us have to die before you all get it? No more.
[he embraces Starr]
Maverick Carter: I’m real proud of you.
Starr Carter: [voice over] “Rebuild.” The riots weren’t more than two hours behind us before Daddy said those words. And I knew we would. Especially with King going down for setting the fire. Everybody spoke up about what happened. Mr. Reuben, Mr. Lewis, even Daddy said something. Snitch rules no longer apply. Cops took down King, thanks to the whole community. The family is all good again. Even Daddy and uncle Carlos stopped beefing. Mama and Daddy said we’re staying in Garden Heights for now. This is our neighborhood. Our home.
Starr Carter: [voice over] Sekani’s no doubt going to live up to his name. Joy. He’s still got it, somehow. Seven is still perfect.
[at Seven’s graduation]
Lisa Carter: Yeah! That’s right, baby! Go on!
Starr Carter: [voice over] Next fall, he’s off to college.
Starr Carter: [voice over] Mama said forgive and move on. But I don’t need a one-sided friendship. Not when I have real friends. And Chris, we finally see each other.
Starr Carter: [voice over] Khalil. I found out that name means something, too. Friend. I’ll never forget. I’ll never be quiet. I can’t change where I come from, or what I’ve been through, so why be ashamed of what makes me me? And I’m going to keep on being Starr. No version Two. Just Starr. Daddy says my name gives me my own superpower, to use it. And that’s what I’m going to do. Light up the darkness.
Total Quotes: 43
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