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King Richard | 2021 | PG-13 | – 3.5.4

content-ratingsWhy is “King Richard” rated PG-13? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “violence, strong language, a sexual reference and brief drug references.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a threat of rape, a couple of kissing and hugging scenes, a drive-by shooting leaving a young man dead without any blood shown, a few beatings with blood shown, many arguments, intensive training sequences, and some strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


Biopic based on the life of Richard Williams (Will Smith), the father of Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton), detailing his unfaltering support and encouragement of his daughters’ abilities on their way to becoming tennis superstars. Also with Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Bernthal, Tony Goldwyn and Dylan McDermott. Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green. A line of dialogue is spoken in Spanish without translation. [Running Time: 2:18]

King Richard SEX/NUDITY 3

 – A young man tries to talk to a teen girl and invites her to talk to him; the girl’s father asks the young man and his friend to leave her alone (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) saying that she is only 16 years old. A young man threatens to gang rape a man’s 16-year-old daughter.
 A husband and his wife hug in a few scenes. A husband flirts with his wife in a couple of scenes.
 A woman yells at a man from across a street and tells him to wear longer shorts (he is wearing tennis shorts).
 A shirtless young man is shown at a tennis club (we see his bare chest, abdomen and back. A man wears tennis shorts in several scenes (we see his legs to the mid-thighs). A woman wears a low-cut blouse that reveals cleavage. A few women in the stands at a tennis match wear low-cut tops that reveal cleavage.

King Richard VIOLENCE/GORE 5

 – A man follows a young man and parks nearby; as the young man leaves a store, the man walks toward him holding a gun, a car speeds between them and the young man is shot dead by someone in the car. We see a news report and video footage of several police officers beating a man on the ground with nightsticks.
 A young man approaches a man and threatens him, and then he holds his hand in the shape of a gun to the man’s temple and threatens to gang rape the man’s daughter; the man hits the young man in the head with a tennis racket, and he is surrounded and beaten and kicked by the young man and his friends and struck in the head with a gun leaving him unconscious on the ground (we see some blood). A man asks a young man and his friends to leave his 16-year-old daughter alone and as he walks away, the young man confronts him, punches him in the stomach and then kicks him in the face when he falls to the ground (we see that he has blood on his mouth) while his daughters watch from the car and are frightened. Several young men in a car drive up behind a man and his two daughters leaving a neighborhood tennis court and the girls seem scared until the driver tells them that everything is OK and they will look out for them. A man yells at police and child services that have come to his house after a neighbor reported abuse of their children; he explains that he works his children hard to keep them off the streets and to make sure that police officers don’t have to come to his house and blow their brains out. A man yells at a TV interviewer about the type of questions he is asking his teenage daughter.
 A woman confronts a neighbor after she called the police to report her and her husband for abusing their children. A wife confronts her husband about having “other children.” Two men argue about coaching methods in several scenes. A man argues with other men about how to manage his daughters’ tennis careers and explains that he will not allow them to burn out at an early age before they reach their peak. A husband and his wife argue. A young man calls out to a man walking toward a tennis court asking him what he thinks he’s doing, and another man says, “He’s with me. It’s ok, he’s just white.” A man says, “Tennis parents should be shot.” A man tells another man in an expensive tennis club, “I appreciate everyone taking off their hoods when we came in.” A woman yells at a man in several scenes and accuses him of abusing his children by working them too hard. A man says that he wrote a plan for success for his two daughters before they were born. A man tells his teen daughter to call a ball as being out during a tennis match when it was not in fact out, and she does so upsetting her opponent. A woman storms off the court during a high-stakes match after yelling and is away from the court for more than 10 minutes upsetting the crowd and her opponent. A man becomes upset with his daughters about bragging and tells them to stop, he pulls the car over, tells them to get out and buy him something to drink from a store and he drives away telling his wife that they will need to walk 3 miles home; the woman becomes enraged and tells him to go back and he stops the car. A man tells his daughters to be humble and keep their “hearts clean.” A teen girl asks her coach to speak to her father about playing in a tournament.
 A man reports to his security job and loads a handgun. A man approaches several people asking for financial support for his daughters to train them to become tennis professionals; several people are disparaging, especially about his “background.” A man talks about growing up fearing the KKK, the police and white boys that would beat him at every opportunity. A man describes a time when he was a child and that he accidentally touched a white man’s hand; he says the man and several other men beat him and the boy looked up to see his father running away. A man and his two preteen daughters go to a tennis club and the white members look at them oddly (this happens in several scenes). A man tells another man not to bother using a seatbelt in his car.
 A few tennis matches show young competitors yelling, hitting a net with a tennis racket, behaving with unsportsmanlike conduct, as well as the parents of the competitors yelling at their children and expressing disappointment in their child’s performance. A teen girl hits tennis balls hard toward her father as he walks onto the court. A preteen girl is disappointed when her older sister is taken on by a coach and she is not; she feels left behind. A tennis player stumbles while on the court during a match and falls to the ground (she’s OK).
 A wife cleans the bloody wounds on her husband’s head and face in a few scenes. A man flatulates during a business meeting and leaves.

King Richard LANGUAGE 4

 – 5 scatological terms (1 mild), 5 anatomical terms (1 mild), 11 mild obscenities, 5 derogatory terms for African-American people, 2 derogatory terms for white people, name-calling (crazy, ghetto, homey, dumb, fool, stubborn, ghetto Cinderella, stupid, bad, unbelievable, old, pressure to succeed, controversial, overbearing, self-promoting, savage, brother man, foolishness), exclamations (dang, freaking, ), 1 religious profanity (GD), 6 religious exclamations (e.g. oh God, oh my God, a family prays over meals in a few scenes, in Jesus name, thank heavens amen). | profanity glossary |

King Richard SUBSTANCE USE

 – A young man makes a comment about “smoke a blunt,” we hear a new report about a tennis player having been charged with drug possession (marijuana) and other people in her company with heroin, and Nancy Reagan makes an anti-drug plea to young people to “Just say no to drugs.”

King Richard DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Opportunity, racism, success, support, parental pride, professional tennis, ego, destiny, fear of failure, confidence, bragging, adversity, cheating, sportsmanship, life plans, Rodney King, Nancy Reagan, the “Just say no to drugs” campaign.

King Richard MESSAGE

 – Prepare for the unpredictable. Success can be fostered by supportive families.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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