7.21 h 26 min2012R
Director Dee Rees (MUDBOUND) makes her film debut with Pariah; an uplifting coming-of-age tale that portraits a Brooklyn teen as she takes her first steps out of the closet.
Dee Rees
Adepero OduyeKim WayansAasha Davis
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Afton Williamson
Nekisa Cooper
R (Restricted)
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4.6 out of 5 stars

480 global ratings

  1. 78% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

hailey beachReviewed in the United States on June 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Loved, definitely cried.
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This movie provides a unique perspective in queer film, black butch lesbians. I think generally when lesbians are portrayed in film or TV it's often white or light skinned lipstick lesbians. it's been said and done because quite frankly I think that category goes over better with a general audience while gaining male approval, at the expense of leaving out representation of poc women and less feminine/butch wlw. So to actually see that representation in this movie is really great.
So besides the representation it's really a great movie overall. It really captures the struggles of having to lead a double life i.e out of the closet in public while still being in the closet with an unapproving family. And without giving anything away it captures many other struggles queer and especially poc queers experience while navigating the world of coming out and forming/reforming relationships.
While this movie as moments that are completely heart wrenchig it leaves on a far more powerful and hopeful ending than many queer films I've seen. The hope that things do get better and acceptance and growth can come with time. Highly recommend.
2 people found this helpful
Moi FreeReviewed in the United States on December 23, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Saw the movie
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Heard about it was curious. I liked it.
Tmm BReviewed in the United States on August 13, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
A painfully beautiful movie that tears at your heart
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A really good deeply intense movie about a young girl, her sexuality and her strong willed family. I have seen this movie twice now and it can be so sad and so angering and rings so true in many lives no matter the color or the financial status of a family. A girl fighting to be herself while her strong willed mother wants no part of it. A father who is never home yet loves his girl no matter what the cost and still has a hard time realizing the truth. A trusted friend who betrays her feelings and her other friends who struggle themselves.

I cannot tell you how good this movie is by typing words... this is a must see for anyone coming to terms with themselves, or knows someone who is. This movie will break your heart and show you thing or two about life. One of the very best under appreciated and over looked movies about gay teens and the families that they grow up with.
2 people found this helpful
AJ WalkerReviewed in the United States on February 11, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
I was expecting something much different - this was depressing
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This movie was a near unrelenting guy punch for the life of this girl. I kept hoping the writers would bring some light to her world but they kept the trauma going and didn't let up. It was a really sad film. Then there was a whole subplot with the father seeming to be having an affair that had me scratching my head as to why that subplot was even in the film? Like I said, unrelentingly sad and just this side of tragic.

The acting was good. The cinematography was good except I felt the picture was a little dark for the number of darker skinned Black people in the film. They should have addressed this in lighting on the set or in post.

I really have no complaints about the execution of the film or anything with the production except the story being so, so depressing. I would NOT watch this again. I feel sorry for any young Black lesbian who views this film; it does not paint a very good picture of the future.
Rashid DardenReviewed in the United States on March 16, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
Worth every positive review
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I was hesitant to watch Pariah because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to relate to the black Lesbian experience as a gay black man. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I related to the film. The one thing I had wished I had known before I watched was that there was a father in the home. I don't know why I presumed that this was a single parent family. I mention that because Pariah defies pretty much every trope you can think of among coming out films.

The reason I have not given five stars is only because I feel the film wraps up too neatly at the end. It's a worthy ending, but it also sorta comes out of nowhere for me. I know this is not the kind of film which gets a sequel, but I'd sure like to see one!
artist in detroitReviewed in the United States on December 27, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
Awesome movie, great directorial debut
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I loved everything about this movie (except one thing, which I'll get into later). The acting was great, the story was excellent and the direction was phenomenal. Adepero Oduye is an incredible find!! May this young actress have a long and illustrious career!

The one thing I didn't like was Kim Wayans' character. I thought Kim Wayans the actress was on her AAA game and I believe she is a criminally underused talent in Hollywood. But her character has to be one of the most unlovable, nonredeeming characters in modern cinema! No wonder her husband feels so free to be a bastard with her! I thought there was this one moment where she would soften and I'd see what motivated her, what made her tick. Nuh-uh! She remained a total enigma to me until the very end.

Anyway, if you haven't seen this movie, see it. I had never even heard of this movie until one of my facebook friends in England (!) posted the trailer.
3 people found this helpful
Consumer AdphawkitReviewed in the United States on March 26, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of my favorite films of all time
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This movie is so well-made, and so compelling - it falls into the category of my favorite movies of all time. This isn't the story of a lesbian and it's not the story of a black woman. It's the story of both - and neither one is pushed a the sacrifice of the other. I say this because it's important and captures the complexity of a queer woman of color's identity.

I was blown away when I first saw this film and have since watched it 3 more times with friends, and I find it amazing every time. I bought several of these as gifts for friends.

Kudos to Focus Features and everyone involved in this film (producers Nekisa Cooper and Spike Lee make it no surprise that this film is so well made and captures this teenager's complexity so well).
2 people found this helpful
AmandaReviewed in the United States on September 20, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Movie
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Great movie. I originally had to watch this as part of the college degree program I’m pursuing but really enjoyed it. Very insightful, honest film. Highly recommend
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