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Bird (A Film by Clint Eastwood)

Bird (A Film by Clint Eastwood)
Bird (A Film by Clint Eastwood)
Bird (A Film by Clint Eastwood)
  • R
  • 2h 41m
  • 1988
Common Sense Media Iconage 15+
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Forest Whitaker stars as brilliant jazz saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker in Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood's homage to Bird's life and genius. Charlie Parker pushes the boundaries of jazz, always ahead of the musical sensibilities of his time--and never willing to compromise his artistry. Wrestling with his twin demons, alcohol and drug abuse, he struggles to gain acceptance for his music. But neither his talent nor the love of his devoted wife, Chan, is enough to save Bird from a tragically untimely death at the age of 34.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Critics Consensus: Forest Whitaker inhabits Charlie Parker with aplomb in this moving love letter to the music icon, told by director Clint Eastwood with a moody style that visually evokes the wistful rhythm of jazz.
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Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 15+
Common Sense Says
Jazz biopic has drugs, drink, smoking, and language.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Bird is an Oscar-winning (for Best Sound) biopic of jazz saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker and includes his issues with alcohol and drug addiction. Parker -- played by Forest Whitaker -- is often shown under the influence of both alcohol and heroin. Many scenes take place in bars where other characters are seen drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. A character bribes a doctor to sell him drugs and he prepares them to inject. A spoon and needle are shown in one scene. The movie is not judgmental -- Parker explains that drugs help him cope with his emotional and physical pain. But he is aware of the problems they are causing him and consequences to his actions are shown. Parker's young daughter dies in the movie, which sends Parker further into depression, leading to him attempting suicide by drinking poison. Language includes the infrequent use of "f--k" and people of color say the "N" word. Parker is occasionally violent. He slaps his wife, Chan (Diane Venora), attacks a man while in a psychiatric hospital, lashes out at a musician, and breaks a window. Couples occasionally kiss and sex is implied with Parker having multiple affairs outside of his marriage.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama
  • Release Date:September 30, 1988
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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