The Watsons Go to Birmingham

The Watsons Go to Birmingham

Kenny Leon (2013)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Family audiences get a gentle introduction to the American Civil Rights movement in this warm yet ultimately low-impact drama, based on Christopher Paul Curtis's acclaimed children's novel. Set in the turbulent summer of 1963, the bitty TV movie sees Bryce Clyde Jenkins's 12-year-old African-American narrator and his kin set off from Michigan and head to Birmingham, Alabama, where an extended stay with the kids' grandma exposes them to segregation and the racist violence that culminates in the fatal bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. It's a crucial era in US history, but the film itself, although nicely acted, is toothless and surprisingly uneventful: concentrating on the Watsons's relationships with each other in a way that recalls classic TV series The Wonder Years, while taking a detached and superficial approach to the black community's struggles. Activism and related incidents are largely talked about rather than shown, with the most telling moments coming via period news footage.


A family sets out on a road trip where experiences give its members a new-found courage to stand up for what is right and helps them grow stronger in the process. Light-hearted drama, starring Bryce Clyde Jenkins and Harrison Knight.

Cast & Crew

Daniel Wood Harris
Wilona Anika Noni Rose
Byron Harrison Knight
Kenny Bryce Clyde Jenkins
Joetta Skai Jackson
Grandma Sands LaTanya Richardson
Mr Robert David Alan Grier
Director Kenny Leon
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColour