bySandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense MediaJan 06, 2017
Parents need to know that "Hidden Figures"is based on the inspiring true story of three brilliant African-American women who worked at NASA in the 1950s and '60s as "human computers"—making calculations and contributions that helped launch the manned spaceflight program. Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) and Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) were engineers and computers at NASA at a time when both women and African Americans were still widely discriminated against, particularly in segregationist Virginia, where NASA's Langley Research Center is based. There's a little bit of romance (a few kisses, flirty comments and slow dancing) and a bit of salty language (mostly along the lines of "damn" and "Jesus Christ" as an exclamation). The film also offers a realistic look at the racial tensions of the Civil Rights era (segregated bathrooms, libraries, schools, facilities), and audiences will learn a lot about these pioneering women and what they had to overcome to make their mark at NASA. They're excellent role models, and their story is full of positive messages and themes, including integrity, perseverance, teamwork and communication.