Intelligently scripted by Audrey Wells and sensitively directed by George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food), this adaptation of Angie Thomas’s acclaimed young-adult novel merits comparison with Robert Mulligan’s film of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) in its nuanced consideration of delicate social issues from a young person’s perspective. A 16-year-old black girl from a poor, inner-city neighborhood attending a private (and largely white) suburban high school reconsiders her place in the world after one of her friends, also black, is shot dead by a white police officer. The premise provides a framework for all sorts of valuable social observations—about race, police brutality, and the interconnected problems of poverty and violence that have long plagued America’s cities—and, remarkably, none of them feel forced; the filmmakers understand their characters so thoroughly that the insights seem to grow organically from their experiences. This is American studio filmmaking at its finest. With Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Common, and Russell Hornsby.