42 is pleasant experience at times, but is a disappointment on the whole, even with great performances from Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford.
| Original Score: 5/10
42 proves an important theory on biopics: a historical figure can be too significant for the Hollywood treatment.
| Original Score: 2/5
A likable hagiography as nuanced as a plaque at the Cooperstown Hall of Fame.
42 is enjoyable as hagiography goes, but for a genuinely important subject it has all the density of a soufflé.
| Original Score: 6/10
More a string of rousing speeches than a narrative.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
"42" settles for too little, for being an attractive primer, an introduction to the legend of Robinson and the faith that saw him through.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Mr. Helgeland's ponderously reverential biopic is a string of unearned runs.
Robinson did more for dudes with female names' rights than any politician or activist. It's no wonder that every Major League team retired his jersey number, which was... Huh. Can't seem to recall.
| Original Score: 2/4
If you want to see a completely by-the-numbers Hollywood biopic that indulges a sort of surface-level myth-making, "42" is that film, and I suspect that's exactly the film they set out to make.
| Original Score: C+
What Jackie Robinson achieved, on and off the baseball field, is the stuff of legend. It deserves to be. This decent, formulaic salute does the job of recounting it, yet never shows half the ambition of the people it depicts.
The film elevates the story of Jackie Robinson to that of cornball legend rather than just honoring his legitimately uplifting, heroic saga by telling it straight.
The film feels subdued and a little stiff, as if afraid to add too much drama or cinematic style to the historical facts.
There is more to Jackie Robinson's story than what up on the screen. Sadly, no mere movie could do his legacy justice.
| Original Score: 3/5
Rather than letting its hero's accomplishments and behavior speak for themselves, Helgeland hammers home every achievement and then puts a halo around it, as if anyone won't get it otherwise.
It's an earnest endeavor, but for 2013, it's about time the true grit of Jackie Robinson is celebrated, not just the thick outline of his bravery.
| Original Score: C
There's not enough of Robinson's back story to convey the full drama of his place in history.
I wanted to kick Ford/Rickey into next Christmas, and you can add the movie. Its corny triumphalism is barely bearable.
| Original Score: 1/5
Competent but superficial historical tribute to baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
At the top of a new baseball season, it's hard not to root for a movie that's in it for the love of the game.
This big-budget period piece is more concerned with burnishing a legend than dramatizing a life.