• PG-13, 2 hr. 8 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Brian Helgeland
    In Theaters:
    Apr 12, 2013 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jul 16, 2013
  • Warner Bros. Pictures


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42 Reviews

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A dramatization of what Robinson did and what it required, 42 will not disappoint.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

May 7, 2014
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
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It's not easy to play a stoic, but Boseman anchors the movie, and when he smiles, 42, already such a warm story of such cold times, gets even brighter.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

May 7, 2014
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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The style of the film, lush and traditional, is nothing special, but the takeaway, a daily struggle for dignity, is impossibly moving.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/5

May 7, 2014
Wesley Morris
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So 66 years after Robinson became the first black major league baseball player, here we are with 42, which has been made with such reverence for Robinson's importance that Robinson is barely there.

Full Review Source: Grantland

January 6, 2014
David Denby
New Yorker
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A square, uninventive, but detailed and stirring bio-pic devoted to the two years in an athlete's life that changed a nation.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

April 22, 2013
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
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"This is a competent but mostly unexceptional film about a most extraordinary man."

Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com | Original Score: 3/5

April 12, 2013
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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This story inspires and entertains with a vital chapter in this nation's history.

Full Review Source: Denver Post

April 12, 2013
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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The filmmaking is TV-movie-of-the-week dull and Robinson's ordeal is hammered home to the exclusion of virtually everything else in his life.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: C-

April 12, 2013
Laremy Legel
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"A kind and decent film, though it doesn't add to Robinson's legacy."

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: 7.5/10

April 12, 2013
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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[Boseman] captures, in a clenched jaw or a sidelong glance, a lifetime's worth of dearly attained dignity and barely contained rage.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

April 12, 2013
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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In the hallowed frames of 42, the legend is front and centre and still inspiring. Too bad the more interesting man is nowhere to be seen.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 12, 2013
Tom Long
Detroit News
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If anybody deserves to be portrayed as noble, it's Jackie Robinson.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

April 12, 2013
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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An inspiring, old-school biopic that doesn't pull any punches in depicting the ugly racism that Jackie Robinson faced on a daily basis as the first African-American player in Major League Baseball.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

April 12, 2013
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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A stirring, straightforward and ultimately soaring portrayal of Robinson's historic entry into Major League Baseball in 1947.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

April 12, 2013
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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The beauty of the Jackie Robinson story is that it's so naturally inspiring that not even lethal amounts of bombast, sentimental writing, soaring strings, hammy acting or desperate hyperbole can tarnish it beyond repair.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 11, 2013
Dana Stevens
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By burnishing Jackie Robinson's legend to such an unnaturally high polish, 42 does Robinson the man (and the actor who plays him, the relative newcomer Chadwick Boseman) a disservice.

Full Review Source: Slate

April 11, 2013
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Robinson's story had so much drama in real life, and his sacrifice and pain made such a lasting influence, that "42" ends up being effective in its gee-whiz way almost in spite of itself.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

April 11, 2013
Alonso Duralde
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For all the 1940s hokiness of 42, with its big cars and big bands and peanuts and Cracker Jack, it's a wonderful surprise to see that there's a recognizable human being at the center of the hoopla.

Full Review Source: TheWrap

April 11, 2013
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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42 escapes the trappings of sheer hero worship largely thanks to Boseman, whose relative anonymity eliminates any potential star baggage. More than that, he strikes a tough balance.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B

April 11, 2013
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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Mr. Helgeland's ponderously reverential biopic is a string of unearned runs.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

April 11, 2013
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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It's a great and triumphant story, and writer and director Brian Helgeland (an Oscar winner for his L.A. Confidential screenplay) brings it to life in burnished, old-fashioned Hollywood style.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

April 11, 2013
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Though not accurate in every particular, the movie mostly succeeds in respecting the facts of history and the personality of its hero, and in reminding audiences why he mattered.

Full Review Source: New York Times

April 11, 2013
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
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Well-paced and often riveting, and manages to inspire while remaining true to the sport and to the player who changed it and all of professional sport forever.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

April 11, 2013
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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There's not enough of Robinson's back story to convey the full drama of his place in history.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 11, 2013
Bob Mondello
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Shameless, sure. But effective.

Full Review Source: NPR

April 11, 2013
Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
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Even the most woefully sports-ignorant probably know all the plot points here by heart. For all its feel-good sports-movie predictability, 42 ... is surprisingly effective and even, at a couple of points, moving.

Full Review Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com | Original Score: 3/5

April 11, 2013
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
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As Robinson, Boseman has both physical grace and sly charm.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

April 11, 2013
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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Ironically, the most valuable player here is Harrison Ford, giving one of the best performances of his career as Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

April 11, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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It's a valuable history lesson, an intelligent drama that hits all the right emotional buttons, and an inspiring portrait of a true American hero.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 11, 2013
James Berardinelli
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It's worth seeing because the film is competently presented and the story is inherently important, but I couldn't help be disappointed that the result wasn't more fresh or visionary.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

April 11, 2013
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
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A likable hagiography as nuanced as a plaque at the Cooperstown Hall of Fame.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

April 11, 2013
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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The inspirational movie named for Robinson's number is too dignified to throw audiences a curveball, let alone a knockdown pitch, but its solid fundamentals make it a winner.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

April 11, 2013
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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It's a sports film nonsports fans can love; it's a family film that never preaches; it's a biopic that also takes in the world and people around its subject.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 5/5

April 11, 2013
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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"42" settles for too little, for being an attractive primer, an introduction to the legend of Robinson and the faith that saw him through.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 11, 2013
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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If you want a crowd-pleaser that confirms your belief in America's steady, pre-ordained progression away from racism, this will do fine.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 11, 2013
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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"42" can feel incomplete (the bland music and the filmmaker's obsession with dates and places are problematic), yet at the same time it offers a very good place to start.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

April 11, 2013
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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Helgeland has given us an impressive introduction to one of the most important men in U.S. history. But you can't help wanting more.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3.5/5

April 11, 2013
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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There are many less flattering things you could say about a movie than that it's enjoyable in a square, uncomplicated, stirringly old-fashioned way.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

April 11, 2013
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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It's thoroughly embalmed in the glossy lacquer of conventional baseball movies, and limited further by trying to deal with the horrors of racism in that context.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C+

April 11, 2013
Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
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"42" is competent, occasionally rousing and historically respectful - but it rarely rises above standard, old-fashioned biography fare. It's a mostly unexceptional film about an exceptional man.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

April 11, 2013
Rafer Guzman
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This big-budget period piece is more concerned with burnishing a legend than dramatizing a life.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 10, 2013
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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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.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 2.5/4

April 10, 2013
Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
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If you want a sense of a true all-American hero, this film is a fine place to start.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 3/4

April 10, 2013
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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With 42, [Helgeland] expands his skills to turn a mountain of research into a cogent life story worth retelling.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 3/4

April 10, 2013
David Germain
Associated Press
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For all the hate and hostility it depicts, 42 is a film about decent-hearted people. Hate can be infectious, but so can decency. It's the decency you'll take away from 42.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

April 10, 2013
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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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.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

April 10, 2013
Scott Foundas
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A relentlessly formulaic biopic that succeeds at transforming one of the most compelling sports narratives of the 20th century into a home run of hagiography.

Full Review Source: Variety

April 10, 2013
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