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Cool Hand Luke (1967)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8.8/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 46 | Rotten: 0

Though hampered by Stuart Rosenberg's direction, Cool Hand Luke is held aloft by a stellar script and one of Paul Newman's most indelible performances.

100

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 0

Though hampered by Stuart Rosenberg's direction, Cool Hand Luke is held aloft by a stellar script and one of Paul Newman's most indelible performances.

audience

95

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 61,412

My Rating

Movie Info

Paul Newman was nominated for an Oscar and George Kennedy received one for his work in this allegorical prison drama. Luke Jackson (Paul Newman) is sentenced to a stretch on a southern chain gang after he's arrested for drunkenly decapitating parking meters. While the avowed ambition of the captain (Strother Martin) is for each prisoner to "get their mind right," it soon becomes obvious that Luke is not about to kowtow to anybody. When challenged to a fistfight by fellow inmate Dragline (George

PG,

Drama, Classics, Comedy

Donn Pearce, Frank Pierson

Nov 3, 1997

Warner Bros.

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All Critics (46) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (0) | DVD (18)

Stuart Rosenberg's direction is a horror, but the cast teems with so many familiar faces that this 1967 film can't help but entertain.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A picture of chilling dramatic power.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Newman gives an excellent performance, assisted by a terriffic supporting cast, including George Kennedy, outstanding as the unofficial leader of the cons who yields first place to Newman.

July 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A caustically witty look at the American South and its still-surviving chain gangs, with Newman in fine sardonic form as the boss-baiter who refuses to submit and becomes a hero to his fellow-prisoners.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A tough, honest film with backbone.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's as fresh and effective in 2004 as it was in 1967.

April 15, 2004 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An incredible film...

February 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

It's easy to forget just how fine Cool Hand Luke is.

April 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

...a gulag melodrama, if such a thing is possible.

July 8, 2010 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

Anchored by Paul Newman's thoroughly magnetic performance...

November 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Newman remains watchable and glamorous throughout, bloody, muddy or coated in torso-flattering sweat, but the film's efforts to sentimentally "humanize" him by psychological revelation are clumsy.

September 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The lines and the character have survived the film's oft-forgotten actual message.

September 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Cool Hand Luke now seems more like a well-made entertainment than any kind of American masterpiece.

September 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

...most viewers will have little failure understanding the movie and its motives. They communicate brilliantly.

August 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

One of those movies you remember Great Moments from.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Too cool for words, then switches past midstream into a work of poignancy and power.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A tough, taut, smart milestone in the evolution of the American anti-hero, and cracking entertainment too.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Preserves a time when one could not only get away with making an allegory with an existential hero, but stock it with an ensemble from the Actors Studio. [Blu-Ray]

August 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Paul Newman and George Kennedy are at their best at this popular prison drama, which drew on the Depression era film, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. Quote to remember: "What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

April 4, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Thematic ambivalence and episodic structure start to feel like major virtues: Cool Hand Luke is one of our most lived-in and pleasurably paced odes to nonconformity.

October 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

gorgeous looking and terrifically acted

August 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

An amazing accomplishment by Newman as the best fight man has left in him.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Cool Hand Luke

What elevates this engaging drama to a remarkable ode to nonconformity is definitely Paul Newman's intense performance and its taut, compelling script, which both compensate for the story's exceedingly slow-moving pace and Rosenberg's inept direction.
September 30, 2013
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

While the movie seems to have worked wonders for most, I wasn't so lucky to be one of those. That's not to say that I didn't like it altogether. Just didn't enjoy it enough as expected. Found it mediocre in almost every major department, be it scripting, acting, dialogues or screenplay. Give it a shot; may turn out to be worth your while. Even otherwise, it's not an absolute waste. Watch it (of course, at your own risk) and arrive at your own sound verdict.
July 25, 2012
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

Though the film has flaws, the performances by Newman and the whole cast are just amazing.
March 28, 2012
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

The problem with Luke is that he's so "cool" that you can't really care for him, or his antics. I guess this is suppose to be a statement about sticking it to the man, never giving up or something like that. Sorry but Luke is no Kowalski, and he's not driving a bad ass car.
September 11, 2011
DragonEyeMorrison
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

    1. Lucas (Luke) Jackson: Calling it a job don't make it right, boss.
    – Submitted by Micah S (2 months ago)
    1. Carr: One in the box, one in the bush.
    – Submitted by Greg H (6 months ago)
    1. Fixer: [just after Luke ate fifty eggs] No man can eat fifty eggs.
    – Submitted by Dermit Z (15 months ago)
    1. Boss Paul: Now I can be a nice guy, but if you trouble me, I can be a mean son of a bitch.
    – Submitted by Mark A (24 months ago)
    1. Captain: What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... well, he gets it. I don't like it any more than you men.
    – Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)
    1. Chief: What we've got here is failure to communicate.
    – Submitted by Yariv A (2 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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Foreign Titles

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