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Gandhi (1982)



Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 6

Director Richard Attenborough is typically sympathetic and sure-handed, but it's Ben Kingsley's magnetic performance that acts as the linchpin for this sprawling, lengthy biopic.


Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

Director Richard Attenborough is typically sympathetic and sure-handed, but it's Ben Kingsley's magnetic performance that acts as the linchpin for this sprawling, lengthy biopic.



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Average Rating: 4/5
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Movie Info

It was Richard Attenborough's lifelong dream to bring the life story of Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi to the screen. When it finally reached fruition in 1982, the 188-minute, Oscar-winning Gandhi was one of the most exhaustively thorough biopics ever made. The film begins in the early part of the 20th century, when Mohandas K. Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), a British-trained lawyer, forsakes all worldly possessions to take up the cause of Indian independence. Faced with armed


Drama, Classics

John Briley

Aug 28, 2001

Columbia Pictures

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All Critics (47) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (6) | DVD (30)

In playing Gandhi, an actor must be less concerned with physical verisimilitude than with spiritual presence, and here Kingsley is nothing short of astonishing.

February 24, 2010 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Once in a long while a motion picture so eloquently expressive and technically exquisite comes along that one is tempted to hail it as being near perfect.

January 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Attenborough's work lacks even the undercurrent of personality that David Lean brought to his films: the film has no flavor but that of the standard Hollywood hagiography.

December 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (10)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its faults rather pale beside the epic nature of its theme, and Kingsley's performance in the central role is outstanding.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A remarkable experience.

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

[Of] importance is the possibility that the film will bring Gandhi to the attention of a lot of people around the world for the first time, not as a saint but as a self-searching, sometimes fallible human being with a sense of humor as well as of history.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tthe film Gandhi is more stuffy than stately, more prestigious than prodigious. It never quite captures the essence of Gandhi, or the influence he exerted on other leaders, including Martin Luther King. It's a broad but shallow river of information.

January 13, 2014 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Above all, Kingsley's astonishing performance, capturing both Gandhi's divine light and his irresistible simplicity, inspires this ambitious film.

January 13, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Attenborough shows once again his skill in managing the big set-piece.

February 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

While Kingsley (who took one of eight Oscars) is the glue that holds this epic piece together, you must relish a cast that includes John Gielgud, Edward Fox, John Mills, Martin Sheen and Roshan Seth.

February 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

It's a slow, reverential biopic, but it compensates for its sedate pace with a dry, gentle humour and a humanity that befits its extraordinary subject.

February 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Richard Attenborough's Gandhi is every bit as sumptuous as everyone had expected.

February 11, 2013 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

Brilliant biography will engage preteens and up.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Attenborough's crowning achievement as a director.

March 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Ben Kingsley's title performance is amazing, particularly in the way he ages across the five decades which the film depicts.

January 29, 2008

It's safe to say that if you knew nothing about Gandhi before going in to the movie, you wouldn't know a whole lot more coming out.

January 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comments (4)

Gandhi is less personal than Reds, but also less complacent than Chariots of Fire and less doddering than Lean's own orderly post-colonial apologia, A Passage to India.

March 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comments (3)
Slant Magazine

Every bit the biopic that Patton was, Gandhi is emotionally engaging but taxing on the viewer's stamina. Ben Kingsley is astounding.

December 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Despite an intelligent title performance by Ben Kingsley and impressive cinematography in the manner of David Lean, this huge, clunky biopic offers less than meets the eye.

December 17, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Despite an intelliegnt performance by Ben Kingsley in the lead, Attenborousgh's worthy biopic is too conventional in illuminating the venerable leader.

July 28, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Comments (9)

A true epic in every sense of the word!

January 1, 2005
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

Audience Reviews for Gandhi

A sincere biopic about a most admirable man, and enriched by Ben Kingsley's impressive performance - even if the story is in fact more didactic than really compelling and with Gandhi not as fascinating as a character as the strength of his convictions and accomplishments.
September 18, 2013

Super Reviewer

Ben Kingsley is definitely one of the best actors absolutely shows in this wonderful film.
June 9, 2013

Super Reviewer

It's been ages since I've seen this, so my review is being dictated primarily by memory. Perhaps it's time for a rewatch?

Richard Attenborough takes the helm for this sweeping historical epic about the life of Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi. It's a very reverent film, is extremely long, and covers a lot of ground, but is a very powerful and compelling tale that highlights the life and work of one of the most influential and important figures in history.

This will probably always be Sir Ben Kingsley's defining role, but that's totally fine. He disappears into the character completely, was nothing but deserving of all the awards and acclaim he got, and really brings the character to life in the best way. It's seriously one of the most convincing performances ever. Like I said, I haven't seen this in ages, so I really don't remember much, but given who makes up the rest of the cast, such as Gielgud, I'm going to go out on a limb and just assert that their performances were also probably great too.

There's also great music, wonderful production values, superb cinematography, and of course, a great message. There's many reasons to see this, and for whichever ones you pick, hopefully you'll not be disappointed.
December 18, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Ben Kingley is excellent. (I still cannot forgive him for appearing in Uwe Boll's "Bloodrayne", which is shameful!) A powerful story and a definite must-see film.
October 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Mahatma Gandhi: The only devils in the world are those running around in our own hearts, and that is where all our battles ought to fought.
    – Submitted by George P (9 months ago)
    1. Mahatma Gandhi: There is no people on earth who would not prefer their own bad government to the good government of an alien power.
    – Submitted by George P (9 months ago)
    1. Mahatma Gandhi: An eye for an eye just ends up making the whole world blind.
    – Submitted by George P (9 months ago)
    1. Mahatma Gandhi: I want to change their minds, not kill them for weaknesses we all possess.
    – Submitted by Nik M (2 years ago)
    1. Mahatma Gandhi: Where there is injustice, I always believed in fighting. The question is: do you fight to change things or do you fight to punish? I've found we're all such sinners we should leave punishment to God.
    – Submitted by Nik M (2 years ago)
    1. Mahatma Gandhi: In this cause, I, too, am prepared to die. But, my friends, there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.
    – Submitted by Nik M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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