• PG-13, 2 hr. 7 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Denzel Washington
    In Theaters:
    Dec 25, 2007 Wide
    On DVD:
    May 13, 2008
  • MGM


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The Great Debaters Reviews

Page 1 of 7
Heather Huntington

Washington directed as well as starred, and it is clear he has no trouble wearing both hats at once

Full Review Source: ReelzChannel.com | Original Score: 7/10

September 8, 2008
Austin Kennedy
Sin Magazine

This is a wonderfully acted and directed movie, that has something important to say

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 22, 2008
Kevin McCarthy

I was having mediocre day and I walked out of the movie totally pumped up and ready for the rest of the day, even though it was 10pm at night.

Full Review Source: WJFK-FM (CBS Radio) | Original Score: 4.5/5

June 1, 2008
Prairie Miller

There's a real organic sense in the film of how young minds can be nurtured and energized way beyond sex, sports and slacker attitude, into caring and evolving kid works-in-progress. And how debating can be pretty cool too, who knew?

Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

May 2, 2008
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

The acting is great and care is taken to develop these characters into people we can root for.

Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Original Score: B+

April 10, 2008
Matt Kelemen
Las Vegas CityLife

Enough fictional liberties were taken with The Great Debaters to make it fit neatly on the inspirational genre shelf, but it's grounded in enough reality to excuse Eisle's we-shall-overcome contrivances

Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

March 17, 2008
Jeff Bayer
The Scorecard Review

Showcasing the history is done with care and purpose, but I wanted more. I wanted more time between Washington and Forest Whitaker. I wanted more...

Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review | Original Score: 7/10

March 4, 2008
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Although we instinctively should be rooting for these characters, Eisele bends the rules of academic debate to make sure the outcome is never in doubt.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 15, 2008
Gina Carbone
Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)

Nate Parker may end up the next Denzel Washington. He has the charm and emotional punch. Put him in more things.

Full Review Source: Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine) | Original Score: 3/4

February 12, 2008
Linda Cook
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Sometimes a movie is so literate, so positive and reveals such an intriguing piece of history that it's like a two-hour classroom session.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4

February 9, 2008
Christian Toto
Washington Times

Denzel delivers both in front of and behind the camera with The Great Debaters.

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

February 3, 2008
Rob Humanick
Projection Booth

As is typical of such fare, the primary goals are commendable for their well-intentioned earnestness, but zero points for such gluttonous condescension.

Full Review Source: Projection Booth | Original Score: C

January 31, 2008
Amy Nicholson
I.E. Weekly

Despite its transparent manipulations, the film is more decent than it deserves to be, particularly when the kids step up to the podium and get passionate

Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly | Original Score: C

January 29, 2008
Bruce Bennett
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

With the help of a great screenplay and tremendous acting, this film ... soars above the typical minority/underdog formula to inspire more than it manipulates.

Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah) | Original Score: B+

January 26, 2008
Mark Palermo
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

The Great Debaters handles conventions well, making an important piece of history affecting and resonant.

Full Review

January 21, 2008
Cynthia Fuchs

It's the sort of tradeoff Oprah makes daily, finding ways to represent those histories and experiences that are otherwise unrepresented%u2014ways that will appeal to a broad base and so, somehow, make differences.

Full Review Source: PopMatters

January 17, 2008
Lori Hoffman
Atlantic City Weekly

. . . an engaging look at a time and place when black men and women had to fight for dignity and respect against overwhelming forces

Full Review Source: Atlantic City Weekly | Original Score: 3/4

January 10, 2008
Diana Saenger

The Great Debaters is an amazing story, but it's the sensational direction and terrific cast that make the theme resonant.

Full Review Source: ReviewExpress.com | Original Score: 4.5/5

January 7, 2008
Cole Smithey

For all of its hermetic dramatic license, "The Great Debators" hits its emotional marks with help from Forest Whitaker and a talented ensemble cast that includes Nate Parker, Jurnee Smollett, and newcomer Denzel Whitaker.

Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Original Score: B-

January 5, 2008
Wilson Morales

Not only is this a feel good story, but it's moving and inspirational for all.

Full Review Source: BlackFilm.com | Original Score: 3/4

January 5, 2008
Page 1 of 7
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