Hotel Rwanda - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hotel Rwanda Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 1, 2015
The film is powerful and moving, but that's got more to do with knowing the horrible events actually took place -- not because of anything special about the film making (other than possibly Cheadle's understated Paul). Cheadle's acting was exceptional, and everyone else was good with the notable exception of Nolte who played his role as if he were a caricature of a gruff-but-lovable military careerist. It's worth seeing to remind yourself that this genocide really happened and the rest of the world really didn't care that much.
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2010
During the early nineties there was an infinite increase in genocide, very prevalent in Africa. The killing in Rwanda was based on a class system that had been in place for decades, and now that the power structure was switched, the tribal system emerged, lending to a million deaths in one year at the hands of a vast military. This film tells the condensed story of a hotel manager named Paul Rusesabagina, who lived the life of a middle class suburbanite while surrounded by soldiers and misplaced nationalism. Prompted by the assassination of Rwanda's president and the expedition of the UN Peacekeepers, Rusesabagina takes in 1,200 refugees and saves all their lives in the process. Rusesabagina starts out as a tolerant and possibly naive citizen, unbelieving of the errant violence of soldiers, or the collapse of his government. With his vast knowledge and Belgian education he outwits, cons, and pleads with generals and soldiers alike to spare his "guests" lives, all while saying it was in keeping with his occupation at the hotel. Pretending they are part of the luxurious clientele, and using his knowledge of the atrocities around his country, he often keeps his offenders at bay, takes in orphans, and saves his family. This has been compared to "Schindler's List" in terms of a savior taking in people to save them from certain death. That comparison seems apt since Rusesabagina starts the film as an affluent and privileged individual with a skewed, or incorrect, view of his surroundings, much like Schindler starting the film as a Nazi. Rusesabagina immediately softens to the refugees' plights and bribes everyone he can in order to save their lives. This film has also been criticized for not covering the entire genocide and instead focuses on a small contingent of people. Comparing again to "Schindler's List," it's evident that that film did cover more, including camps, the train, and the conditions that Jews lived under, and in this film we very often do not see violence, bloodshed, or hateful intolerance. For what the film covers, I think it appropriately shows the devastation done to its citizens, and though not as effective when it comes to bluntly showing death at every turn, there are bodies in the streets, corpses of children left and piled in unceremonious mounds. The film also appropriately covers the lack of intervention from the UN or the US during this time of tumult, and how horrific that truth was when it dawned on the survivors in the hotel. That especially lent a lot of realism to the story, and downplayed the heroism of outsiders, since they weren't there for the bulk of the travesty anyway. That in itself speaks about the genocide more than showing blood spurts from bullet wounds. Overall this film is still disturbing and moving as it shows the sacrifices and travesty of these horrific crimes against humanity.
Super Reviewer
½ December 25, 2006
Like The Killing Fields, Salvador and Schindler's List before it, Hotel Rwanda catalogues yet another example of the human race's remarkable talent for inhumanity. Don Cheadle gives a career best performance as a hotel manager who uses all his intelligence and guile to help save over 1200 refugees from the genocidal rampage of Hutu militants. The rest of the cast also put in the kind of committed performances actors give when they truly believe that a story must be told and although it is a little manipulative, it's never heavy handed or clumsy. I must admit, I didn't realise that the cultural segregation of the Tutsis and the Hutus was just an arbitrary division created by long gone occupying colonialism and the film gives a welcome lesson in the cause and nature of the conflict. It also serves as yet another reminder that the opulent west is very good at making worthy popular entertainment that documents such atrocities, even shedding a tear when reminded of their existence. But we never seem to do a damn thing when it actually counts.
Super Reviewer
July 18, 2007
The backstory here is genocide ... one hell of a place to start and an lmmersion into reality usually reserved for documentarys with grainy, out-of-focus footage. But the mainstory here, in glorious cinematic values, is a true action tale about one man's determination only for decency, humanity, when the world around him contradicts. Kudos to writer/director Terry George for revealing a side of humanity nobody likes, yet exists nonetheless, and to Don Cheadle's steady portrayal of an everyman in extraordinary times.
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2011
I have no words. Another movie based on a true story. The story worths the ticket and I never expect the great Cheadle's performance. This is what makes the movie so good. Honestly I didn't liked the directing. So flat, almost like a TV drama. I truely will never understand human race in situations like the one described in Rwanda. That's the paradox. An amazing human story about inhuman acts.
Super Reviewer
April 20, 2011
Heartbreaking and emotional movie, with a great performance from Cheadle. One of his best, in fact.
Super Reviewer
October 1, 2010
Don Cheadle plays Paul Rusesabagina, the Milles Collines hotel manager, and he plays his heart out. With an amazing performance and a brilliant cast following him, this film shows what many true stories don't, heart. In the 90's when the Tutsi's and Hutu's are against one another, the Hutu's destroy their own reputation to gain more. With amazing dialogue, brilliant cinematography, a gorgeous outlook on life, and a plot that will have you in tears, Hotel Rwanda is a masterful ride!
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2010
Hotel Rwanda is the riveting true story of Paul Rusesesbagina. A Hutu who managed the Mille Collins hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. Russesbagina sheltered both tribes, Tutsis and Hutus. This film explores the humane side to one of the darkest periods of the 1990's. Hotel Rwanda is a superbly acted film, the cast here are absolutely wonderful. I am a big fan of Don Cheadle's work but I have to say that in Hotel Rwanda, he really shines and gives possibly the best performance of his career. Hotel Rwanda is a hard film to watch due to it's subject matter and it is poignant, hopeful and by the end uplifting. This film, much like Schindler's List shows that some men are able to do the right thing. This film can be easily compared to Schindler's List, because both films are very similar. However, if you'd ask me which films are better, I'd tell you that they're equal. Both films succeed in showing the good in people when all else around them is chaos. Except for a few minor flaws, this film does a great job at portraying the atrocities. The biggest flaw of the film is really Nick Nolte's character, Colonel Oliver. Oliver never existed and the character was based on General Romeo Dallaire. I personally think they shouldn't have changed the name of Dallaire, aside from that, the film is a superb piece of filmmaking and is one of the best films about these atrocities. A film like this is important so that it puts light on such subjects that this type of senseless killing happens in other countries. Hopefully Hotel Rwanda will make people realize that this is happening, and we need to do something about it. Hotel Rwanda is a very important film, and the superb cast and direction tells this story with tremendous respect, a hard but necessary film to watch. This is a terrific film and just the fact that the events in the film really happened should stimulate your interest into watching this film. Hotel Rwanda is the best film of it's kind since Schindler's List. You cannot afford to miss this film, an important film that should be seen.
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2007
An overrated, although still arresting story concerning the genocide that took place in Rwanda during the early 90's. Cheadle is in top form here, as a family man who is desperate to get his family out of the Hell that has grasped hold of their country. It doesn't pack the overwhelming emotional punch most critics raved about, but overall, still a good, solid narrative about some incredibly terrible times in a confused country.
Super Reviewer
½ August 30, 2009
An excellent film, can't believe I didnt watch it sooner!

Don Cheadle's finest work and probably one of the best dramas around, nothing quite hits you in the heart than a movie about struggle and survivial in the world's most dangerous and hopless continent... Africa. And it pretty much made things clear that the world cannot stand by too long while people are being massacared... and in the end, one million people were killed in Rwanda.

Enter Paul Rusesabagina (Cheadle) , a Hutu, who is the manager of the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda. When the Hutu President is killed after Tutsi rebels broke and agreement, the extremist Hutu army and milita ordered the death of all Tutsi rebels and their conspirators, leading to the death of millions. Paul's wife, being a Tutsi, is found by a small group of refugees and he manages to hide them inside his hotel which i guarded by UN peacekeepers. But the handful soon turn into hundreds, as the extremists begin to "cleanse" the land of the cockroaches, and the UN powerless to help, the Western World seeing no gain from sending any reinforcements. With the foriengers and UN gone, Paul uses bribes to keep the militia at bay while his employer Mr Tillens (Jean Reno) and General Oliver (Gary Busey) try to convince the superiors and nations to assist the Rwandans....and in the midst of all this, Paul is left to manage his four star hotel and its workers, care for his scared family and protect the hundreds of refugees under his care, risking his wealth and his life to save as many as he can.

A really great piece of filmmaking, the drama never stops as Paul and the world surrounding him plunges into deeper levels of despair after the other, and at times hope is almost lost, and time has run out

An excellent film.... Go watch it yourself, nothing more to be said here.
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2009
Truly heart-wrenching and awe-inspiring.
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2009
There have been so many good things said about this film that anything I could post here would simply be redundant.

I will say that I am thankful to the OETA (Oklahoma Educational Television Association) for including this very important film in their Saturday night "Movie Club" lineup that is usually reserved for 'classic' films. (They sandwiched it between Inherit the Wind and Key Largo).
Super Reviewer
½ August 10, 2007
Very touching film.
Super Reviewer
½ May 11, 2008
By far one of the most violent films I've ever personally seen and most of the people killed were innocent victims who pretty much just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It follows early 90's Rwanda as one man who runs a hotel tries to keep as many refugees as he can alive while the entire country is being threatened in a violent war ridden with mass genocide. It shows a lot of bad...a lot of killing and suffering and doesn't hold back in it's own contempt for the countries that didn't help and/or had information wrong. So many people had to die, yet so many were also saved. Don Cheadle and Nick Nolte put in masterful performances - as always - as did Joauquin Phoenix in a short role. It's sad that events like this can only be portrayed and shown in their intensity by Hollywood and not by the news when they're actually happening.
Super Reviewer
April 27, 2008
A shocking and utterly moving drama. An absorbing, riveting and breathtaking movie. Don Cheadel gives and extroadinary and brilliant performance, proving to be more of a capable leading man other than his regular supporting roles. Nick Nolte gives a teriffic and impressive performance.
Super Reviewer
½ March 21, 2008
A passionate film, beautifully made and acted.
A horrific look at a travisty of humanity, that is sadly being repeated today in Darfur with similar disregard.
Will we ever learn?
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2008
Scary and real, great acting.
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2006
A powerful film with powerful performances to match. An amazing tale based on a true story, a truly enlightening story of one man's love of his family and bravery to save people whilst others were being brutally murdered.

This film requires your full attention and you'd be a harder person than me if this doesn't effect your emotions.

VERDICT: A definite recommendation.
Super Reviewer
August 5, 2007
Excellent movie. Great play by the actors especially Don Cheadle as the protagonist Paul Rusesabagina. Now I know why he got nominated for Best Actor in the Oscars. This movie will be remembered. It shows the constant and repetitive errors that the human kind does time after time. It is also a reminder that even if the world decided to not intervene in the conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis, this could happen everywhere. Hatred, bigotry, racism and territorial preoccupations fueled this conflict but the abandonment of this part of the world after an avid exploitation by the European countries did not help either. Ultimately, the conflict depicted in this movie shows the terrible consequences of previous acts on a complete civilization.

A thought provoking film that shows man's cruelty in this world and I suggest you watch it. NOW.
Super Reviewer
½ October 1, 2007
Really sad movie. I think it sucks that people just get wiped out like that, and nobody cares.
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