Hotel Rwanda Reviews
December 8, 2014
There's an ugly not-my-country-not-my-problem tattoo stamped on the U.S.'s backside. At times, they thoroughly believe in that tattoo; but in others, they gaze at it with a tinge of regret. I'm sure America has felt that potent remorse when reflecting on the Holocaust or the Cambodian genocide. But as one character in "Hotel Rwanda" puts it, the majority of our nation hears of the crimes, says "that's awful," turns right around, and finishes their dinner. I'm guilty of it, you're guilty of it; we're all guilty of it. There is no one to blame in particular - an ordinary person can't simply drop everything and become a humanitarian - but in "Hotel Rwanda," the that's awful mentality is transformed from a mere numbers game to a stinging reality.
In 1994, millions of Rwandan citizens were killed in a response to the snapping of the racial tension between the two predominant ethnicities, the Hutu and the Tutsi. When Tutsi rebels assassinated the country's dictator, Juvénal Habyarimana, the slowly growing mentality that the Tutsi, who migrated to Rwanda early in its foundation, were not natural-born citizens and therefore a threat to the country finally hit its climax. In response, Hutu soldiers began exterminating Tutsi civilians without even batting an eye.
But amidst any atrocity there is always a hero; in the Rwandan genocide's case, that hero was Paul Rusesabagina, the manager of the Hotel Des Milles Collines. By allowing scores of would-be victims to stay in the fluctuating rooms and hallways with no charge, he saved nearly 1,300 people. The film presents him not with the rugged exuberance of a John Wayne type, but rather with a man who feels the need to do the right thing and has the means to do so.
We are only given glimpses into the barbarities that took place in the varying neighborhoods and regions, but "Hotel Rwanda" succeeds in the fact that it's not a lecture or an in-your-face history lesson. It's by turns enlightening, grim and affecting. Because Rusesabagina is Hutu and his wife is Tutsi (therefore his kids are in grave danger as well), there is an added franticness that makes every second more precious than the last.
Rusesbagina is portrayed by Don Cheadle, his wife by Sophie Okonedo, with Nick Nolte playing a conflicted French Canadian colonel who is forced to make tough decisions in an environment where there isn't any time to make tough decisions. Cheadle's performance is so poignant because he is willing to risk everything he has in order to save others, despite the fact that he may die in the process. To go from fledging hotel manager to a saint within a matter of hours isn't a smooth task, but he accents Rusesbagina's integrity with a devout spirit. What should he do, send every Tutsi out into the street to die? As Rusesbagina's wife, Okonedo is the emotional core of the film, fearing endlessly for her kids and her valiant husband. Okonedo lays every sense she has down on the table; we feel what she feels.
"Hotel Rwanda" is a terrifically acted and tremendously vigorous account of a monstrous part of our history. Even though the majority of countries looked away, the film places us at an uncomfortable distance to the heinous event, making us rethink that entire not-my-country-not-my-problem philosophy.
November 1, 2014
An inspiring tale of courage in the face of a strong current. A classic movie about a war-torn nation. It is true what they say about other nations that hear the cry but stand by and watch.
September 29, 2014
A deeply effective and haunting film. It shows the best and worst parts of humanity.
May 27, 2008
This movie reminds me of Schindler's List, and yet more realistic, heart-breaking and moving. It offers another angle to explore racism and basic human rights. If one is as capable as Don Cheadle in the movie, of course he ought to give a helping hand to the oppressed. But even if you don't, you shouldn't let prejudice, hatred and violence intrude your mind and become an oppressor.
September 7, 2014
Part of my remaining iMDB Top 250 List that i currently want to complete. Joaquín Phoenix and Jean Reno supporting. Strong but not great
April 26, 2014
Don Cheadle's Oscar nominated performance drives this heartbreaking and emotional drama set during the Hutu-Tutsi civil war in Rwanda. Cheadle plays hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, who tries to save the lives of more than a thousand Tutsi refugees by hiding them in his hotel. A few scenes that will be hard for me to (ever) forget, the "bumps" on the road as they drive through the fog, the little orphan girl exclaiming "Please don't let them kill me, I promise I won't be Tutsi anymore'' Yeah, brutal. So anyways. A good movie, Cheadle's performance is amazing, I had a hard time accepting Nick Nolte as a "Canadian" UN Colonel, Joaquin Phoenix is essentially a cameo, not a big budget Hollywood film and all the better for it. Reminiscent of Shindler's List in the beginning as Paul tries to pay/barter for Tutsi's lives. 8/26/14
February 9, 2014
Really good movie but it is pretty light for a movie about genocide. If they made it darker and if it was rated R, it would have been a lot better.
July 7, 2014
Don Cheadle plays Oscar Schindler as a hotel manager that uses all his efforts to save the lives of 1200 refugees from the genocidal rampage of Hutu militants while most of the world was watching.
July 3, 2014
Heartbreaking and harrowing in equal measure, as it shows the desperate attempts of Paul Russesbegina, trying to salvage humanity in a time when everything around him seems to be dead. This Schindlers List set in Rwanda, does not really seek to explore the political background of the Rwandan Genocide, it was more a look at the people caught up in it for no fault of theirs.
It also castigates the Western attitude and the failure of the UN, as shown in the scene, where the bus takes away the Western tourists and expats, leaving behind the natives stranded helplessly.
Excellent performance by Don Cheadle, as Paul Russesbegina, who throws his everything into the character, and backed up well by Joaquin Phoenix, Nick Nolte among others.
June 16, 2014
Essentially the Rwandan-genocide equivalent of Schindler's List, Hotel Rwanda is a hard-hitting, heartfelt and powerfully acted film. The cinematography was colorful, and the subject-matter was expertly handled so that viewers could genuinely feel the onscreen characters suffering. The only gripe I can really scrape out is Nick Nolte's seemingly dry character and occasionally incomprehensible dialogue. Other than that, Hotel Rwanda is an important film that serves as an eye-opener towards the depressing truth of horror's that are ignored around the world.
June 7, 2014
A tragic and relentless film that depicts such a dark point in history where none of us lifted a finger in order to end it.
May 20, 2014
one of the greatest achievements of cinema
November 21, 2011
Disturbing to say at the least. It makes you want to rip your heart out and give it to the African continent as tribute to say at the most. Hotel Rwanda makes me feel ashamed of some of the social aspects of western influence.
May 4, 2014
See it for the important, and sadly overlooked history of Rwandan genocide. It will floor you, and make you angry at the government and the media for staying away. But it will also alert you to the profound talent of Don Cheadle, who carries the movie on his back, the way his character carried 1200 people through a nightmare. He got a nomination for his portrayal, but, sadly, lost to the showboat impersonation that the otherwise talented Jamie foxx gave in Ray. He should have won, and the American people should have been more aware of the tragedy going on in Rwanda. This is heavy stuff, and to think of the State of the United States in 1994 when this was happening. Every American should have been aware. And our government, and European governments should not have turned their backs. This was an ugly moment in Rwandan history, and an even uglier one in American history, because we ignored it. This should be required watching for every complacent American that thinks it is ok to sit back and watch.
August 12, 2013
Hotel Rwanda is a biographical historical drama about one man (Paul) who shelters over a thousand refugees in 'his' hotel at a time when genocide is taking place in his country in 1994. One of the film's remarkable feats is its ability to shock its audience and create tension by hinting at horrible acts of slaughter instead of showing them in your face. The lack of graphic reenactments of violence in Hotel Rwanda allows its stellar cast to deliver some of the most (realistic) moving performances in modern cinema. Don Cheadle in particular carries the bulk of the acting in this film, but you never doubt the guy for a second, and that's not to underplay the performances of the rest of the cast. Shifting gears a bit, the 1994 Rwandan genocide event is notable for its (almost ironic) absence of the United States and the other Western powers. "rwanda's not worth a single vote to them," a statement from the film, is a blatant attack on America's (and the rest of the world's) silence on the matter. And now, 20 years later [4/28/14], there remains a lot of 'no-talk' on a number of important issues that face us--not as a country, but as living organisms on this planet that we share with non-human organisms--why? How is it possible that beings, capable of incredible feats of engineering, art, music, critical thought, etc, are blind (or simply choose to look past) to problems/dilemmas/etc that Need to addressed? It's easy to say that we will never forget about the holocaust ....but then what happened in Rwanda? Is there anything else happening at this very moment that needs to be stopped? I don't have any answers, but there's thing I know for sure--for the most part--not a single damn one of us has learned from "acts of genocide"....
March 4, 2014
Great thought-provoking drama to be engaged in. The movie felt so natural and raw, like downing a straight shot of whiskey. Don Cheadle gives the performance of his career in this great film about the struggles during a very tense rebellion in Rwanda between the Hutu militia and the Tutsis. This film will stock with you for the rest of your life.
April 5, 2014
The story of a civil war that massacred millions going largely unnoticed, gave this film a duty to properly convey the circumstances of this event, in which the film delivers beautifully and with enough emotion to leave one in tears.
February 28, 2014
A well-paced and executed movie. Incredibly moving performances.
February 23, 2014
A heartbreaking story about a heartbreaking time in Rwanda that wisely chooses to concentrate on a segment of the population - in fact, refugees staying at the Hotel Des Milles Collines. The focus on a smaller group of people provides a stronger, visceral experience when we see the "bottom fall out" in Rwanda than it would have been possible with a broader canvas involving more characters. Performances from Don Cheadle and others were excellent, and though this is a movie difficult to rewatch, I am happy that I have done so several times.
February 20, 2014
the movie is based on a true story that occurred during the Rwandan genocide in which Paul Rusesabagina saved 1,268 lives during the Rwandan genocide..a really great movie about inhumanity