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Lumumba (2001)

tomatometer

81

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 57
Fresh: 46 | Rotten: 11

Ebouaney's fiery performance makes Lumumba compelling.

88

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 3

Ebouaney's fiery performance makes Lumumba compelling.

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 1,113

My Rating

Movie Info

The story of political leader Patrice Lumumba, Congo's first prime minister who helped lead his country to independence from Belgium in the late 1950s. Lumumba's vision of a united Africa gained him powerful enemies: the Belgian authorities, who wanted a much more paternal role in their former colony's affairs, and the CIA, who supported Lumumba's former friend Joseph Mobutu. This was in order to protect U.S. business interests in Congo's vast resources and their upper hand in the Cold War power

Oct 22, 2002

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All Critics (67) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (11) | DVD (2)

Peck, who assayed Lumumba's life in a 1991 documentary, now paces the doomed man's story like the genuine thriller it is.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At the heart of the movie is Ebouaney's performance as Lumumba, every bit as intense as Denzel Washington's as Malcolm X.

November 16, 2001
Detroit Free Press
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Ebouaney is easily the best thing about this import.

November 9, 2001 Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
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An engrossing film that attempts to unearth a dark period of African history and the short-lived tenure of Lumumba's power.

November 1, 2001 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The vividness of the figures and situations whets the appetite.

October 19, 2001 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ebouaney is given the daunting task of carrying a heavy film, and rises to the challenge with Denzel Washington-esque conviction.

October 4, 2001 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a prime example of how a historical drama can be politically correct but thoroughly embalmed. The memory of Patrice Lumumba deserves better.

August 11, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Drawn from life or not, film people need some flaw, some depth, a facial betrayal of emotional struggle. If not, they are the stuff of action adventure, rooted for but at once forgotten.

January 23, 2011 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

One day, when Ebouaney is a huge star, people will look back at this film and say 'That's what did it.'

May 7, 2003
New Times

The story of the Congo and its struggle for independence from Belgium is a bloody and torrid one, but Lumumba doesn't really imbue the tale with much spirit.

February 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

[C]ompelling.

February 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

Lumumba overcomes some minor shortcomings and becomes an important and gripping feature.

December 21, 2001 Full Review Source: Baseline.Hollywood.com
Baseline.Hollywood.com

Bites off way more than it can chew, it is often artlessly made, and it assumes that we know more than most of us do about the Congolese Nationalist Movement.

November 29, 2001 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Earnestly but amateurishly acted, the movie feels more like a play with the actors exaggerating their gestures so that even those in the cheap seats won't miss anything.

November 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

A tense drama told with style and ambition -- and with a remarkably steely, energized performance at its core.

November 2, 2001 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Seeing it shouldn't be taken as some sort of educational chore. Though informative, it also happens to be smashing good drama.

October 8, 2001 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

As fluid and intellectually stimulating as the man himself.

September 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Moving, poignant, and quietly angry.

September 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Philadelphia City Paper
Philadelphia City Paper

a solid, interesting, educational and honest docudrama

September 10, 2001 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

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Foreign Titles

  • Lumumba, la mort du prophète (FR)
  • Lumumba: Death of a Prophet (AU)
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