• PG-13, 2 hr. 10 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    John Sayles
    In Theaters:
    Aug 28, 1987 Limited
    On DVD:
    Nov 23, 1999
  • Cinecom Pictures
  • Matewan
    2 minutes 40 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008

Opening

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Matewan Reviews

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the rich umbers of Haskell Wexler's cinematography, Matewan does look great.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

March 22, 2013
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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If Sayles's bite were as lethal as his bark, he might have given this a harder edge and a stronger conclusion. But the performances are uniformly fine.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 22, 2013
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
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In its grave clarity, it's as pure and plaintive as a mountain ballad.

March 22, 2013
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
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Sayles must have meant his movie to stir and provoke, but the self-contained look of it yields something else -- a sense of quaintness, of harmless nostalgia.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

March 22, 2013
Michael Wilmington
Los Angeles Times
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When this movie stumbles, it stumbles honestly and sympathetically, but, when it succeeds, it makes history sing.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

March 22, 2013
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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The movie works the way Westerns have always worked: In clear, simple terms and with straightforward dramatic devices.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/4

March 22, 2013
Variety Staff
Variety
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Matewan is a heartfelt, straight-ahead tale of labor organizing in the coal mines of West Virginia in 1920 that runs its course like a train coming down the track.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 4, 2009
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
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The result is witty, astute, and finally very moving.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Vincent Canby
New York Times
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Mr. Sayles's screenplay goes back to Shakespearean fundamentals... I suspect, however, that this seeming artlessness is a conscious choice. It's another example of the long-lost innocence that Matewan bravely celebrates.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4.5/5

May 20, 2003
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
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Riddled with labor rhetoric, this coal-dusted tragedy wavers between well-acted propaganda and historical burlesque.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

January 1, 2000
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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Add uniformly good acting to Sayles' script of dark coal pits, West Virginia spirit and cowboyish melodrama and you have stirring cinema.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

January 1, 2000
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