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Mister Johnson (1991)

tomatometer

67

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

68

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 687

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Bruce Beresford followed up his Academy Award-winning Driving Miss Daisy with another meditation on race, Mister Johnson. Set in West Africa in 1923, Johnson (Maynard Eziashi), the clerk of British administrator Harry Rudbeck (Pierce Brosnan), attempts everything within his power to ingratiate himself into white society. Johnson hatches a plan to juggle the books so that Rudbeck will have the capital necessary to achieve his ultimate dream of a "great northern road," but when his scheme

PG-13,

Drama, Comedy

Jan 29, 1992

Vestron Video

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (3) | DVD (1)

Beresford, adapting Joyce Cary's 1939 novel, looks at the psychological relationships inherent in colonialism with some subtlety.

September 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
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Beresford and writer William Boyd have delivered a film strangely devoid of emotion and lacking a clear point of view.

July 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
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The film works well as far as it goes, but some of the story's emotional power is denatured or lost.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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I have seen "Mister Johnson" two times, and both times I admired its sense of time and place, and the thoughtful performances of Eziashi, Brosnan and Woodward.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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No great friend of colonialism, Beresford makes his point without losing sight of either history or its mostly unsung heroes.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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Although this colonial satire has intelligent aims, it's always a degree or two off the mark.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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To both the humane Rudbeck, intelligently played by Pierce Brosnan, and the abusive drunkard Gollup, Johnson is a cipher.

August 12, 2014 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This just doesn't really work, but then, neither did the novel.

August 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A richly nuanced and well-acted screen version of Joyce Cary's 1839 novel.

July 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Issues of race and racism here are as vague as they were in Driving Miss Daisy, and you are left with the impression Beresford is happy to dodge the issues he dabbles with.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A standout performance by Maynard Eziashi in the title role

January 1, 2000 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

We care about Mister Johnson even while he's annoying. And we hope for him to acknowledge his weaknesses, even while we anticipate his downfall.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

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