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The Power of One (1992)

tomatometer

13

Average Rating: 3.6/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 9,552

My Rating

Movie Info

John G. Avildsen, director of Rocky and The Karate Kid, adapts Bryce Courtenay's compassionate novel about the coming of age of a white anti-apartheid activist during the years of World War II in South Africa. Avildsen cumbersomely grafts Courtenay's tale of fighting apartheid onto a Hollywood-style fight-for-the-championship bout. Seven-year-old P.K. (Guy Witcher) is a white South African raised on his family's farm by his Zulu nanny. When his mother takes ill, he is sent away to an Afrikaner

Jun 22, 1999

Warner Home Video

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (11) | DVD (3)

Beautifully produced and gorgeously shot on location in Zimbabwe by lenser Dean Semler, picture has depth, dimension and first-rate casting.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Avildsen draws good performances from the three actors who play PK, as well as from the ever-reliable Freeman and Müller-Stahl, but subtlety is abandoned when he focuses on the ring and teen romance.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film's facile treatment of racial issues may be enough to bring back the practice of throwing tomatoes at the screen.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A violent cartoon that trivializes apartheid. If there's any justice, the birds of loneliness will be circling the box office.

May 12, 2001 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's resounding bunk, candied over with the lush music of Johnny Clegg and hyped to death by director John ("Rocky") Avildsen.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though rife with worthy intentions and great notions, this populist safari manages to be both patronizing and manipulative.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mushy

August 2, 2003
Pasadena Weekly

A startling film about a young South African boy's coming of age under the tutelage of three spiritual elders.

July 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

This is patronizing, offensive garbage, bought to you by the director of The Karate Kid.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comment (1)
Film4

Mostly, it's a long, heavy-handed narrative about the personal costs of South Africa's system of apartheid, set in the removed safety of bygone decades and mixed with generous helpings of Chariots of Fire and Rocky.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for The Power of One

Another movie I had to watch in school about apartheid in South Africa. This is one of the best of the bunch, I think. It's exciting and dramatic and has a lot of good actors. If you want to see a movie on the subject, I'd recommend this one.
May 11, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Ladies and gentlemen, here is an example of a very rare type of film, a mediocre one. Truly mediocre, equal parts bad and good, one of the worst kind of movies to watch. Why are they so bad to watch? A good film, well, you enjoy it, and a bad film can be made fun of for a good laugh. But The Power of One has some great performances (Morgan Freeman, and a very young Daniel Craig), but the absolutely shoddy writing hurts it. The movie is decent up until the last 20 minutes in which (SLIGHT SPOILERS) a main character is killed in a borderline hilarious fashion (felt like it was part of a Monty Python skit, not a serious dramatic death). The last 20 minutes try to end the movie as quickly as it can, so the ending feels rushed and to top if all off, has NO closure to speak of. NONE. Don't recommend this one, only if you're desperate to watch Morgan Freeman or Daniel Craig.
March 8, 2011
Jacob Ethington

Super Reviewer

Great story, shame it isn?t true in a way! (even though it pretends to be!)
September 23, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Great movie...Good soundtrack...Nice ^_^
August 28, 2007
EightThirty

Super Reviewer

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Latest News on The Power of One

February 21, 2012:
Orlando Bloom Is Zulu Bound
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October 14, 2005:
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