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Ray (2004)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 197
Fresh: 160 | Rotten: 37

Critics can't stop loving Jamie Foxx's performance in Ray, which is being hailed as an engrossing and energetic take on Charles' achievements and demons.


Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 43
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 7

Critics can't stop loving Jamie Foxx's performance in Ray, which is being hailed as an engrossing and energetic take on Charles' achievements and demons.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 213,020

My Rating

Movie Info

Directed by Taylor Hackford, this biopic profiles the life of legendary musician Ray Charles. Despite humble beginnings and the loss of his eyesight due to glaucoma at the age of six, Charles, depicted by Jamie Foxx, would nonetheless become an icon in both the music industry and the civil rights era. While the film delves into his problems with drugs and women, the bulk of the story details his career; among the highlights of that career are 12 Grammy awards and 11 R&B chart-toppers, such as



James White, Taylor Hackford

Feb 1, 2005


Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (208) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (160) | Rotten (37) | DVD (42)

Jamie Foxx's all-encompassing performance in the title role more than justifies the early Oscar gossip it has generated.

November 4, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Eminently worth seeing.

November 4, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Vibrantly intelligent and tough-minded.

November 2, 2004
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sure, it's the Jamie Foxx breakout role. But the movie around it is so systematically 'inspirational' that it comes perilously close to sabotaging the breakout.

October 31, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Foxx does what he's supposed to. He steals his own show.

October 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To describe Foxx's performance here is to gush, and so gush we will.

October 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A powerhouse performance piece for Jamie Foxx and a rock solid biopic.

February 5, 2011 Full Review Source: IGN DVD

Excellent portrayal of extraordinary musician.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Jamie Foxx is excellent, and sturdily supported by [James L.] White's script all the way.

August 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

Give Jamie Foxx the damn Oscar already, it's done.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Potent and vibrant as far as the music goes, but reticent, self-conscious and pretty much stuck on unexplored surfaces when it comes to this creative giant's complex life and times.

May 16, 2007 Full Review
Long Island Press

The directing is sure-handed, the script intelligent, and the acting strong, especially the amazing performance from Foxx.

October 2, 2006
Christianity Today

click to read full review [Greek]

September 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

Ray is a flawed film, but Foxx's captivating acting and a bustling soundtrack smooth the rough spots.

April 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

'Jamie Foxx brinda una de esas interpretaciones que, aunque suene a cliché, quedan para la historia'

April 4, 2005

(...) Una lograda actuación y buena música no hacen, necesariamente, una gran película. Y Ray es uno de esos casos.

March 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Feels like it's trying to cover too much ground.

February 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

A very good film, regardless of whether or not you love Ray Charles' music. And even if it was a lesser film, Jamie Foxx's performance would have made it worth watching.

February 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Paints a dramatic and surprisingly frank picture of the music legend.

February 7, 2005

Yet another ho-hum man of genius biopic, showcasing a scenery-chewing lead-behaving-badly, shoddy Freudian psychoanalysis, and cliche bottom-of-the-ninth redemption.

February 3, 2005

This is a great time at the movies, an unforgettable story about a true legend.

February 2, 2005 Full Review Source:

A busca por concisão em uma cinebiografia é importante, mas não pode ser alcançada sacrificando-se a complexidade da história e tornando-a artificial, que é o que ocorre aqui.

January 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

A good film but not a great one.

January 24, 2005 Full Review Source: FilmFocus

"Ray" is truly one of the best films this year.

January 23, 2005 Full Review Source:

Ray is a powerhouse of a film, and Jamie Foxx inhabits the character with so much voracity that it is impossible to decipher where Foxx ends and Charles starts.

January 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Some of the performances of Ray Charles's greatest hits send you right over the void at the center of the movie.

January 13, 2005 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Ray

Ever since his childhood, Ray Robinson (publicized as Ray Charles, of course, to avoid confusion with Sugar Ray Robinson) lived a tough life. He was only a mere child when he witnessed his brother drown in a bathtub, and for his whole life, he carried with him the grief of knowing he could have saved his brother. Less than a year later, Ray began suffering from blindness and was forced to find his way around using his other four senses, mainly his sense of touch. Early on in his adulthood, he was discovered to excel at both voice and the piano. His career rose exponentially, despite some controversy over him supposedly transforming gospel music used to praised the Lord into sacrilegious songs with sexual subtexts, with hits such as "I Got a Woman", "Hit the Road", and "Georgia on My Mind"-many of his songs we recognize today very well and don't even associate with him-but at the same time his outside life began to fall. Ray was dealing with segregation and drug addiction, a factor that basically collapsed the rest of his personal life, and would have destroyed his career quickly, had he not produced such hits to keep it alive.

There are some discrepancies between the film interpretation RAY and the actual events, so I've heard, but I'd say these changes were made for the benefit of producing a story that flows. The film is a heavy character study, and it seems the extended version grants it even more depth, with over twenty-five extra minutes of flashbacks and musical footage that did not appear in the theatrical cut. It's not a necessary edit to the film, but I'd recommend it. The story here, extended or not, is about as fluent as most great stories, something difficult for a biographical film to achieve. This isn't THE IRON LADY. Ray's heroin addiction isn't presented for half the film, just as dementia was in that more recent film. Writers Taylor Hackford and James L. White want to make it very clear that there were many equally problematic situations that occurred during the performer's lifetime, spreading them out and transitioning between them evenly. It's a shame Ray Charles himself passed away only a few months before his biographical picture was released. For anyone who appreciates soul music-or at least its king-as much as I do, the film is essential. It isn't perfect, nor is it set up any different than the ideal biopic, but it's otherwise stunning.

read the uncut review at
July 18, 2012

Super Reviewer

Taylor Hackford has crafted one of the best biopics of a musician since Clint Eastwood's Bird. Jamie Foxx gives the performance of his career in the lead role of Ray Charles. This is a well crafted biopic and there are some very strong performances alongside that of Jamie Foxx. Ray is a superb film that has a near flawless plot, and great directing. Ray is one of the best biopics that I've seen in recent memory. Foxx's performance is just as solid as Joaquin Phoenix's performance of Johnny Cash in Walk the Line and Forrest Whitaker's performance of Charlie Parker in Bird. This is a solid film with an engaging dramatic story that recounts the fame and turmoil of one of the greatest musicians that ever lived. Jamie Foxx definitely delivered as Ray Charles, and of all his roles, this is his best role to date. Director Taylor Hackford paints a vivid portrait of Ray Charles' life and combined with Jamie Foxx' phenomenal acting, you have one unforgettable performance and film for that matter. This is an entertaining film that possesses some strong elements that the viewer simply can't ignore. The films imperfections forgive able because of Foxx's performance, he is what makes this film what it is, and his portrayal of Ray Charles is flawless, immaculate and unforgettable. I very much love to watch biopics, and Ray is a solid dramatic biopic that will please fans of Ray Charles as well as film fans. A must see if you're looking for a great drama film with strong performances.
December 14, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Occasionally slushy, perhaps a shade on the long side, but very well acted and solidly entertaining nevertheless. Certainly a better portrait of Ray Charles than one would've expected.
October 5, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Aretha Robinson: Ya'll gotta learn how to read and write good. You understand.
    2. Young Ray: Yes, ma'am.
    3. Young George Robinson: Yes, ma'am.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (8 months ago)
    1. Young George Robinson: I don't want no education.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (8 months ago)
    1. Mary Ann Fisher: I ain't no bass, I'm a soprano.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (8 months ago)
    1. Della Charles: If you keep usin' the needle, they'll take away your music and put you in jail. That's what you wanna do.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (8 months ago)
    1. Della Charles: My whole family is in Texas.
    2. Ray Charles: That's why we're movin' to L.A.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (9 months ago)
    1. Quincy Jones: A black man is a boy in Mississippi, Ray, even if he's eighty years old.
    – Submitted by Frances H (11 months ago)
View all quotes (8)

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