Ray

Ray

81%
  • PG-13, 2 hr. 28 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    Taylor Hackford
  • In Theaters:    Oct 29, 2004 Wide
  • On DVD:    Feb 1, 2005
  • Universal Pictures
  • Ray
    3 minutes 42 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008

Ray Reviews

David Ansen
Newsweek
Top Critic
November 1, 2007

Rex Reed
New York Observer
Top Critic
November 4, 2004

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

Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
Top Critic
November 4, 2004

Eminently worth seeing.

David Denby
New Yorker
Top Critic
November 2, 2004

Vibrantly intelligent and tough-minded.

Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
October 31, 2004

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.

Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

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

Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

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

Paul de Barros
Seattle Times
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

Enjoy the music -- and Foxx. They're terrific.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

A sometimes wobbly blend of the ordinary and the amazing, Ray is nevertheless entirely engaging because of a remarkable central performance and a smartly lived-up-to promise.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

Jamie Foxx is incredible as musical giant Ray Charles.

Full Review | Original Score: B

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

It takes all of five seconds, tops, to believe that Jamie Foxx is the young Ray Charles.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

Any viewers who look at Ray and see only clichés are declaring themselves hopelessly lost to the real achievement of this picture, which is nothing less than a statement of faith in the inclusiveness of American culture.

Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

Foxx helps us to truly understand how much Charles' blindness allows him to achieve, especially when combined with an innate wiliness.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

Foxx's performance is an absolute career-maker, and he's surrounded by fine actors. By amazing music, too.

Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

Jamie Foxx should start clearing some space on his mantle -- his extraordinary, transcendent performance as music legend Ray Charles in the exuberant Ray is the one to beat for Best Actor come Oscar night.

| Original Score: 3.5/4
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

It is in Ray's many music sequences that Hackford's direction is most confident.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

What can Ray tell us about such a familiar figure? A Lot.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

The music is inspired and the cast terrifically committed, but Ray is still a long way from being a good movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

The music numbers are lively, the supporting cast solid, and the direction by Taylor Hackford is fully efficient.

| Original Score: B-
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

It's the kind of movie in which every song or musical breakthrough has a dramatic inspiration drawn from a real-life experience, designed to make us believe a life can be analyzed through its creative expressions and successes.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

Foxx gives one of the year's best performances, and early talk about an Oscar nomination is entirely justified.

| Original Score: A-
Paul Clinton (CNN.com)
CNN.com
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

Hackford has made a film that -- like Charles' music itself -- breaks your heart, makes it brim with joy and ultimately fills it with a deep belief in beauty and salvation.

Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

Foxx is not at fault here -- with Ray, he arrives at the front ranks of American film actors -- but the filmmakers' need to bend biography until it assumes triumphal shape is.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
October 29, 2004

The movie would be worth seeing simply for the sound of the music and the sight of Jamie Foxx performing it. That it looks deeper and gives us a sense of the man himself is what makes it special.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

Mr. Foxx's performance captures each nuance of character. His portrayal is an exalting tribute to a flawed, fascinating musical icon.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

If Ray fails to present a genuine portrait of a complex man's essence, it does leave you with an even greater sense of awe for Charles' accomplishments, both in his personal and public lives.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Mike Clark
USA Today
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

To any poor soul who thinks Foxx wasn't indispensable to this movie: Hit the road, Jack.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

Making a movie about anyone's life requires a director to make choices, and Hackford wasn't trying for a painstaking re-creation. Instead, he chose to focus -- like Charles himself -- on the soul.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

Ray turns out to be a proudly conventional film that combines an involving true story, irresistible music and a charismatic performance in a way that makes us not only forgive but actually almost relish how standard the presentation is.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

It's a shame about Ray, because Foxx is trapped in a movie that takes the music icon's unique story and turns it into cheesy, sentimental American Dream cliches.

| Original Score: 2.5/4
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

Ray is a sprawling, and mostly triumphant, tribute to a man whose appetites often were as big as his voice.

| Original Score: 3.5/4
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

Despite a plodding, mechanical approach to dramatizing his life, Ray occasionally hits peaks of energy and delight worthy of his finest songs.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
John Anderson
Newsday
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

Foxx is worth the price of admission.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
A.O. Scott
New York Times
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

Taylor Hackford's biography of Ray Charles is a potent and invigorating portrait of genius, thanks to Jamie Foxx's performance and to the music of Ray Charles himself.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

Ray is a fit tribute to an entertainer who, no matter what hate or hardship threw in his way or how many mistakes he made, we can't stop loving.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Kim Morgan
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic
October 28, 2004

Ray is indeed inspirational (how can such a life not be?), but it only occasionally moves beyond uplift and easy sentimentality.

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
October 27, 2004

Ray is the rare Hollywood biopic that does justice to the heroism, as well as the demons, of an American genius.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
Top Critic
October 26, 2004

Ray is so reflexive that it often seems to be about the procedural mechanics of biopics.

James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
October 25, 2004

Sluggish, conventional, and almost completely lacking in energy.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
October 21, 2004

Jamie Foxx gets so far inside the man and his music that he and Ray Charles seem to breathe as one.

| Original Score: 3.5/4
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
October 20, 2004

It succeeds more often than it doesn't, and thanks to a kinetic, mesmerizing performance by Jamie Foxx in the title role, the film has immediate accessibility to millions of Charles fans the world over.

Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic
October 19, 2004

This is an unflinching but deeply respectful look at one of the seminal musical artists of the 20th century.

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
October 14, 2004

It sings, and it swings.

Todd McCarthy
Variety
Top Critic
September 29, 2004

A rangy, straightforward and entirely engrossing biopic.