Selma (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

Selma (2015)



Critic Consensus: Fueled by a gripping performance from David Oyelowo, Selma draws inspiration and dramatic power from the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr. -- but doesn't ignore how far we remain from the ideals his work embodied.

Movie Info

SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernays SELMA tells the real story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.(C) Paramountmore
Rating: PG-13 (for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Webb
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 5, 2015
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


David Oyelowo
as Martin Luther King J...
Carmen Ejogo
as Coretta Scott King
Tom Wilkinson
as Lyndon Baines Johnso...
Giovanni Ribisi
as Lee C. White
as James Bevel
Wendell Pierce
as Reverend Hosea Willi...
Lorraine Toussaint
as Amelia Boynton
Tim Roth
as George Wallace
Oprah Winfrey
as Annie Lee Cooper
Andre Holland
as Andrew Young
Omar J. Dorsey
as James Orange
Tessa Thompson
as Diane Nash
Colman Domingo
as Ralph Abernathy
Martin Sheen
as Frank Minis Johnson
Dylan Baker
as J. Edgar Hoover
Niecy Nash
as Richie Jean Jackson
Keith Stanfield
as Jimmie Lee Jackson
Stephan James
as John Lewis
Haviland Stillwell
as President's Secretar...
Nigel Thatch
as Malcolm X
Jeremy Strong
as James Reeb
Yamanee Coleman
as Church/Funeral Atten...
Corey Reynolds
as CT Vivian
Ruben Santiago-Hudso...
as Hudson-Bayard Rustin
Trai Byers
as James Forman
John Archer Lundgren
as Deputized Klansman
E. Roger Mitchell
as Reverend Frederick R...
Tara Ochs
as Viola Liuzzo
Kent Faulcon
as Dr. Sullivan Jackson
Charity Jordan
as Viola Lee
Christine Horn
as Female Marcher
Preston Baker
as Hotel Patron/Selma C...
John Lavelle
as Roy Reed
Stan Houston
as Sheriff Jim Clark
Dane Davenport
as Klansman #1
Clay Chappell
as Registrar
Ledisi Young
as Mahalia Jackson
Elizabeth Diane Well...
as Marie Reeb (as Eliza...
Fred Galle
as Alabama State Attorn...
Amahre Palmer
as Civil Rights Activis...
Nadej Bailey
as Girl #5
Montrel Miller
as Young Marcher
Walter Hendrix, III
as AA eFx Marcher
Joseph Oliveira
as National Guardsman
Charlandra L. Jacobs
as Funeral Attendee
David Silverman
as Anthony Liuzzo
Michael Shikany
as Archbishop Iakovos
Clint Crane
as National Guardsman
Kenny Cooper
as Black Marcher
Aaron Brewstar
as Alabama State Troope...
Brian Kurlander
as Voice on Recorder
Dexter Tillis
as Angry Marcher
Ashlei Sharpe Chestn...
as Church/Funeral Atten...
Mark Cabus
as State Attorney
John Merical
as Reporter
Andrew Bleidner
as LBJ's Marine Guard/W...
Brandon O'Dell
as Reeb's Companion
Charles Black
as Elderly Marcher
Samuel Lee Fudge
as Young Marcher
Kyle McMahon
as Senator John J. Will...
Gordon Meyer
as Deputy Sheriff
J.J. Green
as Marcher
Tim Battle
as Dallas County Deputy
Patti Schellhaas
as Congressional Aide
Raven Ferguson
as Female Marcher
Ronan Brookes
as Montgomery Police Of...
Thom McGlon
as Sheriff Posseman
Travis Turner (II)
as Press/Reporter
Ryan Fontaine
as National Guardsman
Qualen Bradley
as Male Marcher
Kathy Alderman
as Angry White Woman
John Collier
as Montgomery Police Of...
Mike Taylor
as Man on Street
Jasmine Taylor
as Female Marcher
Carol Anne Taylor
as White Supporter
Scotty Bishop
as Racist Spectator
Rachelle Wicker
as Funeral Attendee
Christopher Anthony ...
as Racist Spectator/Whi...
Thomas Hughes
as Deputized Klansman
AngelAnn Green-Orr
as Church Attendant
Todd Sassano
as National Guardsman
Donald Horner
as Court Room Attendant
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Selma

Critic Reviews for Selma

All Critics (226) | Top Critics (46)

Selma isn't a discrete story of one moment in time that we can observe safely from the sidelines. It is all around us, every day.

Full Review… | May 23, 2016

It's the quieter moments where Oyelowo really excels.

Full Review… | May 23, 2016
International Business Times

By avoiding this film being a straight bio-pic or relationship drama, DuVernay has created a historical and political drama that resonates today.

Full Review… | April 26, 2016
New Zealand Herald

Oyelowo is the real deal, monumental in a film that isn't, muscling a middling historical drama into something absolutely worth seeing.

Full Review… | April 17, 2016

... about the cost and the stakes of movement. Oyelowo plays King with grace and dignity, but he's always aware of what people are putting on the line.

Full Review… | March 24, 2016

There are sections in Selma that I treasure.

Full Review… | February 26, 2016
The Jacobin

Audience Reviews for Selma

There is a problem with the revolution: too often the ends are forgotten in times of plenty. Because of that we are often inflicted with poor quality calls to enlightenment whose substance is so poor as to subvert their intended purpose(remember "The Butler"?). The opposite is true here. Masterful historical storytelling whose purpose is never forgotten. Must see.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Such a travesty that David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay were not nominated for Best Actor and Director Oscars. Oyelowo could and should have easily swept awards season (since McConaissance wasn't in the picture :-P) with his resonant basso and gut-rumbling delivery of MLK's marcato articulation. His dynamic gestures as well as his wide, knowing eyes carry the wins and losses of the Selma protest march and almost foreshadows the tragedy to come.

Ava DuVernay's perceptive direction interweaves several concurrent threads: from the earth-shattering bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, to Annie Lee Cooper's stalwart struggles to vote, to MLK and Coretta Scott's marital strife.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

It's downright depressing to realize that a biopic set fifty some years ago is just as relevant today. Amidst one of our greatest racial upheavals in American history "Selma" tells of a similar fight waged by Dr. King and his supporters in Selma, Alabama, in 1964. Presented with all the depressing truths of a complicated figure in the throes of a revolution, this film relies on a grave performance from David Oyelowo, and a superb and varied supporting cast made up of subtle and yet emotionally devastating performances.


Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Selma Quotes

Martin Luther King, Jr.: When will we be free? Soon and very soon. Because you shall reap what you saw. When will we be free? Soon.
– Submitted by Matthew B (15 months ago)
Martin Luther King, Jr.: When will we be free? Soon and very soon. Because you shall reap what you saw. When will we be free? Soon and very soon. Because no lie can live forever.
– Submitted by Swarnendu R (16 months ago)
Martin Luther King, Jr.: To Cager Lee after Jimmie Lee Jackson's death: There are no words to soothe you. But I know one thing for certain: God was the first to cry.
– Submitted by Kym M (16 months ago)
Martin Luther King, Jr.: What happens when a man stands up...says enough is enough?
– Submitted by Maria H (17 months ago)

Discussion Forum

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