I Am Not Your Negro - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

I Am Not Your Negro Reviews

February 24, 2017
It's an astonishing, often challenging and sharp examination of race in the United States, confronting how the country's history repeats and how Baldwin insisted we must remember, relentlessly question, remain conscientious and resist.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 23, 2017
The result - hard-hitting and insightful - is a reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 16, 2017
"I Am Not Your Negro" is important. And urgent. And almost certainly unlikely to be seen by the people who would benefit from it most.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
February 9, 2017
Baldwin's words, Jackson's reading and Peck's elegant and scorching composition will resonate for years to come.
February 7, 2017
An enormously resonant work of cultural history that should do much to renew attention to the lonely, prophetic voice of James Baldwin.
February 4, 2017
This is Baldwin at his most polemical, but beneath his rage you can discern a groping for unity.
February 3, 2017
An incisive, biting cultural analysis, a psychological examination of a nation - including its culture and institutions - in denial of its own social constructs of race and racism, created to divide us.
| Original Score: 4/4
February 3, 2017
While Peck's work brims over with anger and horror, it is also a work of sweeping poetry. This story still isn't pretty, but it's delivered in a captivating and gorgeous manner.
February 3, 2017
Its thesis is tired and worn. But this is not the fault of the film, just of a country that refuses to truly bear witness.
February 3, 2017
[James Baldwin's] Remember this House was an unfinished work; so too, observes [director] Peck, is America's struggle with race.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
February 3, 2017
A compelling document that works as a mini-history of black racial identity in America from the mid- to late-20th century and beyond.
February 2, 2017
It is an urgent, gut-wrenching film that doesn't sugarcoat the truth. America's race problem is all of our problem, it argues, and will not change until all of us step up and take responsibility for our role in it.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
February 2, 2017
It's an evocation of a passionate soul in a tumultuous era, a film that uses Baldwin's spoken words, and his notes for an unfinished book, to illuminate the struggle for civil rights.
February 2, 2017
Peck may not be able to get inside the spiritual struggle that made Baldwin such a complex figure, but I Am Not Your Negro, with its frequent reminders that there are still two Americas, proves that Baldwin's writing has lost none of its currency.
Top Critic
February 2, 2017
Gives us a fresh new view on Baldwin's words, while also reminding us that the same American soul he struggled so hard to convince us was worth saving remains on life support today.
February 2, 2017
You would be hard-pressed to find a movie that speaks to the present moment with greater clarity and force, insisting on uncomfortable truths and drawing stark lessons from the shadows of history.
February 2, 2017
Despite considerable progress, the film suggests, much work remains to be done - and Baldwin's voice remains as relevant as ever.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
February 2, 2017
A brilliant piece of filmic writing, one that bursts with fierce urgency, not just for the long-unresolved history it seeks to confront, but also in its attempt to understand what is happening here, right now.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
February 2, 2017
This Oscar-nominated portrait of James Baldwin uses the author's words to bridge the civil-rights past with our racially incendiary present. It's unmissable and unforgettable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 2, 2017
He told the truth about the consequences of America's original sin with unblinking, blistering candor, and with a logic of thought and an elegance of affect that made it impossible for a white majority to dismiss what he was saying.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
February 2, 2017
This movie isn't just a tribute to Baldwin. It's a warning bell regarding leaders who, in Baldwin's words, care only about "their safety and their profits."
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
February 2, 2017
A journey of discovery; a path of words and images, taking us into the lives of four African-American men and into the heart of the civil-rights movement.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
February 1, 2017
If it revives interest in Baldwin and demonstrates to the public that his work is still vital, 30 years after his death, that would be a service, indeed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 31, 2017
Offers an accessible but no-less rigorous look at Baldwin's prophetic analysis of racial discord in America.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 26, 2017
As Peck cuts from archival scenes of police brutality in the South in the '60s to recent footage from Ferguson, Mo., it's impossible not to think: The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's enough to make you weep.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
January 2, 2017
Peck's references to current events reveal Baldwin's view of history and his prophetic visions to be painfully accurate.
December 8, 2016
A film essay that's powerfully and painfully relevant today even though its subject died almost 30 years ago.
December 8, 2016
Bringing a sense of gravitas to Baldwin's words is Samuel L. Jackson, whose decidedly nonfurious narration is his finest performance to date, bar none.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
December 7, 2016
By weaving in old speeches, pieces from other books, and even some visual juxtapositions that maybe only he fully understands, the director makes a persuasive, intuitive case for Baldwin as a poet and a prophet.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
December 6, 2016
I Am Not Your Negro travels a straight, well-researched path from the darkest tragedies of American history to the ones that plague the country today.
October 4, 2016
If you watch "I Am Not Your Negro," you'll spend a kaleidoscopic and transporting 90 minutes living inside James Baldwin's mind, coming thrillingly close to his existential perception of the hidden meaning of race in America.
September 20, 2016
A stirring, stinging memorial.