A United Kingdom - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A United Kingdom Reviews

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March 26, 2017
Although this movie may seem a story of racial bias and diplomatic ball game, it is really about a story of deep love. How it can overcome almost any adeversity life may throw at it. A very well crafted movie. One of the very best.
½ March 26, 2017
Grade: A-

Rating: PG-13, 111 minutes

In a Nutshell: Based on a true story, this lovely film illustrates how love and reason can change a crazy world. Bula!

If you'd like to know more about the real people in this story, you can read Colour Bar: A United Kingdom by Susan Williams.

Uplifting theme:
Duty, honor, sacrifice, patience, tolerance, patriotism
"We should not be fighting for segregation. We should be fighting for equality." - Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo)
"Africa can never be free until all those who live in her, white and black, recognize that race must have no bearing on equality and justice." - Seretse Khama
"Opposition is one thing, Mr. Khama; the realities of government are quite another." - Alistair Canning (Jack Davenport)
"You have to be strong. You have a voice. Use it." - Naledi (Terry Pheto)
"No man is free who is not master of himself." - Seretse
"It is time!" - Seretse

Things I liked:
I had never even heard of Bechuanland. Have you? In 1966, it achieved independence and is now known as the Republic of Botswana. I'm always happy to learn new things in movies.
I love seeing a proper marriage proposal when the man gets on one knee. Well done, Seretse. Nelson Mandela described the marriage between Seretse and Ruth as "a shining beacon of light and inspiration." Wouldn't that be amazing to have someone describe your marriage and legacy like that?
David Oyelowo is absolutely fantastic in this. How about an Oscar for him? I also loved him in Selma. Great movie.
Rosamund Pike is great in this also. She was crazy good in Gone Girl too, crazy being the key word in that sentence. Her subtle expressions say so much.
Director Amma Asante has a bright future.
The scene where the women sing a song to Ruth was so touching.
I thought it was funny when Ruth's parents said, "Mind yourself!" and "Come back a missionary!" when she left the house.

Things I didn't like:
∑ There are some very ugly racial slurs and prejudiced behavior.
∑ I've never understood parents who refuse to see their children again if they do something they don't like.
∑ A lot of the Extras are terrible actors. Then again, they're natives who aren't actors.
It's good to see Malfoy (Tom Felton) cast in another movie. Unfortunately, he plays an equally cruel, weaselly snake in this film too.
Interesting lines:
"He scares me a bit...the way he makes me feel." - Ruth
"I know I will never achieve anything there if I leave my heart here." - Seretse
"We'll take it moment by moment...together." - Ruth
"They're trying to define us, based on their rules, their idea of the world how they see it." - Seretse
"Let's not allow the ugliness of this world take away the joy from us." - Seretse
"Let him go. We need him more than you." - Naledi
"We've misjudged this, haven't we?"- Ruth
"When a man tells a lie, he loses his dignity." - Seretse

Funny lines:
"Did I ever tell you I didn't marry you just for your good looks?" - Seretse
"Liar." - Ruth (as she pulls up her skirt to reveal her beautiful legs.)

Tips for parents:
Some profanity.
Some violence, bullying, and racism.
Talk to your children about apartheid and segregation.
There is some skin shown during a honeymoon moment.
Some subtitles.
Young children will be bored, but Tweens will be interested in the love story and historical telling.
½ March 24, 2017
Nice piece of historical drama based on true events. The acting is top notch and the subject makes for a good right vs. wrong story. The cinematography is also top notch.
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2017
One of my biggest pet peeves is a film that says it is "based on a true story", especially when they take a true story and completely embellish it to the point of falsehood just to make it entertaining (see: "Hidden Figures"). Here is a case of at least the entire plot being verified history. Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams Khama joined together in marriage in one of the most prominent and controversial interracial unions in the history of the Western world. They knew they were going to have to face arduous opposition from governments and even their own families, but they did it anyway. Their story exposed the absurdity of the South African apartheid regime and the de facto racism of the United Kingdom at that time. The enlightened realization that race has no genetic basis was a long time coming, and the triumphs of the Khamas and the people of Botswana played an essential role in legitimizing this truth. Then there's that guy who played Draco in the "Harry Potter" movies as a sniveling, petulant liaison to the British Ambassador of Botswana. Does that guy ever attempt a role that is out of his typecast? Obviously, the bureaucrats that exile Khama and try to keep Botswana down are jerks that deserve the bad press, but their mustache-twiddling malice constantly smacks you over the head. There's nothing subtle about who the bad racist white people are as they're characterized for maximum gumption-riling and satisfactory comeuppance. Maybe those people did have that much malice in real life, and maybe they need to tick off the audience like they do. By the consummatory ending, the film managed to gut-punch a few tears out of me, and I was willing to forgive being manipulated a bit. It's just too bad that southern Africa isn't very exciting to look at.
March 24, 2017
A United Kingdom is one of the most well-crafted, uplifting, and riveting films based on a true story I've seen this year, and it's definitely one of the year's best films!
March 23, 2017
A superb trekking of a previously unknown peice of African and Brutish Colonial history and the shameful way Britain abused it's "empire". A wonderful film - please watch.
March 23, 2017
An inspirational film of love and politics, brilliantly acted and beautifully filmed. Unmissable and glorious.
March 23, 2017
This is a surprisingly enjoyable movie. I went to see it because I like the two leads (who were both in the cast of Jack Reacher) and because I'm an avid reader of Alexander McCall Smith's books set in Botswana.

The love story, interestingly enough, is not the centerpiece of the movie - the politics of the time is. The love story is good and it is Oyelowo who make you feel the connection of the two most strongly; the scene between the two of them while he has been exiled in England is heartbreaking.

All in all a very well-done movie I think most people would enjoy.
½ March 22, 2017
3 1/2 Stars. Very well casted and acted but the filmmaking and screenwriting left me pretty cold. I mean, it looks good and is edited well but there's nothing that really stuck out to me. Journeyman-esque filmmaking I'd say. Very much a prestige flick but worth telling.
March 22, 2017
A United Kingdom breekt weinig nieuw grond op het waargebeurde verhaal gebied, maar weet alsnog een emotioneel gedreven plot goed vooruit te brengen met de sterke prestaties van Rosamund Pike en David Oyelowo.
½ March 21, 2017
The okay-est okay movie ever made, ok.
March 21, 2017
It hits all the notes, but doesn't do so in any inspired or exciting way. The love story barely works in the beginning, but Oyelowo and Pike do great work with what they're given. When the political machinations begin, we're given cardboard sneering racist villains which are easy to hate, and I wish there'd been more depth to both these characters and the twists and turns of the process. But in the world we live in today, the questions and issues this film raises are still sadly pertinent, whether it be racial equality or sovereignty.
March 20, 2017
A real look in to colonization and Apartheid‚??
½ March 19, 2017
Amma Assante tells the incredible true story that anyone rarely hears about these days
it's the historical accuracy of one of the earliest instances of interracial marriage
this took place back in 1947 where it was uncommon for a white person to marry a black person; in this case Ruth Williams from the UK marries a South African chief Seretse Khama and it is met with such disdain from both nations
his power is threatened as well as their union considering all Africa has ever known about whites is their colonialism
but for Khama he loves his nation as much as his wife, race should have no bearing whatsoever on his happiness and he wants equality and peace for all
the performances by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike are brilliant, I was on the verge of tears twice in this whole thing because they both face such odds to stay together
the lengths the government goes to to keep them apart are overbearing
like 'Loving' this film shows us how far we still have to go gain the acceptance of others when it comes to interracial matrimony and political racist thinking
it was relevant back then and still applies to this day and age
one of the best films this year so far
½ March 17, 2017
Good story. Definitely a more family minded movie. Didn't blow my skirt up but I appreciated the message and who doesn't love that era?
½ March 17, 2017
Marriage becomes a geopolitical tool in the newest film from director Amma Asante. When the perspective king of Bechuanaland (modern-day Botswana) studies abroad and falls for a white British lady, it threatens relations between the British Empire and diamond-rich South Africa. It also divides the royal family and its subjects torn between loyalty to the regent and loyalty to his nephew, the rightful heir. The film is elevated by the lead performers. The current president who is the son of the lead characters praised the film himself.
March 16, 2017
This was a wonderful film! In post WWII Africa, in (current) Botswana, a black King with a white (British) Queen find themselves at odds with the British Empire and racially segregated South Africa. It's a very beautiful film about very serious circumstances. But their love changed their world...eventually. GO SEE THIS FILM! It's a true story.
March 16, 2017
A scintillating look at a shameful moment for British imperial history - and a triumph for the country of Botswana, and its two leading citizens. Should be compulsory viewing for all students of African history - and anyone who enjoys a great underdog story. Superbly acted by the two lead actors, and with a solid supporting cast, the script is razor sharp, but the backdrop is the real winner, with superb cinematography highlighting the vast southern African vistas.
½ March 15, 2017
Excellent movie about an extraordinary true event. A story with meaning for the ages and our current times. We're all the same under the skin.
March 13, 2017
Fantastic movie! Probably the best movie of the year!
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