Catch a Fire - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Catch a Fire Reviews

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½ February 3, 2012
An interesting film in that the protagonist becomes a hero in an unlikely way. It's got emotion, good acting, good story. A good movie that is a couple of steps from being great.
February 3, 2012
It's pretty poorly paced, but Tim Robbins plays a good baddie. It could have been much better.
½ January 7, 2012
Tim Robbins is distracting in his role as the psuedo-villain in this rather ordinary political thriller.
November 16, 2011
[The film is] complex. It's rich. I think it's well-done.
½ October 28, 2011
Derek Luke does a good job, the film is well written and does the job. If you enjoy this one check out Endgame with Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Something about these movies really does light a fire in your heart. A great biopic as well. The backstory of the film is just as compelling.
½ October 23, 2011
Le film traite d'un sujet peu abordé par le cinéma, l'Apartheid, et il le fait bien. Pas de violence gratuite ici, le réalisateur sait rester humble. Un peu trop peut-être, car le "méchant" n'est pas un véritable salaud comme il est probable que les policiers sud-africains l'étaient.
Une mention spéciale aux acteurs, très à l'aise. Ils ont sans doute conscience que le sujet abordé est d'importance, et ils se gardent bien de sur-jouer.
September 5, 2011
Fantastic true story
August 30, 2011
Powerful drama, not entertaining in the "entertainment" sense but well done, based on a true story, makes you think...
½ March 18, 2011
Competently made, but not particularly exciting.
Super Reviewer
½ March 7, 2011
In watching the compelling Apartheid-set bio-pic Catch a Fire, one cannot help but think back to Cry Freedom, Richard Attenborough's poignant but overlong portrait of slain non-violent South African activist Steven Biko (Denzel Washington) and his unlikely friendship with a white reporter (Kevin Kline). With Fire, director Phillip Noyce tackles the other side of the coin, chronicling the rise of an anti-apartheid "terrorist" and his antagonistic relationship with a white colonel, all within a breezy running time that keeps the action taut.

In this R-rated South African-set thriller, hard-working family man Patrick Chamusso (Luke) truly turns revolutionary after he is wrongly accused and tortured for a crime by Police Security Branch operative Nic Vos (Robbins) in the early '80s.

No stranger to political intrigue, Noyce (Patriot Games, Rabbit-Proof Fence) presents a 1980s-set true story made all the more timely by the events of September 11, a point he capitalizes on. After Vos (representing foreign govt.) tortures the innocent Chamusso (representing persecuted natives), the latter's motives for turning radically political become starkly obvious, paralleling a certain Western power's occupation of modern-day Iraq. Catch a Fire also gives a powerful combo in Robbins and Luke, who bring their respective characters' moral ambiguity to light with a gripping intensity--perhaps too well. Noyce shows us family man Chamusso's philandering while concurrently portraying Vos's nearly perfect home life with middling results. As the real-life Chamusso's appearance at the end makes clear, this is HIS story, not that of the top-billed Robbins. Perhaps, Focus Features just wanted to get their money's worth out of the Oscar-winner.

Bottom line: Once you catch it, you won't let go.
½ January 27, 2011
To Catch A Fire is a powerful piece of filmmaking by Director Phillip Noyce. Noyce collaborates with Executive Producer Sydney Pollack to bring this powerhouse of a story to life on the big screen. It's an absolutely riveting and astonishing political thriller that will leave you gasping for air as you try to catch the breath that's been sucked from your lungs by the enormous amount of sheer tension. A movie about an ominous time in the history of South Africa, a time known as Apartheid. Apartheid was a period of time in South Africa's history where a murderous and corrupt governement ruled the land. A form of government that literally stole from the poor and gave to the rich. In To Catch A Fire we follow one man's incredible story where he's wrongfully convicted of terrorism, tortured, and has all of the odds stacked up against him. Somehow, through all of the hardship he finds a way to be inspired and to inspire the people of an entire country to rise up and stand up for their rights. It's just an incredible story of heart, inspiration, hope, emotion, love, and violence.
Actor Derek Luke gives a stunning performance, the best performance of his career by far. He plays such a complex role and does is it with excellence. Time Robbins co-stars and also gives a great performance. You can't expect anything less that greatness from Tim Robbins.
A film that should be seen by everyone at least once. Brilliant.
½ December 28, 2010
A powerful story well told in skillful hands. Philip Noyce, of Rabbitproof Fence fame, once again takes a story of oppression and just tells the story, without apportioning blame or taking sides. The script is marvellous and the acting uniformly good. Tim Robbins and Derek Lucas both affecting near-flawless South African accents, take the male leads and put in outstanding roles. Tim Robbins as the Afrikaner cop is a character difficult to understand, at one point he takes his prisoner home for Sunday dinner with his family and in another scene oversees the beating-up and torture of innocent people. Derek Lucas is equally good as a man who's only interest lies with his family and job before being arrested and ultimately backed into a course of action that he could not have foreseen. Michelle Botes and Bonnie Mbuli are both excellent South African actresses who play the respective wives, Bonnie Mbuli in particular putting in a very affecting role as the wife who stands by helplessly as her husband spirals into a new life which does not include her or her children
October 22, 2010
A powerful movie, showing that violence begets violence.
½ October 5, 2010
I thought this was good, but first seeing this when it first came out, I forgot about it. Derek Luke's best performance.
Super Reviewer
August 16, 2010
great film. derek luke and tim robbins put out two great performances and at times in the flick youre not sure which side to root for even though you know apartied is wrong. they really did this well and you can see the struggle of the opressed.
½ July 22, 2010
Though it was earnest in its heartfelt message, the film was not remarkable enough to make it memorable.
½ July 5, 2010
this is more than a movie... Great one...
July 4, 2010
it's a touch preachy... but a solid investigation into the horrors of apatheid south africa...
June 11, 2010
REALLY awesome movie! :D
½ June 1, 2010
This was the sort of movie I wanted out of Invictus. A thinking man's drama/ action with a heart that truly explores the abuses of the Apartheid system. With some nice turns by the cast, although none of them are truly excellent, and a great sense of pacing, this movie works, more ofthen than it doesn't.

The pacing is weird, as if they had a 3 hour cut and had to slice it in half. Some plotlines aren't followed through enough, and the turn to revolutionary is underplayed. Despite these, it's fun.
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