Cool Hand Luke - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cool Hand Luke Reviews

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January 10, 2017
Great story about a guy who just won't give up. Newman's performance is incredible, and makes the movie a joy to watch.
January 3, 2017
Watchable yet underwhelming. There are better prison drama films. (First and only viewing - 7/17/2010)
½ December 14, 2016
Cool Hand Luke, does benefit from a great cast and great writing, but the film is weighed down from a hampered plot that takes too long to reach its climax
½ October 4, 2016
A true classic that resonates over time.
September 8, 2016
Great movie. Great acting, and moving ending.
August 29, 2016
Possibly Paul Newman's best role. Superb and believable acting. Arguably the best prison film of all time aside from The Shawshank Redemption. George Kennedy has an Academy Award winning supporting role.

Spoken by the Captain in this film, is one of the greatest lines, "What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. And I don't like it any more than you men."

There is much Christian imagery and allegory in the film. Luke is linked to Luke of the Gospels, and is a Jesus-figure. Luke constantly goes against authority and is supported by his fellow inmates, similar to Jesus.

This movie provides a template for The Shawshank Redemption. As a matter of fact, this film predates Stephen King writing the novella and I'm positive he "lifted" most of it from this story. It's pretty obvious.
August 20, 2016
With overtones of his character from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, this movie shows how much we miss Paul Newman. Thankfully, we will always have his great performances like here as Luke Jackson to admire.
Also great ensemble cast. And those scenes in the lock-up, you can feel the heat and smell the foul air. Great capture of outside photography too. Film itself seems to stall a bit in the middle but quickly gets back on track.
August 18, 2016
This was my favorite movie for so many years when I cared to choose a number one (I don't anymore because it would be too difficult to isolate just one). I see it as a masterpiece in among the many genre it fits into. Luke is an amazing and memorable character. I've compared a few friends I've met during my lifetime to Luke because there's many people --- good people, who just don't fit into the common work-a-day world but who get along just fine with everyday people. Luke just wasn't made for the world. In the modern world, he would either likely find himself in prison as in the film or he would be homeless. Luke has charisma and everyone find themselves rooting for him eventually. His is the "everyman" character with heart that keeps him getting repeatedly after being knocked down. Paul Newman's performance is one of his best. Harry Dean Stanton turns in an outstanding performance with several moving guitar ditties at the right moments as segues. Of course George Kennedy is stellar as one might imagine since he earned the Best Supporting Actor award from the Academy. In closing I just want to say that this is the only DVD I've ever purchased because I don't like to "own" movies. I just couldn't pass this one up.
½ July 30, 2016
I always wondered where the phrase "What we have here is a failure to communicate" line came from.
½ June 21, 2016
I have seen parts of this movie for years, and I finally got to see the whole thing. Paul Newman...awesome!! A classic
½ May 30, 2016
Saw this on 30/5/16
A well acted film with a lot of memorable moments, but it is ultimately pointless. It cannot be clearly understood what this film really means to convey.
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2016
An exceptional cast can't hide that here is a film rooted in it's time (released Jan.1, 1967): from the moment anyone intones any kind of rules and regulations to Newman's character his primary response is to roll his eyes = countercultural anti-hero from the jump. And thereafter the work's direction is set, a film about rebellion ("what're you rebelling against?" "whaddaya got?"), perhaps against the lockstep that the 1950's epitomized, filmed just short of a Cecil B. DeMille epic. While probably deserving a rewrite (like why do all of the hardtimers decide to revere some punk on shorttime - wouldn't happen in the real world), still the set-up as delivered is pleasing even if not believable. The individual vs. the collective.
April 4, 2016
Paul Newman steals the spotlight with his stellar performance and intriguing character. Cool Hand Luke has an engaging script that kept me locked to the screen until the credits. The chemistry of the actors was pure perfection while their characters endure the hardships of a road-side chain gang.
March 31, 2016
Young guys out there looking for a role model in these confusing, sexually ambiguous times need look no further (tho Steve McQueen's strong/silent-type antihero in "Bullit" plays as the perfect good cop/Beatles to Newman's bad boy/Rolling Stones...). Essential.
March 28, 2016
No man can eat fifty eggs!
March 26, 2016
Paul Newman is Luke in the film Cool Hand Luke. After cutting of the heads of some parking meters, Luke is sent to prison to work on a chain gang for two years. Under that time he works harshly thrashing, cleaning and tarring road. His cool manner gains him respect among the gang and he becomes the favorite particular with Dragline (George Kennedy). The two form a friendship that has them doing all sorts of things, including betting the whole gang he can't eat 50 eggs. Once Luke's mother dies though, Luke focuses on escaping and the film takes quite a turn. His main nemesis becomes the guard known as the man with no eyes, who constantly wears sun glasses, never speaks and has a cold demeanor. Cool Hand Luke is an incredible film filled with heart and character, and Newman and Kennedy give two of the finest performances I have ever seen. I could have watched them together for another 2 hours and not got tired of it. Cool Hand Luke is one of the best films made and how it was not nominated for Best Picture is beyond me.
March 7, 2016
Literally the only thing I knew about this movie was the one famous line, so it was interesting to see what the film was actually about. Cool Hand Luke is the story of a man who is sent to a rural prison and decides that he will not let that life break him. Paul Newman is great as Luke, his charm is so evident that you can see why he wins over all the people around him, and it makes the last act of the film that much more surprising. All the prisoners are interesting characters, but many of them kind of fade into the crowd and I wasn't able to differentiate specific personality traits that set them apart. But the one guy who stood out was the late-great George Kennedy. He is the perfect actor for that role, and his fight with Luke is a great scene which causes a logical shift in his performance. Perhaps the most engaging part of this film is the arc we see the prison guards go through. Early on I saw them as very reasonable people, but as the film progresses you sympathize much more with the prisoners and start to see the oppression of their captors. All around I think Cool Hand Luke is an excellent film, but it is tough to take the bleakness at times. There's one particular scene that is heartbreaking which almost brought me to tears. But to be honest, the biggest difficulty I had with the movie was the ending, so SPOILER ALERT:

In many ways this film felt like the anti-Shawshank Redemption. Part of the joy of watching that film is that it puts Andy in a similarly depressing situation but he finds his happy ending. In Cool Hand Luke the ending is so sad that I just can't imagine myself wanting to revisit the film. It's well-made but I can't rate it as highly because there's another movie which is so similar that I like more, even though this one came out first.
February 12, 2016
With a great story, great acting (by Paul Newman, Strother Martin, & George Kennedy (who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor)), & great direction, "Cool Hand Luke" is an outstanding film & truly one of the best of the 1960s!
February 5, 2016
Nicely shot and well-acted, but not much of a story and just depressing really.
½ January 12, 2016
Wow! What a movie. Paul Newman without a doubt gives one of the best performances of his career in this hard southern prison drama. It's definitely Newman's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
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