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      TRAILER 2:26

      Fences

      2016, Drama, 2h 13m

      274 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

      What to know

      Critics Consensus

      From its reunited Broadway stars to its screenplay, the solidly crafted Fences finds its Pulitzer-winning source material fundamentally unchanged -- and still just as powerful. Read critic reviews

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      Fences  Photos

      Fences (2016) Fences (2016) Fences (2016) Fences (2016) Fences (2016) (L-R) Denzel Washington as Troy Maxson and Stephen McKinley Henderson as Jim Bono in "Fences." A scene from "Fences."

      Movie Info

      Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but was deemed too old when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. Bitter over his missed opportunity, Troy creates further tension in his family when he squashes his son's (Jovan Adepo) chance to meet a college football recruiter.

      • Rating: PG-13 (Some Suggestive References|Language|Thematic Elements)

      • Genre: Drama

      • Original Language: English

      • Director: Denzel Washington

      • Producer: Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington, Todd Black

      • Writer: August Wilson

      • Release Date (Theaters):  wide

      • Release Date (Streaming):

      • Box Office (Gross USA): $57.6M

      • Runtime:

      • Distributor: Paramount Pictures

      • Production Co: Paramount Pictures, Sony Classical, Scott Rudin Productions

      • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital

      Cast & Crew

      Viola Davis
      Christopher Mele
      Leslie Boone
      Jason Silvis
      August Wilson
      Molly Allen
      Eli Bush
      Aaron L. Gilbert
      Andrew Pollack
      Dale Wells
      Charles D. King
      Kim Roth
      Hughes Winborne
      Marcelo Zarvos
      David Gropman
      Karen Schulz Gropman
      Rebecca L. Brown
      Sharen Davis

      News & Interviews for Fences

      Critic Reviews for Fences

      Audience Reviews for Fences

      • Mar 16, 2018

        In sparing not a word of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winner, Denzel Washington's brilliant unabridged treatment of his searing family drama packs an emotional wallop thanks to spot-on performances and a narrative that's allowed to breathe because it's not, well, fenced-in. In this PG-13-rated drama, a working-class African-American father (Washington) tries to raise his family (Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo) in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life. In our hyperlink-filled culture, there are far too many jumping off points before you get the whole story. The long-form has become abridged to accommodate short attention spans. This is not new, however. The works of William Shakespeare have appeared in a digest form pretty much since first hitting the screen. When Kenneth Branagh spent $18 million adapting the entirety of Hamlet into a 4-hour H'Wood film in 1996, the move seemed rather bold. A limited release kept the film from making a profit in theaters, but glowing reviews and awards soon followed. For much the same reason, Washington's latest turn in the director's seat deserves much the same response-if not more because his setting doesn't allow for as much latitude as the certain tale of a Danish prince. And, before any classics muckety muck gets heated with this review for comparing the author of Fences to the Bard, let them be reminded: When it comes to "The Pittsburgh Cycle," you compare Shakespeare to Wilson. It has been said that James Joyce never wasted a single word or piece of punctuation in his career-every last character was carefully chosen and meant something. So too stands the work of Wilson, an always pointed, poetic, and meticulously crafted treatise on American life. Though the writer speaks primarily from the African-American perspective and experience, his beautifully written (though not always beautiful) characters voice a multitude of universal truths. Here, he gets sole credit as screenwriter and every beat of his seminal work remains intact. His Troy, Fences's protagonist AND antagonist, is both a defeated man and often a defeater of other men. His pro-baseball prospects derailed by a stretch in prison, he has survived the ebbs and flows of life, albeit not gratefully. Undeniably charismatic, he flashes moments of warmth. Unfortunately for those in his orbit, these moments come between long stretches of him tearing down his wife and son as he takes out his bitterness with life on them. He is the architect of his own destruction, of course, which makes this flawed character so rich and undeniably human. In his performance of Troy, Washington mines every possible nuance from a man who puts up so many emotional, ahem, fences. It's an electric turn made all the more electric by Davis' amazing role as his long-suffering but dedicated wife, Rose. These two actors perfected their characters' chemistry during a 2010 limited Broadway run, which makes for a dynamic synergy on screen. You believe every peak. You believe every valley. Other characters, such as Troy's mentally challenged younger brother Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson), don't have quite the same impact on the screen as on the stage. Owing to the fact that the character does so much with so little, going big and loud (we're talking the theater space-not the actor, who does an excellent job) almost robs him of a powerful moment at the end. Also, some directors would have sprawled out the canvas to include more locations...to the detriment of the material, however. The definition of faithful adaptation, Washington's take smartly keeps the setting limited. In fact, save for a select number of scenes, the action rarely leaves Troy's property, which hammers home the point of a piece about barriers. Some filmgoers might call that stagey. This review calls it: the whole damn point. To Sum it Up: Great Fences Make Great Viewing

        Super Reviewer
      • Mar 12, 2017

        What really elevates Fences is the acting. This is a richly written ensemble pieces that heavily relies on powerful performances. Denzel and Viola are reprising their roles from the 2010 Broadway revival. [Incidentally, the original 1987 cast featured James Earl Jones and Mary Alice in those parts.] Needless to say, Washington and Davis know their characters inside and out. Denzel is extremely good and Viola is extraordinary. A woman so fully formed that I was even more drawn to trying to understand this individual. She fascinated me. It may be Troy's story in that every part exists to reflect his personality. However, I found myself sympathizing with her plight a lot more than her husband's. She seizes attention whenever she is on screen. The studio may have marketed her achievement as a supporting role to secure an Oscar nomination (and possible win), but she is no doubt equally important in this context. It's her authentic portrayal, as well as the subdued work of Stephen McKinley Henderson as Troy's friend Jim, that I will remember long after having seen the film. fastfilmreviews.com

        Super Reviewer
      • Feb 26, 2017

        Like a long filmed play, Fences at least relies on some outstanding performances that compensate for the film's lack of visual inventiveness. Full review on filmotrope. com

        Super Reviewer
      • Feb 24, 2017

        Had I seen the stage version I may have enjoyed this script. However, it's move to the big screen is one which didn't work for me. Instead of enjoying this masterpiece, you're trying to climb the 'Fences' to escape it's clutches.

        Super Reviewer

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