Fences Reviews

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September 19, 2017
Playwright Wilson wrote the screenplay, and resists the effort to open the play up too much. If it sometimes reminds you of its origins on stage, it's worth remembering that that medium offers dramatics potentials that can't always be found on film.
February 10, 2017
This is a portrait of a doomed marriage that allows its stars to explode.
February 9, 2017
Fences is the most classical piece of drama in the best picture line-up for this year's Oscars, with outstanding performances by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.
February 9, 2017
Denzel Washington is a class act, and he has given us a classy piece of work.
February 9, 2017
Washington is customarily magnetic, but this is Davis' film.
February 6, 2017
Washington is very good, but it's Davis - hurt, proud, determined - who's the star of this show.
December 29, 2016
Washington has pledged to bring all of plays in the cycle to the screen. The good news is he started with a home run.
December 25, 2016
Yes, Fences suffers somewhat from the bare-bones transferal of the "action" from stage to screen but the material is so compelling that viewers can easily lose sight of the movie's "play nature."
December 25, 2016
The two lead performances are stunningly complex and deeply human achievements from two of the finest actors working today.
December 24, 2016
It's not cinematic enough to make you forget you're watching something conceived for another, more spatially constricted medium, but it's too cinematic to capture the intensity, the concentration, of a great theatrical event.
December 23, 2016
It's a privilege to watch Washington and Davis lay it all on the line.
December 23, 2016
Based on the 1983 August Wilson play, Fences is little more than a filmed version of the 2010 Broadway revival. It all but throws up house lights during intermission.
December 23, 2016
Your best bet is to let those mellifluous, multitudinous words bewitch, bother, and beguile you; then maybe you won't notice the stagey presentation, slight story, and occasional emotional overreach.
December 23, 2016
The masterful thing about Denzel Washington's direction here is that he doesn't exactly open up the play. Instead, he opens up the visual frame around the players.
December 23, 2016
Ringing with both ancient wisdom and searing relevance, "Fences" feels as if it's been crafted for the ages, and for this very minute.
December 23, 2016
Although Fences can be charitably viewed as a star vehicle for the actor-director - and he does reach for the rafters in certain parts, so loud and proud is his performance - it is Davis who walks away with the production.
December 23, 2016
"Fences" is an effective drama, but it feels rigid, its stage origins handicapping its storytelling.
December 23, 2016
If Fences barely escapes the confines of its titular enclosure, the performances all sound to the skies like Gabriel's trumpet.
December 22, 2016
Wilson's play is such an extraordinary social statement, its bitter patriarch rivaling Willy Loman in the greatness of his smallness.
December 22, 2016
Serious or not, many films are merely entertainments and are easily forgotten, even if they succeed. But a serious film such as Fences is a privilege to see, not just as a dramatic entertainment but because it reverberates long after it ends.
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