The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
There's a tidiness and sense of convenience in the film's stock characterisations and button-pushing plotting that detracts from its impact. The film doesn't just contrive to contain the slaughter, but also its own anger.
Showing traces of the well-meaning paternalism that dogs many Western films about Africa, Hotel Rwanda doesn't go far enough in indicting Europeans and Americans for protecting their own while failing to intervene in time to stop the mass killings.
The almost forgotten but all too real African genocide documented in Hotel Rwanda hits us as suddenly and as hard as it does Paul Rusesabagina, the accidental hero played so masterfully by Don Cheadle.
What makes the film not just harrowing but transcendent is Cheadle. He does nothing traditionally heroic. He just presents a picture of basic decency, showing how, when combined with courage, decency can result in an awe- inspiring moral steadfastness.
If Hotel Rwanda does nothing more than provoke the obvious questions of 'How did this happen?' and 'How can we prevent it from happening again?' it has, like the hotelier who refuses to consider himself a hero, done its job.
The film works not because the screen is filled with meaningless special effects, formless action and vast digital armies, but because Cheadle, Nolte and the filmmakers are interested in how two men choose to function in an impossible situation.
Not only did it give me a better-rounded perspective on the Rwandan tragedy, but it introduced me to a modern hero who stood against tyranny and oppression at the risk of losing all that was dear to him.
Both tough and tender, the movingly rendered production often strikes a devastating chord without resorting to any of the manipulative string-pulling known to accompany movies about 'men who made a difference.'