Marshall

Critics Consensus

Marshall takes an illuminating, well-acted look at its real-life subject's early career that also delivers as an entertainingly old-fashioned courtroom drama.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 147

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,678

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Movie Info

Young Thurgood Marshall faces one of his greatest challenges while working as a lawyer for the NAACP. Marshall travels to conservative Connecticut when wealthy socialite Eleanor Strubing accuses Black chauffeur Joseph Spell of sexual assault and attempted murder. He soon teams up with Sam Friedman, a local Jewish lawyer who's never handled a criminal case. Together, the two men build a defense while contending with racist and anti-Semitic views from those who deem Spell to be guilty.

Cast & Crew

Chadwick Boseman
Thurgood Marshall
Josh Gad
Sam Friedman
Kate Hudson
Eleanor Strubing
Dan Stevens
Loren Willis
James Cromwell
Judge Foster
Keesha Sharp
Buster Marshall
Sophia Bush
Jen at the Bar
Jussie Smollett
Langston Hughes
Michael Koskoff
Screenwriter
Jacob Koskoff
Screenwriter
Lei Luo
Executive Producer
Yan Xu
Executive Producer
Chris Bongirne
Executive Producer
Hunter Ryan
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Marshall

Critic Reviews for Marshall

All Critics (147) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (118) | Rotten (29)

  • This real-life case makes for an entertaining courtroom drama that nonetheless reduces Marshall to the level of Perry Mason and consigns to the end credits his greater triumphs arguing Brown vs. Board of Education and other landmark civil rights cases.

    March 25, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Marshall isn't so different from a well-made TV movie. But it plays well on the big screen anyway...

    September 14, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • The courtroom scenes are pretty paint-by-the-numbers; things feel less sterile when the action moves into smoky jazz clubs and on to rain-slicked streets.

    October 22, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • This is either one brilliant satirical commentary on traditional racial stereotypes in Hollywood movies or it's not.

    October 20, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • This real-life case makes for an entertaining courtroom drama that nonetheless reduces Marshall to the level of Perry Mason and consigns to the end credits his greater triumphs.

    October 19, 2017 | Full Review…
  • In ignoring the lived reality of colorism, Marshall creates a circumscribed version of blackness that's easy for white audiences to consume, lacks any sort of challenging narrative, and bypasses the more fascinating wrinkles in its characters' lives.

    October 19, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Marshall

  • Dec 27, 2018
    solid, but maybe just a bit slow
    Ed K Super Reviewer
  • Feb 19, 2018
    It's a little strange that the movie is named after Thurgood Marshall and yet he winds up as a supporting player. There's a potentially interesting idea there, specifically how the inherent racism of the 40s forced Marshall into the background of this court case but it's barely explored.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 24, 2017
    This is a slightly above average, old-fashioned courtroom drama that doesn't push the envelope or pack any surprises but doesn't really disappoint either. Chadwick Boseman and Sterling K. Brown put on fine performances, while Gad, who I'm not a huge fan of if I'm being honest, does his best to keep pace. This is a solid movie about a subject that deserves to be spotlighted, but not a film that will leave a lasting impression.
    Sanjay R Super Reviewer
  • Nov 13, 2017
    I hate to say most, but there's a lot of biopics that are very formulaic in nature. And come to think of it, every genre deals with that issue. I can acknowledge that it's immensely hard to make a film that feels fresh and relevant at the same time. But I think the reason I tend to feel this way about biopics is because a lot of them seem to be directly aimed for the Oscar audience. And while that could be the case with Marshall, it's nothing less than a delightful film to watch. As with so many biopics, the main reason Marshall succeeds is Chadwick Boseman's unsurprisingly good turn as the famous lawyer, Thurgood Marshall. Whether or not Thurgood was this way in real life, I absolutely loved the sheer display of confidence in Boseman's portrayal. It was almost to the point of cockiness, without being arrogant. It's that balance that made me appreciate what this man brought to the table. Of course, there's also the dynamic of having a story that is still relevant to this day. Not only are people of color still discriminated, underestimated, and not believed in the court of law, but the idea of pitting race against race in the courtroom is something that is still unfortunately an issue today. So in a way, it was disheartening to watch the injustices happening throughout Marshall, as we know they are far from being over in the 1940's, but it's always nice to see something stick up for their people no matter what time period they are from. Boseman isn't the only one who gives a good performance as Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown, Kate Hudson, James Cromwell, and a few others give valuable turns as their respected characters. I think my only issue with the film is that it ultimately felt very safe. I'm not one to know how these real life cases played out, but Marshall definitely feels like it took a guarded approach to the subject matter. Because of that, you can appeal to a mass audience, but I don't know that it was as detailed or thorough that it needed to be. Don't get me wrong, Marshall is a powerful film, but I think it could have taken an even further step forward into that realm. 8.2/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer

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