Matewan: A Luta Final


Matewan: A Luta Final (1987)


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Movie Info

This is the story of a 1920 coal-mine strike.


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Critic Reviews for Matewan: A Luta Final

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (11)

In the rich umbers of Haskell Wexler's cinematography, Matewan does look great.

Mar 22, 2013 | Full Review…

If Sayles's bite were as lethal as his bark, he might have given this a harder edge and a stronger conclusion. But the performances are uniformly fine.

Mar 22, 2013 | Full Review…

In its grave clarity, it's as pure and plaintive as a mountain ballad.

Mar 22, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Sayles must have meant his movie to stir and provoke, but the self-contained look of it yields something else -- a sense of quaintness, of harmless nostalgia.

Mar 22, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

When this movie stumbles, it stumbles honestly and sympathetically, but, when it succeeds, it makes history sing.

Mar 22, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The movie works the way Westerns have always worked: In clear, simple terms and with straightforward dramatic devices.

Mar 22, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Matewan: A Luta Final

An amazingly authentic film with great performances, photography and production design. Sayles work here is stellar, can't wait to read the book.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Caught this on late night cable. Fantastic film on all levels. It looks great and has some amazing performances. It is everything that I love about John Sayles. It seems like every movie he makes is a social studies project (not that it's always a good thing) and you always learn about something from his films. I didn't know anything about this event and it made it more riveting. Bob Gunton, Chris Cooper (in his film debut), and James Earl Jones are brilliant.

Tim Sigur
Tim Sigur

Super Reviewer

A modern classic.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer


Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones and Mary McDonnell each do a good job in this John Sayles piece on the growth of the labor union into the West Virginia coal mines of the 1920's. But, I may have set my expectations for the film a bit too high. Maybe it was meant as a warm-up for Sayles, David Strathairn, Kevin Tighe, Jace Alexander and Gordon Clapp prior to their collaboration of the following year...Eight Men Out.

Moe E
Moe E

Super Reviewer

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