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.
Lee is a filmmaker who, through talent, accomplishment, and a constant working of the refs in the Hollywood system, has earned autonomy over his films. I'm all for artistic freedom, but here he could have used a bit of oversight.
The impulse here is to say something about the nobility of this movie's intent or to note that Spike Lee is one of our best filmmakers. But the first and most honest thing to say about Miracle at St. Anna is that it's an awful mess.
Pedestrian and awkward, this film is a disappointment not only in comparison with Lee's earlier epic, the underrated Malcolm X, but also in comparison with another film with similar aims, Rachid Bouchareb's Days of Glory.
Malcolm X (1992) proved that Lee could rise to the challenge of a sweeping historical epic, but this 160-minute drama is overblown and unconvincing, the director's bright, poppy style clashing with the grim subject matter.
Setting the record straight after so many years and so many movies is not necessarily a simple undertaking, and this film sometimes stumbles under its heavy, self-imposed burden of historical significance.
Miracle is, by turns, a dazzling, dim, lucid, confounding, absorbing, tedious, silly, profound, bloody and bracing account of four African American infantrymen separated from their Buffalo Soldiers unit in Tuscany during World War II.
It's impossible not to admire what Lee has wrought here, and the evident passion with which it has been brought to the screen. However, the realization is flawed, and those flaws make this 160-minute epic feel a little too much like an ordeal.
Mr. Lee has stretched his material in so many different directions that one is left with unacceptable levels of religiosity and sentimentality in the overall context of the naked brutality we have witnessed.