On the Basis of Sex - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

On the Basis of Sex Reviews

February 28, 2019
Taking its cue from Ruth, On the Basis of Sex includes everyone in the equation. Mothers - and fathers! - should take their brainy kids to see it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
February 20, 2019
Subtlety isn't this movie's strong suit and it's often needlessly chary about drawing the parallel between sexism and racism. But it's got a worthwhile story to tell.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
February 20, 2019
A paint-by-numbers portrait of an American icon.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
January 8, 2019
The formulaic film doesn't carry enough heft for consideration as a must-see Oscar contender.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 4, 2019
As a trailblazing figure, Ruth Bader Ginsburg deserves a knockout biopic about her life. Instead she gets... a serviceable, but by no means extraordinary origin story of a pre-Supreme Court RBG as she begins to shape her legacy.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
January 4, 2019
We are invited by the filmmakers to regard Ginsburg as a saint in the making who also happens to be a real person. It's the kind of "tribute" that is actually a disservice because it flattens out a complex human being.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
December 28, 2018
A rather broad biopic, but it beautifully argues the importance of Ginsburg's work - prior to the Supreme Court - and is a lovely tribute to the woman who would become the Notorious RBG.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
December 28, 2018
Mostly the film, directed by Mimi Leder, takes its cues not from real life but from film clichés.
December 27, 2018
"On the Basis of Sex" is dutiful Classics Illustrated filmmaking, with the villains easy to spot, the goal distant but obtainable, and an 11th-hour speech that just may save the day.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 26, 2018
Well-intentioned and occasionally inspirational but mostly flat and safe and cliché-riddled "origins story" about Ginsburg's nascent career.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 26, 2018
Worth seeing, not only as a tribute to the jurist nicknamed "Notorious RBG" but for the welcome context that it provides... As a drama, though, the film is just a bit too thin to warrant much more than ending up on the favorable side of a split decision.
December 26, 2018
If it pleases the court, I'd argue that there's one big problem with this honorable attempt to tell us who Ruth Bader Ginsburg is: There's too much material. RBG's life is not a movie; it's a miniseries.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 26, 2018
For Bader Ginsburg's many devoted fans, this glowing tribute may be just the ticket.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 25, 2018
As filmmaking, it's clunky, but as fan service, it's more effective.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
December 25, 2018
Leder's approach to the story of a genuinely remarkable woman is genuinely, remarkably ... conventional.
December 25, 2018
Call it "The Notorious RBG: The Early Years" as a terrific Felicity Jones finds the fire and fury in the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she takes on her lifelong battle against gender discrimination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
December 24, 2018
Historical narratives are best when they pique curiosity as well as satisfy it, and this one is too conscientious to proclaim its own comprehensiveness.
December 24, 2018
While the structure occasionally feels a bit awkward, "On the Basis of Sex" has the kind of crowd-pleasing story that skims over any minor shortcomings; by its end, you're ready to cheer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 24, 2018
It has a serviceable, conventional approach that summarizes the extraordinary achievements of a remarkable woman...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
December 24, 2018
I raise a glass to any movie about her, no matter how they tell her story. Long may she reign.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 23, 2018
"On the Basis of Sex" is a serious movie that slowly earns its emotion and enlists our involvement. Even before the finish, it's goosebumps all around.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 23, 2018
Polished, effective, a bit obvious...
December 21, 2018
On the Basis of Sex falls regrettably flat.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 21, 2018
A winning, inspirational crowd-pleaser à la Hidden Figures, Leder's film follows the early accomplishments of the young Ginsburg (an assured Felicity Jones, convincingly slipping into the trailblazer's shoes), beginning in 1956.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 21, 2018
Leder draws lovely performances across the board, bringing clarity and warmth to a complicated but important historical moment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 21, 2018
The defense concedes that the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex hits its marks with the subtlety of a legal brief. But that's not fatal.
December 21, 2018
Leder... somehow makes a wonky court case about Section 214 of the tax code, which deals with dependent care expenses, into a nail-biting thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 20, 2018
Director Mimi Leder has an eye for telling detail and a sure sense of pacing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 19, 2018
By joining the Cult of Ruth, it doesn't make the main character into the complex, compelling person she surely is. Here, Ginsburg is just an idea, a symbol - a meme.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 19, 2018
On the Basis of Sex mostly avoids hero-worship in recreating the shameful truth of where the country was a half-century earlier and the importance of Ginsburg in the legal aspect of the shift that continues to this day.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 19, 2018
Though it goes down easy, On The Basis Of Sex is smarter and subtler than it looks-or, anyway, how its first act makes it look.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 17, 2018
A suitably inspiring biopic despite its narrative unevenness and occasional reliance on schmaltz...
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 17, 2018
Sacrifices character for intricate, and often fascinating, behind-the-scenes legal maneuvers...
December 6, 2018
Its pace is a little slack, and sometimes it feels too predictably prepackaged. But Jones and Hammer keep the picture moving even through its shakier phases.
November 12, 2018
A movie that floats on an atmosphere of admiration, but also one that solidly appreciates what it is like to be a pioneer for social change.
November 9, 2018
Though the film does play it safe, and falls to a formulaic narrative, the flaws are less within the film itself than in our expectation of what we want it to tell us.
November 9, 2018
With few modifications, "On the Basis of Sex" could have been made 30 years ago, and its rousing portrait of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg would be a cheesy tearjerker with purpose. Today, it's out of touch.
Full Review | Original Score: C
November 9, 2018
For those not blessed with such courageous figures, Ginsburg's story will be especially inspirational, making it relatively easy to forgive a few manipulative and melodramatic touches in the telling.
November 9, 2018
The conventional connect-the-dots approach and less-than-ideal casting of the leading role keep the film from being something more than a proficient but ordinary account of an extraordinary career.
November 9, 2018
There's a propelling motion that makes the film a swift, slick watch led by a figure rare in a genre still dominated by men.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5