On the Waterfront - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

On the Waterfront Reviews

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Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television
November 28, 2015
Overrated melodrama about the alleged wonders of informing.
Top Critic
Kate Cameron
New York Daily News
February 22, 2015
Kazan over-emphasized the last sequence in the film, but on the whole, his fine direction shows in the strength and power of the dramatic action on the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Mike Barkacs
July 5, 2005
This movie has to be considered one of the very best of all time.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Simon Miraudo
February 12, 2013
Allow me to suggest On the Waterfront is one such 'classic' that holds up; a declaration that deserves only one, dismissive response: "No duh."
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Tony Sloman
Radio Times
February 12, 2014
On the surface it's an extremely well-crafted and entertaining drama, but peel away some layers and you'll discover an apologia for informing.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
February 7, 2005
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
It is still possible to feel the power of the film and of Brando and Kazan, who changed American movie acting forever.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
April 25, 2002
One of the best acted efforts to come out of Hollywood during the 1950s.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media
December 26, 2010
Raises important issues about the nature of power.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs
July 28, 1954
This movie is all about Brando.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
March 11, 2005
The difference between pre- and post-1950s cinema - before and after Brando - is as pronounced as moving from black and white to color.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Michael Szymanski
November 1, 2002
What's most amazing is to realize that the most important moments of this is something that director Kazan allowed the actors to improvise. Some of the best scenes, including the "contender" scene is all from the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Matthew Pejkovic
Matt's Movie Reviews
July 6, 2010
A strong morality tale about corruption and redemption, On the Waterfront is a timeless classic that features two masters at the top of their craft.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Sarah Boslaugh
May 13, 2016
[Boris Kaufman's] neo-realistic style is a perfect match for Waterfront's gritty story... and the film was well served by the 36 days the cast and crew spent shooting in and around the Hoboken waterfront.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Beth Accomando
March 30, 2003
| Original Score: 5/5
Cole Smithey
May 9, 2008
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
December 12, 2006
It's hard to deny that Marlon Brando's performance as a dock worker and ex-fighter who finally decides to rat on his gangster brother (Rod Steiger) is pretty terrific.
Frank Ochieng
May 23, 2003
Kazan's classic golden age drama remains a rousing and riveting piece of cinema for anyone who appreciates intriguing characterizations. This legendary story is more than just a hopeful contender.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Variety Staff
January 30, 2008
Under Elia Kazan's direction, Marlon Brando puts on a spectacular show, giving a fascinating, multi-faceted performance as the uneducated dock walloper and former pug, who is basically a softie with a special affection for his rooftop covey of pigeons.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
January 26, 2006
It's pretty electrifying.
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