The Power of One


The Power of One

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 18


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,709
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Movie Info

Set in South Africa before World War II, John Avildsen's film chronicles the uphill battles faced by a white teen (Stephen Dorff) who fights separatism by squaring off against black opponents in the boxing ring.

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Stephen Dorff
as PK (age 18)
Morgan Freeman
as Geel Piet
John Gielgud
as Headmaster
Fay Masterson
as Maria Marais
Maria Marais
as Fay Masterson
Simon Fenton
as PK (age 12)
Guy Witcher
as PK (age 7)
Daniel Craig
as Sergeant Jaapie Botha
Alois Moyo
as Gideon Duma
Marius Weyers
as Professor Daniel Marais
Agatha Hurle
as Midwife
Nigel Ivy
as PK (as a newborn)
Brendan Deary
as PK (as an infant)
Winston Mangwarara
as Tonderai Infant
Bart Van Niekerk
as Lieutenant Smit
Cecil Zilla Mamanzi
as Ranch Foreman
John Turner
as Afrikaner Minister
Robbie Bulloch
as Jaapie Botha
Gordon Arnell
as Minister at Mother's Funeral
Jeremiah Mnisi
as Dabula Manzi
Paul Tingay
as Grandfather
Michael Brunner
as Kommandant Van Zyl
Clive Russell
as Sergeant Bormann
Gart Van Niekerk
as Lieutenant Smit
Ed Beeten
as Prison Commissioner
Dominic Walker
as Morrie Guilbert
Robert Thomas Reed
as School Fight Opponent
Roy Francis
as Referee
Clare Cobbold
as 1st Maria's Friend
Natalie Morse
as 2nd Maria's Friend
Simon Shumba
as Man Without Pass
Stan Leih
as 1st Van Cop
Robert Reed
as School Fight Opponent
Rod Campbell
as 2nd Van Cop
Adam Fogerty
as Andreas Malan
Tony Denham
as Boxing Partner
Eric Nobbs
as 1st City Cop
Edward Jordan
as 2nd City Cop
Brian O'Shaughnessy
as Colonel Bretyn
Faith Edwards
as Miriam Sisulu
Raymond Barreto
as Indian Referee
Liz Ngwenya
as Nganga Ancient Woman
Andrew Whaley
as Ticket Taker
Akim Mwale
as Student
Joel Phiri
as Student
Peggy Moyo
as Student
David Khabo
as Student
David Guwaza
as Student
Christien Anholt
as Date at Dinner
Nigel Pegram
as 1st Man Guest
Reverend Peter Van Vuuren
as Minister at Maria's Funeral
Marcia Coleman
as Woman Guest
Banele Dala Moyo
as Boy Who Reads
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News & Interviews for The Power of One

Critic Reviews for The Power of One

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (11)

  • Beautifully produced and gorgeously shot on location in Zimbabwe by lenser Dean Semler, picture has depth, dimension and first-rate casting.

    May 20, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Avildsen draws good performances from the three actors who play PK, as well as from the ever-reliable Freeman and Müller-Stahl, but subtlety is abandoned when he focuses on the ring and teen romance.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The film's facile treatment of racial issues may be enough to bring back the practice of throwing tomatoes at the screen.

    Aug 30, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/5
  • A violent cartoon that trivializes apartheid. If there's any justice, the birds of loneliness will be circling the box office.

    May 12, 2001 | Full Review…
  • Though rife with worthy intentions and great notions, this populist safari manages to be both patronizing and manipulative.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • It's resounding bunk, candied over with the lush music of Johnny Clegg and hyped to death by director John ("Rocky") Avildsen.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Power of One

  • Mar 08, 2011
    Ladies and gentlemen, here is an example of a very rare type of film, a mediocre one. Truly mediocre, equal parts bad and good, one of the worst kind of movies to watch. Why are they so bad to watch? A good film, well, you enjoy it, and a bad film can be made fun of for a good laugh. But The Power of One has some great performances (Morgan Freeman, and a very young Daniel Craig), but the absolutely shoddy writing hurts it. The movie is decent up until the last 20 minutes in which (SLIGHT SPOILERS) a main character is killed in a borderline hilarious fashion (felt like it was part of a Monty Python skit, not a serious dramatic death). The last 20 minutes try to end the movie as quickly as it can, so the ending feels rushed and to top if all off, has NO closure to speak of. NONE. Don't recommend this one, only if you're desperate to watch Morgan Freeman or Daniel Craig.
    Jacob E Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    Another movie I had to watch in school about apartheid in South Africa. This is one of the best of the bunch, I think. It's exciting and dramatic and has a lot of good actors. If you want to see a movie on the subject, I'd recommend this one.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2010 which a young white boy is chosen to end apartheid but never actually ends apartheid
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2007
    "Changes can come from the power of many, but only when the many come together to form that which is invincible... the power of one."
    Ida K Super Reviewer

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