The Power of One Reviews

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Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
"The Power of One" begins with a canvas that involves all of the modern South African dilemma, and ends as a boxing movie. Somewhere in between, it loses its way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
February 9, 2006
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.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
It's resounding bunk, candied over with the lush music of Johnny Clegg and hyped to death by director John ("Rocky") Avildsen.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 12, 2001
A violent cartoon that trivializes apartheid. If there's any justice, the birds of loneliness will be circling the box office.
John Esther
Pasadena Weekly
August 2, 2003
Mushy
| Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Though rife with worthy intentions and great notions, this populist safari manages to be both patronizing and manipulative.
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle
January 1, 2000
Mostly, it's a long, heavy-handed narrative about the personal costs of South Africa's system of apartheid, set in the removed safety of bygone decades and mixed with generous helpings of Chariots of Fire and Rocky.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
August 30, 2004
The film's facile treatment of racial issues may be enough to bring back the practice of throwing tomatoes at the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
June 30, 2005
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 1, 1992
The Power of One spends so much screen time reveling in the eloquence and bravery of its hero and depicting South Africa's blacks as an anonymous horde of victims that the film, in effect, becomes their victimizer.
Full Review | Original Score: D

Film4
May 24, 2003
This is patronizing, offensive garbage, bought to you by the director of The Karate Kid.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Michael Szymanski
International Press Academy
September 23, 2005
| Original Score: 4/5
Scott Weinberg
eFilmCritic.com
July 25, 2002
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Variety Staff
Variety
May 20, 2008
Beautifully produced and gorgeously shot on location in Zimbabwe by lenser Dean Semler, picture has depth, dimension and first-rate casting.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
July 18, 2003
A startling film about a young South African boy's coming of age under the tutelage of three spiritual elders.
Daniel M. Kimmel
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
July 8, 2004
| Original Score: 3/5
Randy Shulman
Metro Weekly (Washington, DC)
January 29, 2004
| Original Score: 4/5
Brian J. Arthurs
Beach Reporter (Southern California)
October 31, 2002
| Original Score: 3/5
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