The Reading Room - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Reading Room Reviews

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½ November 10, 2015
James Earl Jones sells it with an assist from Douglas Spain.
½ December 13, 2011
The world needs more people like this.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2010
A made for tv movie that's very well done. This is a very touching, and heart warming drama that I very much enjoyed. James Earl Jones is a very fine actor, and this movie really excells because of him.
September 9, 2010
Very slow, but worthwhile film dealing with reading and other disabilities in supposedly Los Angeles.

This must be the most naive person in the world (Jones) as he fulfills his dead wife's request to pass along their library to the streets of LA.

Very true to form, the Reading Room, as it is called, is burned out once and despised by local preachers, gangs, and mothers. But to everyone's surprise, it ends in HallMark Hall of Fame wonderfulness.

If you love sappy movies, this one takes the cake. If you love deeply moving movies, this one also takes the cake.

Two thumbs up for The Reading Room.
August 28, 2010
Sure, as a teacher, I am always going to be touched by quality films regarding instructors who truly change the lives of their students (eg, "Stand and Deliver," "Emperor's Club"). But this Hallmark-for-TV production is little more than cliches and wishful make-me-feel-good thinking.

James Earl Jones is a widower (with endless financial resources) who decides to open a small study room filled with books down in the ghetto. Amazingly kids just start drifting in begging for his books and help, as if the school libraries and public libraries just didn't exist.

Jones plays the stoic trooper when all the predictable dark clouds begin to gather - in the form of resentful street thugs, hostile community activists and bureaucratic principals.

Somehow the viewer is supposed to be impressed when Jones removes the security gates from his windows and the place is robbed that same night. And be impressed when he tools downtown in his $90,000 Mercedes every morning until he gets jacked at gunpoint, then trots right down to the used car lot to buy himself a $500 beater for the commute.

Rather than impress, however, Jones just comes off the naive idiot. Without Jones' talent it would have played out on screen even uglier.

Eventually Jones starts arguing that some students should have all the time they want to complete the SAT - which would neutralize it as any fair/equitable measure of student accomplishment. Someone should tell Jones the kids he's helping won't be able to move up in life through a good college placement - if there is no fair way to distinguish what they've achieved.

That's when I lunged for the eject button.

RECOMMENDATION: There's plenty of good films about teaching that will inspire and inform; this DVD is better used as a coffee table coaster.
August 22, 2010
Nice little made-for-TV movie with James Earl Jones. I enjoyed the movie and the good-natured plot. I've never heard about 'reading rooms' before. I don't know if they truly exist anywhere ... but, it was a nice idea. It also shared a nice way for a retired businessman to dedicate his time and life.

I recommend the movie to my FB-friends.
May 20, 2010
well umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch.......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie,,,i think that austin marques, christian eric billings, david rasner, georg stanford brown, gabby soleil, douglas spain, george standford brown, james earl jones, joanna cassidy, lynne moody play good roles/parts thorughout this movie......i think that douglas spain/james earl jones were good thorughout this movie.....i think that the director of this drama/straight to dvd/made for tv movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect thorughout this movie.....i think that this is an enjoyable movie 2 watch.....its got a good cast throughout this movie its an enjoyable made for tv movie 2 watch
January 27, 2010
Making a promise to his dying wife, a widower open a reading area in a poor neighbourhood to help people learn literacy skill. Following his wife's belief of More care less hate.
½ November 18, 2009
i love it..there was no volience and no swearing... just good old fashion family values....brilliant..
September 26, 2009
Another Great movie from the Hallmark channel. Starring Jame Earl Jones (Voice of Darth Vadar/ This is CNN voice) , heartfelt movie..
½ September 26, 2009
Another Great movie from the Hallmark channel. Starring Jame Earl Jones (Voice of Darth Vadar/ This is CNN voice) , heartfelt movie..
½ August 6, 2009
"The Reading Room" stars James Earl Jones as William Campbell, a retired wealthy businessman who decides to honor his dead wife's wish that he use one of their properties in a disadvantaged neighborhood as a reading room. Though he initially appears to undertake this task more as a means of honoring his late wife's memory, he comes to eventually care deeply about the people he meets and shares the reading room with, a cast of characters that worm their way into his heart and impact his life just as he changes their lives for the better.

Though this is a sentimental drama with many sappy scenes, I thought the main character as played by James Earl Jones was well-done without being exaggerated. Jones' William is credibly portrayed, a man who realizes that the reading room not only has the means to positively impact the lives of the youngsters and youth that come into it, but also provides him with a sense of family, something the childless William never truly experienced.

The supporting cast are all well-done - Joanna Cassidy appears in a few scenes, but plays a significant role - she's the schoolteacher who believes that William's efforts are worthwhile and keeps 'feeding' him students that need help with their reading. There are many others - the eight-year-old who asks William to help her read better so she can read her mother's prescription labels, the Hispanic teen who faces peer pressure to participate in criminal activities and who is offered a means of escape from his depressing life, the African-American youth who desperately wishes to get into college despite seemingly insurmountable odds, and those opposed to what the reading room symbolizes - the gang of thugs and also a Reverend who initially thinks William's efforts are futile.

This is a feel-good, inspiring drama about how individuals can make a difference, bring about positive change in a community through tireless, sincere efforts. With the legendary James Earl Jones leading the cast, this is a story that will have you rooting for William and company all the way!
August 2, 2009
This film was so heartwarming, and at times heart-wrenching. It deserves to be seen by more people. I think there should be a campaign to let people know about it, because it really has left quite an impression on me. One of my favourite films ever!
July 13, 2009
love it! momo did a great job!
June 15, 2009
i love this show,..... an inspiring and uplifting film, very interesting.
May 1, 2009
Heartwarming, if I have the means, I'll surely do the same thing of helping others
January 31, 2009
Predictable but who's James Earl Jones teaching lil kids how to read and helping them stay outta trouble. James Earl Jones! The story follows the standard made-for-TV procedures yet I followed the whole thing. Jones commanding presence and wide range is enough for me. There certainly is worse Hallmark fare out there just waiting to pull them heartstrings.
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2009
Definitely a made-for TV movie. I think the writers glossed over how difficult it is to recover after a fire but it was still an uplifting movie.
November 29, 2008
The art of charity..
November 27, 2008
pretty good. simple plot that's easy to understand. meaningful
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