Selma - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Selma Reviews

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February 15, 2018
The film... assumes such vast prior knowledge of the civil rights movement that only a fraction of the audience will understand it. I scrambled to keep up, not helped by a cast of thousands and by Ava DuVernay's clumsy and flabby direction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 9, 2015
The paint-by-numbers portrayals of 1960s iconic players is pathetic and the story fails to capture the passion, energy and hope of MLK's leadership and of the times.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
February 5, 2015
In which the fight for black rights, instead of having a fiery and inspiring crackle, is like being hit over the head with a long, soggy sermonette.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
January 9, 2015
It's understandable that DuVernay would make a priority of avoiding excessive detail. But too much of the movie is like the opening: deliberate, broad, uninspired.
December 10, 2018
Selma is decidedly matter-of-fact and yet it bursts with emotion. When confronted with scenes of shocking brutality, DuVernay knows exactly when to turn the camera away.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
February 1, 2019
What makes Selma a truly fine film is the imagery we see.
January 23, 2019
Director Ava DuVernay has crafted an impressive film that doesn't just chronicle the events in Selma, but serves as an impressive portrait of King both as a leader in the civil rights movement and a flawed family man.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
October 8, 2018
DuVernay and Webb ambitiously dramatize all the intricacies, detours and compromises a wide-scale social justice movement entails, shining stark light on backroom deals, FBI schemes and even rivalries among various pockets of grass-roots rebellion.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 4, 2018
Director DuVernay has crafted a cinematic work for the ages, with a magnificent performance from Oyelowo.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 3, 2018
Selma is the kind of expert filmmaking that's long been absent from an American tradition of historical reenactment-it manages the forgotten art of depicting the graceful human beings that made it history in the first place.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
October 3, 2018
Selma is a triumphant no hold barred and amazingly directed biopic, with a gripping depth in the story and strong performances all around especially from David Oyelowo.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
August 30, 2018
King's story is tragic, that's no spoiler. The film ends with a heavy heart, mixed with hope. Selma is an important film and it is profoundly moving.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
August 20, 2018
It captures something more elusive in our fictions and in our politics: the feeling and dynamic of a collective movement.
September 12, 2017
Selma gives back to the Civil Rights movement its urgent and motivating anger, when too often the movement has been misrepresented as a cause of infinitely patient, infinitely forbearing martyrs.
December 30, 2018
From the intriguing backroom politics to the sacrifices made during the era, director Ava DuVernay and screenwriter Paul Webb turns a well-documented history lesson into essential cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
August 21, 2017
Selma has the intimacy of a chamber piece, but not much sense of the mass character of the Selma protests, of the thousands of arrests that had been made even before King got to town.
August 22, 2017
Selma forces a kind of reckoning for its viewer. At these moments, you won't be able to look away. And you shouldn't.
October 2, 2018
There are no wasted moments here. There are no wasted characters. The film is as much about Martin Luther King Jr. as it is about the people he worked with, and fought for.
August 14, 2017
Selma is a vital, brutal, and inspiring film.
August 10, 2017
[Selma] shows well the heartbreaking personal sacrifices made by those who wanted to be free, to be free at last, to cast their vote to effect change.
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