The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Rogerson and producer Jilann Spitzmiller ably convey the humanity of the inmates while also exposing them as deeply flawed individuals. The film also reconfirms the enduring relevance and power of Shakespeare and his adaptability to almost any milieu.
Albeit a tad repetitive, Shakespeare Behind Bars succeeds in humanizing men we might too easily label as monsters, and provides a solid argument in favor of prisons that place rehabilitation above retribution.
We'd all like to believe that art is a lot more powerful than it is, but during rehearsals, two inmates who swear that Shakespeare has shown them the light are instead cast off to the Hole for breaking prison rules.
Rogerson's structure is ingenious: He dilutes our initial skepticism by showcasing the prisoners' thoughtfulness and intelligence, and as soon as we've come to care for the men he shocks us with the details of their crimes.