Sounder - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sounder Reviews

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½ September 19, 2016
Sounder is a very simple tale about a black family trying to make ends meet in the midst of the Great Depression. In an effort to feed his family the patriarch commits a crime and is punished, which has an adverse affect on his entire family. I'm not 100% sure why the movie is named after their dog, since he doesn't have a very active role in the movie. The story focuses much more intently on the eldest child of the family. It's tough for a child actor to portray the amount of emotional turmoil that this kid has to go through, but I was surprised just how bland Kevin Hooks was in the role. He shows one minor moment of emotion, and everything else is flat and monotone. Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield are great as his parents, and I like a number of the other adult actors as well. Sadly, the story of the movie is very bland and doesn't amount to much, which is why I didn't care for it I guess. I think they did a fairly decent job of portraying what it was like to live in those difficult times, but there's only faint rays of hope in the story. Even those small moments of hope are strictly for the oldest son, not the family as a whole. To be clear, I don't think Sounder is a bad film, it simply didn't do a whole lot. The story has very little progression, and the characters do almost nothing to influence the story. Similar to many people from that era, the characters simply endure the hardship, they don't really affect it in any way. It's just not my style of film I guess, even if it was made well.
½ August 12, 2016
16081: As I watched Sounder a thought, and feeling, came over me. I'm saddened a bit because I don't believe the majority of today's youth could sit through a film like this. Tell me I'm wrong. A wonderful film that shines a light in the dark. Warms my heart. So glad I picked it up.
April 26, 2016
A dog brings joys to the lives of sharecroppers during great depression in this predictable but engaging family drama.
½ February 20, 2016
I still don't understand why it's called Sounder. The dog was a fairly insignificant character if you ask me. The soundtrack captured the atmosphere of the film well, but it was still too boring to really enjoy. (First and only viewing - 2/20/2016)
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2014
This tale of a poor black family in the post slavery period is a good but not great early attempt to investigate the continuing influence of racism in the deep South. Likely stirring it its time, it has been eclipsed with far better more modern works.
March 8, 2014
A black sharecropper family in 1933 Louisiana is so poor they cannot even feed their three children, despite working hard year round. So the father steals food and is promptly arrested and sentenced to a chain gang for a year. The family hound dog called Sounder, is shot by the racist police as he is being arrested, but it is not all doom and gloom.
February 22, 2014
A great family film about a Black family in the deep south in 1933 struggling to survive after the father is sent to jail for a petty crime. Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield give outstanding performances, but it is Kevin Hooks who plays David, who is the film's center. His character becomes the man of the house and literally goes on a journey to find his dad and at the same time learns about himself.

Grade: A-
February 17, 2014
"Director Martin Ritt soaks us in the heat, the beauty, the racism and the buzzing cicadas of Louisiana."
October 30, 2013
I want to watch the full movie
May 26, 2013
Really good...glad I watched it.
½ May 13, 2013
3/5 for this one , the storyline was amazing and specially the part played by the couple and their son were amazing .
½ December 18, 2012
This was pretty solid. It was a good story supplemented by strong performances.
½ June 4, 2012
During the days of the Great Depression, an African-American family in Louisiana barely gets through the days. The father, Nathan Lee (Cecil Winfield) is so desperate to get food for his family, that he and his son David Lee (Kevin Hooks) hunt for raccoons... and fail, which leads to him stealing a loaf of bread from another residences. He gets caught and as they haul him away, their dog, Sounder, chases after them and is shot in the face, of which he runs away to what we assume to his death. This leaves the mother (Cicely Tyson) raising the children and running their small farm all by themselves, with Kevin searching for both his dog and his the prison camp to where his father has been sent. Although it seems surprising that Sounder returns to the family, this movie shows a unique perspective of African-Americans just getting by during the early 1930's. It is not big on continuously slamming the black people, but just showing their way living poor life and thankfully getting through. The characters are likable, and the acting is generally quite good. As well, the directors are able to successfully chronicle the roughness of the time period by placing the viewer back into the 1930's. Worth the watch for movie buffs.
½ March 9, 2012
Would have been an interesting plot, if it wasn't depressing to watch...
February 29, 2012
I have never read the novel, but since all movies featuring a dog seem to include the dog dying at the end, I never watched the movie either until tonight. I'll just go ahead and let you know now, the dog does not die in this movie. Now that we've gotten past that, this is a touching, subtle, authentic movie well-worth checking out.
½ September 5, 2011
Beautiful slice of life drama that's helped magnificently by the performances of Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield (no shocker they were both Oscar nominated as was the movie itself). Yeah, some of the acting is amateur but using amateurs will do that ;) It's hard to believe this was made in the early 70' looks stunning nearly 40 years later.
August 6, 2011
A solid plot makes this movie sound great.
February 10, 2011
This film shows a very close, supportive family that manages to overcome many hardships by depending on each other.
November 1, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010

(1972) Sounder

Plotless film which showcases a young African American young boy while growing up during "The Great Depression" USA! I have no idea why the movie is called "Sounder" since it is only a name the family named their dog who's hardly a factor! Great scenery as well as the country side but doesn't carry any message of any kind except to showcase the unequal treatment African Americans receive even as regular citizens! Good raw musical score by real life blues artist Taj Mahal who also has a role as Ike!

3 out of 4
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