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.
The Birth of a Nation is brutal and sad and difficult to watch at times. However, it also shines a light on a dark time in our nation's history and on a story that too many of us know precious little about.
To see the strange fruit hanging from the trees in the aftermath, while Nina Simone interprets Billie Holiday's iconic song on the soundtrack, overtly captures Parker's outpouring of anger and injustice.
With a fresh set of eyes, Parker effortlessly brings this past into the present and although many films dealing with slavery are lauded as courageous and inspirational simply for being, with "Birth of a Nation," he's actually made one that is.
A frustratingly incomplete half-measure overall, however understandable the sense that it might've been something more must have felt back in Park City. That final shot, though... damn, that really is something.
The look, sound, and overall story, along with Parker's moving portrayal of Nat Turner accompanied by an excellent supporting cast, make up for any flaws in the script, and hold the dark and dramatic story together.
Nate Parker directs and stars as historical figure Nat Turner, a preacher and slave rebellion leader, beginning the film with a slow but well-paced examination of the lives of slaves in the Deep South.
There's nothing inherently honorable or complex about presenting these visuals simply to punish the viewer. Where's the substance, or the layers of human conflict? The Birth of a Nation only has time for loud symbolism posing as social justice.