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.
There's a deliberate mythmaking quality to Parker's reconstruction of the real-life Nat Turner, who was a much more morally complex figure than the righteous avenger Parker writes, directs, and plays him as.
No, the movie can't escape its maelstrom of bad PR, and reviews aren't written in a vacuum either. But lest the point get lost, what Mr. Parker has committed to the screen is a righteously indignant, kinetic and well-acted film.
The real problem is the central character: wearing so many hats at once, Parker fails to communicate the madness and God fever that enabled Turner to mobilize his people in a suicide attack against their captors.
Other films have taken on the blight of slavery, but Nate Parker throws the knockout punch as people are killed "for no reason but being black," a statement that gives Parker's landmark film the heat of a history that's still being written.
Parker sees the Nat Turner story as righteous wrath, straight, no chaser, not much characterization. Very likely, the real Turner was a more unruly, contradictory and human figure than the icon at the center of things here.
The Birth of a Nation is a fine and promising debut from Parker, who also co-wrote and produced. It also feels very much like a first film, too, unable to reach the lofty artistry that it's striving for.