The Watsons Go to Birmingham Reviews

  • May 22, 2018

    I'm being a bit harsh on this because of the utter disappointment I had when I watched this movie after reading the infinitely better book. One of the many issues I had with this movie is the number of plots and subplots left out from the book. The excuse "But it's a movie adaptation of a book, they can't put everything in, it would make it too long!". I can take that to an extent, but they leave too many of those moments, thus causing plotholes non-existant in the book. Although the actors were good, sometimes the characters felt a bit out of character. But that's really just a minor problem compared to this one. One of the worst problems is that it's just important part after important part after important part, it really feels like there's not a relaxing moment where you can connect to the characters. An excuse is that "It makes the movie more exciting!". But with only important plots, it feels like there's no depth to the movie whatsoever. It also spent too little time in their hometown, Flint. It was about 20-30 minutes long that the characters were there, so it felt really rushed. They even went as far as removing a character from the book called Rufus. I was really ticked off with that decision because I find him one of the more interesting characters. Mom felt more laid back when in the book, she was really strict. I liked her outrageous character in the book and removing that trait really ruined her character. Although I do like the black people fighting back, that wasn't enough to save this movie. And moments like when -------------------(STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS)----------------------- the church got bombed I wasn't terrified like I was in the book. It felt like they wanted to make it emotional, but failed horribly. I know this review was way too long and should have been a lot shorter, but I want to show how this movie is bad. It's fine if you like it, but you should consider reading the book first before saying that I'm hating on it for no reason. Overall, I was extremely disappointed. Read the book before watching this to have more of a detailed version of The Watsons.

    I'm being a bit harsh on this because of the utter disappointment I had when I watched this movie after reading the infinitely better book. One of the many issues I had with this movie is the number of plots and subplots left out from the book. The excuse "But it's a movie adaptation of a book, they can't put everything in, it would make it too long!". I can take that to an extent, but they leave too many of those moments, thus causing plotholes non-existant in the book. Although the actors were good, sometimes the characters felt a bit out of character. But that's really just a minor problem compared to this one. One of the worst problems is that it's just important part after important part after important part, it really feels like there's not a relaxing moment where you can connect to the characters. An excuse is that "It makes the movie more exciting!". But with only important plots, it feels like there's no depth to the movie whatsoever. It also spent too little time in their hometown, Flint. It was about 20-30 minutes long that the characters were there, so it felt really rushed. They even went as far as removing a character from the book called Rufus. I was really ticked off with that decision because I find him one of the more interesting characters. Mom felt more laid back when in the book, she was really strict. I liked her outrageous character in the book and removing that trait really ruined her character. Although I do like the black people fighting back, that wasn't enough to save this movie. And moments like when -------------------(STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT SPOILERS)----------------------- the church got bombed I wasn't terrified like I was in the book. It felt like they wanted to make it emotional, but failed horribly. I know this review was way too long and should have been a lot shorter, but I want to show how this movie is bad. It's fine if you like it, but you should consider reading the book first before saying that I'm hating on it for no reason. Overall, I was extremely disappointed. Read the book before watching this to have more of a detailed version of The Watsons.

  • May 05, 2017

    While I don't feel like the movie lives up to the book, it is still good.

    While I don't feel like the movie lives up to the book, it is still good.

  • Jun 16, 2016

    good movie about a black family that travels from Michigan to Alabama in the middle of segaration in the 1960's and how their summer vacation to their grandma house was anything but a normal summer vacation. well written and acted.

    good movie about a black family that travels from Michigan to Alabama in the middle of segaration in the 1960's and how their summer vacation to their grandma house was anything but a normal summer vacation. well written and acted.

  • Jul 16, 2015

    Despite the decent performances by a select few (Namely Anika Rose, Wood Harris, and LaTanya Richardson), this movie did it's best to keep shooting itself in the foot whenever it could. To the film's credit, the costumes and some of the scenery sets that distinct 1950's atmosphere. However, as a native of Birmingham I was expecting a little more of my beloved city than what I saw in the movie. But, I was willing to put that little nuance behind me. What I couldn't forgive were the moments that were suppose to be emotional, moving, tearjerking, moment of silence for our fallen heroes moments; terrible. It's a good idea to take a subject like the Great Civil Right's Movement and make it somewhat upbeat so it doesn't completely disconnect to the young adult audience of today. However, when you want to convey the seriousness of a situation you cannot be Happy-go-lucky. I apologize for spoiling this film for a few people but there are 2 distinct points of the movie which I will touch upon. 1) When the Watson children are talking to their cousins about the march for freedom in the school's the music is way off in terms of conveying the hurt, pain and torture that my people went through. 2) The scene where Kenny is looking for his sister, to be honest Bryce (Kenny) didn't look like he received any instruction whatsoever in trying to convey the fear or terror that the real Kenny Watson had at that point. And they botch the scene up more by having Kenny's mythical fear of a Whirpool (whatever that was suppose to be) pop out of nowhere and completely tear the audience from any feeling that we were suppose to have for him. Though this film has it's bright spots the bad far outweighs the good. It's not a complete waste of time. But I won't be watching it again anytime soon.

    Despite the decent performances by a select few (Namely Anika Rose, Wood Harris, and LaTanya Richardson), this movie did it's best to keep shooting itself in the foot whenever it could. To the film's credit, the costumes and some of the scenery sets that distinct 1950's atmosphere. However, as a native of Birmingham I was expecting a little more of my beloved city than what I saw in the movie. But, I was willing to put that little nuance behind me. What I couldn't forgive were the moments that were suppose to be emotional, moving, tearjerking, moment of silence for our fallen heroes moments; terrible. It's a good idea to take a subject like the Great Civil Right's Movement and make it somewhat upbeat so it doesn't completely disconnect to the young adult audience of today. However, when you want to convey the seriousness of a situation you cannot be Happy-go-lucky. I apologize for spoiling this film for a few people but there are 2 distinct points of the movie which I will touch upon. 1) When the Watson children are talking to their cousins about the march for freedom in the school's the music is way off in terms of conveying the hurt, pain and torture that my people went through. 2) The scene where Kenny is looking for his sister, to be honest Bryce (Kenny) didn't look like he received any instruction whatsoever in trying to convey the fear or terror that the real Kenny Watson had at that point. And they botch the scene up more by having Kenny's mythical fear of a Whirpool (whatever that was suppose to be) pop out of nowhere and completely tear the audience from any feeling that we were suppose to have for him. Though this film has it's bright spots the bad far outweighs the good. It's not a complete waste of time. But I won't be watching it again anytime soon.

  • Feb 07, 2015

    I loved this book when I was growing up, but now that I'm older and understand a lot more, this movie evoked a larger emotional response. I am excited to reread the book as an adult now.

    I loved this book when I was growing up, but now that I'm older and understand a lot more, this movie evoked a larger emotional response. I am excited to reread the book as an adult now.

  • Jan 14, 2015

    Really good flick. Fiction mixed with non-fiction. I'm sure many families had similar stories in the 60's when they visited relatives in south. Good movie for pre-teens and teens I think especially. Not the little ones though.

    Really good flick. Fiction mixed with non-fiction. I'm sure many families had similar stories in the 60's when they visited relatives in south. Good movie for pre-teens and teens I think especially. Not the little ones though.

  • Aug 17, 2014

    Good old fashion civil rights family movie and a slight reminder of what happened before.

    Good old fashion civil rights family movie and a slight reminder of what happened before.

  • Jul 08, 2014

    A fictional historic movie that tells the story about the Afro-Americans family. It was a television movie adapted from a novel of the same name. The movie is a purpose to learn about the history. Also describes the unity of the family and importance to fight back for the right things which was inspiring. It was not a violent movie, it was PG rated that everyone in the family can watch together on a fine occasion. It was shorter and targets nothing particularly about, but all the stuffs that happen around the family was showcased satisfactory manner. An old man, Kenny recalls his childhood incidental story when the country was in revolution for his race. Kenny is a 11-year-old, born in a happy middle class family who live in Michigan. He got a trouble making older brother and an adorable little sister. On a summer holiday they decide to visit grandma who is in Birmingham. So the journey begins, but half way through they come to know that revolution for the civil rights movement has begun. Once they have reached, after the initial few days all the three children start to like the city. One side the revolution and the other side the family vacation. How the Watson family encountered historic event that took place was briefed with many good dialogues and tragic incidents. ''Nonviolence is the key in the fight... To break the bondage of oppression.'' A fine family story. This television movie offers lots of fun moments as well thinkable about our history. Good performance except a couple of them did not convince through their exhibition. The story was told from a kid's perspective about the events he witnessed during the holiday vacation that changed the history of entire country forever. As a kid, he grew up in a society that troubled by racism remarks. Where he visits during the holiday makes him realize the existence of two kinds of a divided society. The story of the family might be fictitious, but the affairs happened around them were based on the real. Especially the bombing incident was very true. Anyway, a simplest movie for television audience. This movie is especially for people who are not into books. Those who are into both are always draw differences. I have not read it, but I liked this movie. Not a must see movie, but to add to the watch list and give it a shot when the proper time you think has arrived.

    A fictional historic movie that tells the story about the Afro-Americans family. It was a television movie adapted from a novel of the same name. The movie is a purpose to learn about the history. Also describes the unity of the family and importance to fight back for the right things which was inspiring. It was not a violent movie, it was PG rated that everyone in the family can watch together on a fine occasion. It was shorter and targets nothing particularly about, but all the stuffs that happen around the family was showcased satisfactory manner. An old man, Kenny recalls his childhood incidental story when the country was in revolution for his race. Kenny is a 11-year-old, born in a happy middle class family who live in Michigan. He got a trouble making older brother and an adorable little sister. On a summer holiday they decide to visit grandma who is in Birmingham. So the journey begins, but half way through they come to know that revolution for the civil rights movement has begun. Once they have reached, after the initial few days all the three children start to like the city. One side the revolution and the other side the family vacation. How the Watson family encountered historic event that took place was briefed with many good dialogues and tragic incidents. ''Nonviolence is the key in the fight... To break the bondage of oppression.'' A fine family story. This television movie offers lots of fun moments as well thinkable about our history. Good performance except a couple of them did not convince through their exhibition. The story was told from a kid's perspective about the events he witnessed during the holiday vacation that changed the history of entire country forever. As a kid, he grew up in a society that troubled by racism remarks. Where he visits during the holiday makes him realize the existence of two kinds of a divided society. The story of the family might be fictitious, but the affairs happened around them were based on the real. Especially the bombing incident was very true. Anyway, a simplest movie for television audience. This movie is especially for people who are not into books. Those who are into both are always draw differences. I have not read it, but I liked this movie. Not a must see movie, but to add to the watch list and give it a shot when the proper time you think has arrived.

  • Panta O Super Reviewer
    Jul 05, 2014

    Before watching the movie and looking at the bright yellow cover on the packaging, I thought it is just a happy, bubbly coming-of-age family comedy... how wrong I was! This Hallmark movie based on the book The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis is a movie which can fall into coming-of-age category or political drama or even a family drama, but will never fall into comedy! Directed by Kenny Leon and written by Caliope Brattlestreet and Stephen Glantz, it needs improvements on few different fronts - but some of the later powerful emotional scenes will make you forget most of the imperfections and faults seen in the first two thirds of the movie. The stars of this film had noticeable performances... Bryce Clyde Jenkins, Harrison Knight, Skai Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Wood Harris and David Alan Grier included! The story is set in the Flint, Michigan during the summer of 1963, in the Wattsons "All American Family" made up of Daniel and Wilona Watson, (Harris and Rose) and their three kids, 15 year-old juvenile delinquent Byron (Knight), nerdy 11 year-old Kenny (Jenkins) and eight year-old adorable sister Joetta (Jackson). When the oldest son Byron goes over the top with his behviour, his parents decide the family needs a dose of Grandma Sands (Richardson) no nonsense approach in Birmingham, Alabama... Because the movie covers the period of time which happens when Alabama was in the midst of the civil rights struggle, this warm, relatable family drama will revive the civil rights era on the screen where there is not much beauty! Scenes of period-accurate racism and discrimination could be disturbing to some viewers and parents should know that the Birmingham church bombing in which four girls lost their lives, is depicted, and one main character nearly loses her life. My verdict is - Surprisingly good.

    Before watching the movie and looking at the bright yellow cover on the packaging, I thought it is just a happy, bubbly coming-of-age family comedy... how wrong I was! This Hallmark movie based on the book The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis is a movie which can fall into coming-of-age category or political drama or even a family drama, but will never fall into comedy! Directed by Kenny Leon and written by Caliope Brattlestreet and Stephen Glantz, it needs improvements on few different fronts - but some of the later powerful emotional scenes will make you forget most of the imperfections and faults seen in the first two thirds of the movie. The stars of this film had noticeable performances... Bryce Clyde Jenkins, Harrison Knight, Skai Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Wood Harris and David Alan Grier included! The story is set in the Flint, Michigan during the summer of 1963, in the Wattsons "All American Family" made up of Daniel and Wilona Watson, (Harris and Rose) and their three kids, 15 year-old juvenile delinquent Byron (Knight), nerdy 11 year-old Kenny (Jenkins) and eight year-old adorable sister Joetta (Jackson). When the oldest son Byron goes over the top with his behviour, his parents decide the family needs a dose of Grandma Sands (Richardson) no nonsense approach in Birmingham, Alabama... Because the movie covers the period of time which happens when Alabama was in the midst of the civil rights struggle, this warm, relatable family drama will revive the civil rights era on the screen where there is not much beauty! Scenes of period-accurate racism and discrimination could be disturbing to some viewers and parents should know that the Birmingham church bombing in which four girls lost their lives, is depicted, and one main character nearly loses her life. My verdict is - Surprisingly good.

  • Nov 09, 2013

    I love the book and the movie

    I love the book and the movie