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Hero is a word we hear often in sports, but heroism is not always about achievements on the field of play. "42" tells the story of two men-the great Jackie Robinson and legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey-whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball. In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) put himself at the forefront of history when he signed Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team, breaking Major League Baseball's infamous color line. But the deal also put both Robinson and Rickey in the firing line of the public,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A dramatization of what Robinson did and what it required, 42 will not disappoint."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"So 66 years after Robinson became the first black major league baseball player, here we are with 42, which has been made with such reverence for Robinson's importance that Robinson is barely there."
‑ Wesley Morris, Grantland
"A hero without imperfections can be problematic. But Jackie's nobility is more than well-earned, and tarnishing it for the sake of balance would be churlish. Besides, there's enough evil at loose among the white characters."
‑ Brian D. Johnson, Maclean's Magazine
"The story isn't much more than a hit parade of "Shut up, racist" moments -- Alan Tudyk's opposing manager just oozes with venomous talk -- but its blunt force is enough to get the job done."
‑ Matthew Lickona, San Diego Reader
"The film certainly feels both well-meaning and well-intentioned, but 42 can't quite find a suitable tone or flow, fluctuating between quiet moments that convey tremendous emotion and over-the-top, hammy, stagey, and exposition-heavy sequences."
‑ Kate Erbland, Film School Rejects
"It's not easy to play a stoic, but Boseman anchors the movie, and when he smiles, 42, already such a warm story of such cold times, gets even brighter."
‑ Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine
"A square, uninventive, but detailed and stirring bio-pic devoted to the two years in an athlete's life that changed a nation."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"Boseman gives a potentially star-making performance, while Ford, at 70, segues smoothly from firm-jawed action hero to elder-statesman character actor."
‑ Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review
"As a fond gesture to a country coming out of the dark ages, 42 is a good-hearted attempt at Robinson's story regardless of the historical realities it chose to gloss over."
‑ Graham Corrigan, Film Comment Magazine
"42 seems savvier than it tends to let on. A stiff production, it's still enlivened, as it were, by the hilarious stiffness of Ford."
‑ Matt Prigge, Metro
"The style of the film, lush and traditional, is nothing special, but the takeaway, a daily struggle for dignity, is impossibly moving."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
""This is a competent but mostly unexceptional film about a most extraordinary man.""
‑ Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com
"It comes with a smooth burnished period look, and it tells a smooth and burnished story. Helgeland has good intentions but not much new to say about a real-life hero who wears his nobility and torment mostly as symbols."
‑ Jay Stone, Canada.com
"42 is a hackneyed, cookie-cutter film that manages to tell us absolutely nothing about a turning point in American history."
‑ AP Kryza, Willamette Week
"42 pitches an old-fashioned, spiritually uplifting sports drama at the same time it hits a resonant and timely home run for social equality."
‑ Dann Gire, Daily Herald (IL)
More reviews for 42 on Rotten Tomatoes