Cool Hand Luke
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Paul Newman was nominated for an Oscar and George Kennedy received one for his work in this allegorical prison drama. Luke Jackson (Paul Newman) is sentenced to a stretch on a southern chain gang after he's arrested for drunkenly decapitating parking meters. While the avowed ambition of the captain (Strother Martin) is for each prisoner to "get their mind right," it soon becomes obvious that Luke is not about to kowtow to anybody. When challenged to a fistfight by fellow inmate Dragline (George Kennedy), Luke simply refuses to give up, even though he's brutally beaten. Luke… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Stuart Rosenberg's direction is a horror, but the cast teems with so many familiar faces that this 1967 film can't help but entertain."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"A caustically witty look at the American South and its still-surviving chain gangs, with Newman in fine sardonic form as the boss-baiter who refuses to submit and becomes a hero to his fellow-prisoners."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"An incredible film..."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"Anchored by Paul Newman's thoroughly magnetic performance..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Cool Hand Luke now seems more like a well-made entertainment than any kind of American masterpiece."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A picture of chilling dramatic power."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"A tough, honest film with backbone."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"It's easy to forget just how fine Cool Hand Luke is."
‑ , Total Film
"Newman remains watchable and glamorous throughout, bloody, muddy or coated in torso-flattering sweat, but the film's efforts to sentimentally "humanize" him by psychological revelation are clumsy."
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
"...most viewers will have little failure understanding the movie and its motives. They communicate brilliantly."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Newman gives an excellent performance, assisted by a terriffic supporting cast, including George Kennedy, outstanding as the unofficial leader of the cons who yields first place to Newman."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"It's as fresh and effective in 2004 as it was in 1967."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"...a gulag melodrama, if such a thing is possible."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"The lines and the character have survived the film's oft-forgotten actual message."
‑ Chris Cabin,
"One of those movies you remember Great Moments from."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
More reviews for Cool Hand Luke on Rotten Tomatoes

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