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Years before he competed in the 1996 Olympics, when his only idea of the outside world came from a static-laced radio broadcast, the boy named Haile Gebrelassie decided to run. The eighth of ten children born to a farmer's wife in a mud hut in Ethiopia, one of the world's poorest countries, he ran six miles to school and back, his books tucked in the crook of one arm. Like all of his siblings, he worked hard in the fields under his father's stern gaze. Haile, however, was known for his persistance, still chopping firwood or threshing wheat when his older brother had given up, still… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"More analytically inclined will be suspicious of the degree of contrivance involved and the stylistic idealization of Third World poverty."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"A solid dramatized biography of Gebrselassie, and much of it features the somewhat introspective runner with a sunny smile."
‑ Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle
"I've seen Olympic TV profile segments that probe deeper than Endurance."
‑ Michael Dequina, TheMovieReport.com
"The Olympics sequences are almost completely devoid of drama, and the script never quite makes it clear exactly why he's regarded as being such a special athlete."
‑ William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"While it is a little inspiring, the movie doesn't have enough punch to keep an audience interested in something as monotonous as marathon running."
‑ Rob Blackwelder, SPLICEDWire
"I found the film engrossing, missing only the opportunity to spend more time with the mechanics of distance training and, perhaps through that, to learn how Gebrselassie became the world's best at what he does."
‑ Jeff Millar, Houston Chronicle
"He didn't come from a background of training, coaching and determination, but from the rural hills, where we see him running to school, running to the water well, running to the fields, always with that stoic thrumming of his breath."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Without looking away from the unhappy circumstances in which many Africans live today, it contrasts the community's material poverty with its spiritual richness,and suggests this may be one of the great lessons that Africa has to teach the West."
‑ , Film4
"It has neither the compelling authenticity of cinema verite nor the dramatic punch of artful fiction."
‑ Stephen Farber, Movieline
"It's not suspense the film is after. It's something simultaneously more deliberate and more confounding."
‑ Wesley Morris, San Francisco Examiner
"Its mixture of biographical hype and social studies quickly curdles."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Interesting on many levels, but doesn't quite show the passion of the human body like Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia or the thrill of the race like the recent Children of Heaven."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A very special sports drama about the drive, determination and grace of an African athlete who is a hero to young black boys around the world"
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"We leave the film having learned very little, other than that this exceptional long distance runner is certainly quite an athlete."
‑ Dak, culturevulture.net
"If there were a cinematic dullness scale, this movie would reside just one notch ahead of the rating for a blank screen."
‑ Steve Rhodes, Internet Reviews
More reviews for Endurance on Rotten Tomatoes