Matewan
Matewan (1987)

This is the story of a 1920 coal-mine strike.

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: November 23, 1999
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
93%
Flixster
User Score
93%


Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine

In the rich umbers of Haskell Wexler's cinematography, Matewan does look great.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune

Sayles must have meant his movie to stir and provoke, but the self-contained look of it yields something else -- a sense of quaintness, of harmless nostalgia.

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Film4

The film is beautifully shot (by veteran cinematographer Haskell Wexler) and works not just as a tense drama, but also as a fascinating recreation of the shifting politics of the the 1920s, where workers' rights blurred with socialism.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

If Sayles's bite were as lethal as his bark, he might have given this a harder edge and a stronger conclusion. But the performances are uniformly fine.

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Michael Wilmington
Los Angeles Times

When this movie stumbles, it stumbles honestly and sympathetically, but, when it succeeds, it makes history sing.

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Candice Russell
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

This thoughtful film is real in every respect, right down to the plaintive sound of a country woman`s ballad.

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Jay Carr
Boston Globe

In its grave clarity, it's as pure and plaintive as a mountain ballad.

Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

The movie works the way Westerns have always worked: In clear, simple terms and with straightforward dramatic devices.

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Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com

John Sayles' period piece is an ambitious drama of union making and union breaking in the 1920a

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More reviews for Matewan

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Ken Stachnik
An amazingly authentic film with great performances, photography and production design. Sayles work here is stellar, can't wait to read the book.
Moe E
Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones and Mary McDonnell each do a good job in this John Sayles piece on the growth of the labor union into the West Virginia coal… More
Tim Sigur
Caught this on late night cable. Fantastic film on all levels. It looks great and has some amazing performances. It is everything that I love about John Sayles.… More
Anthony Valletta
A modern classic.