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Milos Foreman's cinematic adaptation of E.L. Doctrow's sprawling pop-culture epic Ragtime follows a variety of characters whose lives intertwine during the earliest years of the 20th century. Brad Dourif plays the meek young brother in a wealthy family who ends up helping Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Howard E. Rollins) when the proud black man stands up to the racism that surrounds him with a criminal act that leads to a standoff with a police commissioner (James Cagney - making his return to the big screen after fifteen years away). Secondary characters include a street artist (Mandy… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Sporadically engaging, Milos Forman's chronicle of American society and culture in the beginning of the twentieth century is too sprawling and dramatically diffuse, though some of the acting is excellent."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"A robust screen adaptation of Doctorow's novel about class warfare, social change, and the gap between the rich and the poor"
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Great to see very late Cagney in solid Milos Forman film."
‑ Steve Crum, Video-Reviewmaster.com
"Fine, sprawling period piece. A great swan song for Cagney."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"a jumbled and largely uninteresting mess"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
More reviews for Ragtime on Rotten Tomatoes