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In early January 1923, a tiny Florida town primarily inhabited by prosperous African American families was burned to the ground by angry whites from a neighboring town. At the time, official reports stated that two to six people from the black community were slain. The rest of the town's residents fled into the swamps and never returned. Neither the perpetrators nor the victims spoke of the incident which was promptly forgotten until 1983 when a reporter stumbled across the old story and began investigating. Interviews with surviving victims indicated that the previous reports were wrong;… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Rhames' gravity and grace, Voight's pinched anguish as he wills himself to do right, the moving work of actors like Don Cheadle and Esther Rolle do much to redeem this film for human if not historical reality."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Rosewood is startling, infuriating, painful history played out as a not-very-satisfying, overly ambitious and overlong movie."
‑ Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle
"The intentions are unassailable: to dramatize a forgotten injustice and sear it into contemporary memory so it's never allowed to happen again. But the movie is long and didactic, undermined by the faintly pious air of an educational slide show."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Gripping and pretty darn tense historical drama."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"Instead of simply stating that the racism is bad, Singleton tries to explain it through characters, which are multidimensional and believable, regardless of their race."
‑ Dragan Antulov,
"Although it increasingly succumbs to a tendency toward conventional movie heroics, John Singleton's fourth film tells a story of rare interest and tragedy..."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"Neither the film's smug white bigots nor its uniformly noble blacks are well served by such oversimplification."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Stirring story, indifferently realized."
‑ Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal
"...the more the body count mounts, the more cartoonish the movie seems, and the less we care."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Decent effort, but couldn't decide if it wanted to be a historical drama or an action flick."
‑ Brian Mckay,
"The need to bear witness against atrocity, to testify that something wicked this way came, is the powerful drive that animates Rosewood, the story of an American tragedy so horrific no one talked about it for more than half a century."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"An epic that stands alone in the latter weeks of a dismal movie winter."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"John Singleton, with Rosewood, proves himself to be a capable and talented director, bringing to life a piece of violent American history that some would have preferred left unremembered."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"A charged, wrenching drama about one of the most shameful events in American history."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"A harrowing look at a shameful incident that one wishes could be dismessed as fiction."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Lawrence Journal-World
More reviews for Rosewood on Rotten Tomatoes

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