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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"As for Mr. Parker and Ms. Smollett, there's no debating what awaits them -- stardom, very soon."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"The film may be manipulative in its construction, and cliché-ridden in some of the incidents it recounts, but it has a good, large heart."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Washington directed as well as starred, and it is clear he has no trouble wearing both hats at once"
‑ Heather Huntington, ReelzChannel.com
"There's a real organic sense in the film of how young minds can be nurtured and energized way beyond sex, sports and slacker attitude, into caring and evolving kid works-in-progress. And how debating can be pretty cool too, who knew?"
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"Showcasing the history is done with care and purpose, but I wanted more. I wanted more time between Washington and Forest Whitaker. I wanted more..."
‑ Jeff Bayer, The Scorecard Review
"The Great Debaters succeeds in bringing a lump to the throat without, as is de rigueur these days, insulting our intelligence."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"...The Great Debaters soars with words and feeling."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"This is a wonderfully acted and directed movie, that has something important to say"
‑ Austin Kennedy, Sin Magazine
"The acting is great and care is taken to develop these characters into people we can root for."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Although we instinctively should be rooting for these characters, Eisele bends the rules of academic debate to make sure the outcome is never in doubt."
‑ Jeffrey Westhoff, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
"The Great Debaters is well-acted, deeply felt and delivers a positive message about the importance of education."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"It's important, it's deeply inspiring, it's something from our not-so-distant past we must not forget, and it should be must-see viewing for high school and college students of all backgrounds."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"I was having mediocre day and I walked out of the movie totally pumped up and ready for the rest of the day, even though it was 10pm at night."
‑ Kevin McCarthy, WJFK-FM (CBS Radio)
"Enough fictional liberties were taken with The Great Debaters to make it fit neatly on the inspirational genre shelf, but it's grounded in enough reality to excuse Eisle's we-shall-overcome contrivances"
‑ Matt Kelemen, Las Vegas CityLife
"Nate Parker may end up the next Denzel Washington. He has the charm and emotional punch. Put him in more things."
‑ Gina Carbone, Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
More reviews for The Great Debaters on Rotten Tomatoes

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