The Power of One
The Power of One (1992)

Set in South Africa before World War II, John Avildsen's film chronicles the uphill battles faced by a white teen (Stephen Dorff) who fights separatism by squaring off against black opponents in the boxing ring.

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: March 1, 1992
DVD Release Date: June 22, 1999
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Critic Score: 39% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

Beautifully produced and gorgeously shot on location in Zimbabwe by lenser Dean Semler, picture has depth, dimension and first-rate casting.

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

A violent cartoon that trivializes apartheid. If there's any justice, the birds of loneliness will be circling the box office.

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John Esther
Pasadena Weekly


Derek Adams
Time Out

Avildsen draws good performances from the three actors who play PK, as well as from the ever-reliable Freeman and Müller-Stahl, but subtlety is abandoned when he focuses on the ring and teen romance.

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Desson Thomson
Washington Post

It's resounding bunk, candied over with the lush music of Johnny Clegg and hyped to death by director John ("Rocky") Avildsen.

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Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

A startling film about a young South African boy's coming of age under the tutelage of three spiritual elders.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

The film's facile treatment of racial issues may be enough to bring back the practice of throwing tomatoes at the screen.

Rita Kempley
Washington Post

Though rife with worthy intentions and great notions, this populist safari manages to be both patronizing and manipulative.

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This is patronizing, offensive garbage, bought to you by the director of The Karate Kid.

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More reviews for The Power of One

Flixster Audience Score: 87% Flixster User Reviews
Aj V
Another movie I had to watch in school about apartheid in South Africa. This is one of the best of the bunch, I think. It's exciting and dramatic and has… More
Lady D'arbanville
Just a powerfiuly fantastic film, watched it several times
Jacob Ethington
Ladies and gentlemen, here is an example of a very rare type of film, a mediocre one. Truly mediocre, equal parts bad and good, one of the worst kind of movies… More
Curtis Lilly
Awesome film about the power that one person can have in trying to change the world, but how he keeps meeting defeat. Victory is achieved, but he has nothing… More
EightThirty .
Great movie...Good soundtrack...Nice ^_^
Dean McKenna
Excellent emotional and passion story of a young English boy in his life. I love it!