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Catch a Fire Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… complicated … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Though preachy at times, Catch a Fire is a well-constructed action thriller elevated by Luke's performance.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    An affecting story of punishment and crime, of betrayal and redemption marred by preachiness and a treacly ending, Catch a Fire is notable for its refusal to see things in terms of black and white.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Comparisons to "Hotel Rwanda" make sense up to a point - both feature heroes who have the scales removed from their eyes - but "Fire" is no tearjerker, and here the story of Chamusso's conversion serves mainly as prologue to the main plot, a history-tinted cat-and-mouse policier in which he will attempt to finish the job he was wrongly accused of starting.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    With the same affinity for stories of culture clash he showed in "The Quiet American" and "Rabbit-Proof Fence," director Phillip Noyce embraces the tale with gusto.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Gritty apartheid drama pushes PG-13 limits.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this complicated tale of political terrorism is intense and worthwhile viewing -- but it must have just barely escaped getting an R rating. Scenes of peril include characters being arrested, imprisoned, tortured, blindfolded, held under water, and torn from their families. There are guns and fighting throughout, as well as acts of terrorism that involve explosions, breaking and entering, and bombs being planted. Innocent people fear for their lives, and many die.

  • Families can talk about the fact that "right" and "wrong" can often be very complicated concepts. People are sometimes forced to do things they don't want to do for the greater good of their community. Is it right for Chamusso to leave his family to go and fight for freedom, potentially putting all of their lives at risk? Is Nic Vos an evil person who tortures others, or is he doing what's needed to keep his family safe and preserve the government of his country? How did Chamusso's actions change the course of history in South Africa? How far should you go to stand up for what's right?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Characters arrest and torture innocent people, break and enter, plant bombs, and are taught how to fight and use weapons. But characters also stand up for what's right -- at the risk of losing their lives and endangering their families.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Guns and shooting throughout; people are tortured and imprisoned; car crashes; bombs and explosions; imprisoned women at risk of being raped.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Romance between a husband and wife (and a scene of them together in bed), implied romance between a man and his mistress.

  • language false3

    Language: "Damn," "hell," "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue