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Selma Review

Movies.com Critics

5.0

Dave White Profile

The past is present. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 5.0
    98

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Variety Scott Foundas

    DuVernay’s razor-sharp portrait of the Civil Rights movement — and Dr. King himself — at a critical crossroads is as politically astute as it is psychologically acute, giving us a human-scale King whose indomitable public face belies currents of weariness and self-doubt.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Chris Nashawaty

    DuVernay has done a great service with Selma. Not only has she made one of the most powerful films of the year, she's given us a necessary reminder of what King did for this country...and how much is left to be done.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    Working from a script by Paul Webb and aided by stark, beautiful, sometimes startlingly realistic cinematography by Bradford Young, DuVernay has delivered a powerful and moving portrait of Martin Luther King Jr.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    At its best, Ava DuVernay’s biographical film honors Dr. King’s legacy by dramatizing the racist brutality that spurred him and his colleagues to action. The director and her screenwriter, Paul Webb, are less successful — sometimes much less so — at breathing life into the private moments that define King as an inspirational figure with human flaws, and a political as well as spiritual force.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Staff [Not Credited]

    A deeply moving film, it's a powerful reminder of a time not so long ago when, for a large group of Americans, attempting to register to vote could result in a serious threat to their lives.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Like "Lincoln," written by Tony Kushner and directed by Steven Spielberg, DuVernay's Selma ushers us into the world of the backstage, back-room and back-scratching political process, dramatizing how the sausage was actually made.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Stephen Farber

    Intelligently written, vividly shot, tightly edited, sharply acted, the film represents a rare example of craftsmanship working to produce a deeply moving piece of history.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The New Yorker David Denby

    This is cinema, more rhetorical, spectacular, and stirring than cable-TV drama: again and again, DuVernay’s camera (Bradford Young did the cinematography) tracks behind characters as they march, or gentles toward them as they approach, receiving them with a friendly hand.

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  • See all Selma reviews at Metacritic.com

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