User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 170 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 170

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  1. May 16, 2013
    10
    The Bottom Line
    A too self-consciously inspiring rendition of Jackie Robinson's genuinely inspiring accomplishment of breaking baseball's color barrier.
    Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford provide engaging performances as Jackie Robinson and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey in the Legendary/Warner Bros. drama about the man who broke MLB's color line. Pretty when it should
    The Bottom Line
    A too self-consciously inspiring rendition of Jackie Robinson's genuinely inspiring accomplishment of breaking baseball's color barrier.

    Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford provide engaging performances as Jackie Robinson and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey in the Legendary/Warner Bros. drama about the man who broke MLB's color line. Pretty when it should be gritty and grandiosely noble instead of just telling it like it was, 42 needlessly trumps up but still can't entirely spoil one of the great American 20th century true-life stories, the breaking of major league baseball's color line by Jackie Robinson. Whether in the deep South or the streets of Brooklyn, life here looks spiffy and well-scrubbed enough to appear in a department store window, while the soaring musical accompaniment seems to be stamping all the protagonists' passports for immediate admission to that great ballpark in the sky. All the same, lead actors Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford cut through the artifice with engaging performances as Robinson and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, respectively, and audiences who don't know much about the first black man to play professional baseball will be suitably impressed. Hit-starved Warner Bros. should be able to stir moderately good attendance domestically, although foreign prospects, as always with baseball yarns, are slight. The key scene in 42, just as it was in the low-budget 1950 The Jackie Robinson Story, which starred the ballplayer himself, comes when Rickey, warning his prospect about the abuse that inevitably awaits him, demands to know if he's “got enough guts not to fight back” when provoked by other players or fans. Robinson was not the best player in the Negro Leagues, but he was reckoned to be the one who might best withstand the trial by fire posed by teammates who didn't want to play with him and a society that often wouldn't allow him to travel, eat or lodge with the rest of the team. Needing a manageable window through which to dramatize a sports breakthrough fraught with racial, social, political and attitudinal meaning, this pet project of writer-director Brian Helgeland and producer Thomas Tull zeroes in on the years 1945-47, concluding with Robinson's first year in the majors. Although there is quick mention of a sports career at UCLA (which, the film does not note, had the most integrated sports program of any school in the U.S. at the time) and a quick temper that earned him an Army court-martial, the 26-year-old member of the American Negro League Kansas City Monarchs seems like the picture of rectitude, a well-spoken young man with a lovely wife-to-be, Rachel (Nicole Beharie), and none of the wild traits of some of his teammates. As one of the last century's most inspiring and literally game-changing personal sagas, Jackie Robinson's life can hardly help but be stirring and will no doubt impress many younger viewers, some of whom may be completely unfamiliar with his story. It's just too bad that Helgeland can't go for broke and get his uniform as dirty as Jackie Robinson used to do.
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  2. Jun 3, 2013
    9
    its an interesting drama about how people can the way things are. i really liked it, good actors and good storyline. it is incredible how things have changed in such a short period of time.
  3. Apr 20, 2013
    9
    I've been waiting anxiously to see this film. Very well made and acted. My only complaint, I would have liked to see a larger emphasis on the amazing baseball exploits of #42. As a latecomer to baseball fandom I recently invested the 1,140 minutes to watch Ken Burns masterpiece "Baseball". The theme of which is really the story of America as told through the prism of our national pastime.I've been waiting anxiously to see this film. Very well made and acted. My only complaint, I would have liked to see a larger emphasis on the amazing baseball exploits of #42. As a latecomer to baseball fandom I recently invested the 1,140 minutes to watch Ken Burns masterpiece "Baseball". The theme of which is really the story of America as told through the prism of our national pastime. Unless you're an aging Baby Boomer you likely don't have any memory of the type of overt racism that tainted our country up through the 1960's. Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey are largely responsible for changing public attitudes that have brought us out of the dark days of Jim Crow. Maybe this film can usher in a fresh sentiment of tolerance between our increasingly divided country. Expand
  4. Jun 4, 2013
    9
    "42 is a mesmerizing, heartfelt and emotional film that highlights a true legend in his glory days, Its a roaring crowd pleaser. Played flawlessly by Chadwick Bosemen. 42 is one of the best Baseball films i have ever had the pleasure of seeing."
  5. Apr 12, 2013
    9
    No need to be a sport fan to enjoy this remarkable movie. An excellent movie on many levels. Good acting, action, story line, and even some comedy. The story was 57 years to finally come to light and right a terrible wrong. Great family entertainment. Harrison Ford may receive a Oscar nomination.
  6. Apr 17, 2013
    9
    42 is one of the greatest true-life stories ever put onscreen, the story of Jackie Robinson, the African-American baseball player who helped pioneer the entrance of other blacks into participation in major sports. And this film really emphasizes the abuse and the struggle Jackie had to endure, with every slur almost making you cringe, because here is represented one of the great American42 is one of the greatest true-life stories ever put onscreen, the story of Jackie Robinson, the African-American baseball player who helped pioneer the entrance of other blacks into participation in major sports. And this film really emphasizes the abuse and the struggle Jackie had to endure, with every slur almost making you cringe, because here is represented one of the great American heroes. Chadwick Boseman really personifies the legend, and give Harrison Ford an Oscar for turning in one of his best performances in years. Expand
  7. Sep 27, 2013
    10
    This movie by far is the best movie I have ever seen this year and probably for the past few years. This should be an Oscar winning movie. Great acting all the way to the home plate. This is a must see movie. BTW, I'm a white male and very few movies bring me to tears but this one did more than once.
  8. May 10, 2013
    9
    "42" like Spielberg's "Lincoln," is more about a specific moment in a person's life than his entire life. In this case, this movie is about how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. The story is about persistence and keeping a cool head through all the torment and backlash of fighting for what you believe in. At the end of the day, it is a movie about overcoming"42" like Spielberg's "Lincoln," is more about a specific moment in a person's life than his entire life. In this case, this movie is about how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball. The story is about persistence and keeping a cool head through all the torment and backlash of fighting for what you believe in. At the end of the day, it is a movie about overcoming adversity. A type of movie that I tend to favor and for some reason really attracted to and this film is no exception. It is fairly inspiring and a story worth telling.

    The writing in the film is strong and inspiring, but fairly on the surface. The script rarely goes deeper into the issue of racism, but the parts that do transcends the movie to another level. Inspiring speeches are filled in the script and really make you believe in the character and what they fought for. While the script can be a bit "iffy," the direction is spot on. Director Brian Helgeland, who also wrote the script, put a lot of attention to capturing the era and highlighting the importance of what Jackie Robinson did. Baseball games are well shot and really gives a feel of being their and watching the game live. Even though we know how things play out, we are always guessing and hoping for things to come. The film is well shot and it also has a really nice look that really captures the era in which the movie is set.

    Actors do a great job of playing their respective historical character. Everyone one brings their "A" game. From the previews, I thought this would have been the movie that would have gotten Harrison Ford his second Oscar nomination, but sadly his performance doesn't reach greatness. However, he is still incredibly good and gives his best performance in years. The true star of this film is Jackie Robinson and just like him his actor is who really shines. Chadwick Boseman gives a great and reserved performance. We see his anger build in his eyes, but he never shows it on his face or body. It takes incredible skill to give such a compelling performance.

    Overall, "42" is a really good movie and the best film I've seen all year. The story, while a bit on the surface, is well told and inspiring. Directing, camera work, and look are all top notch and really capture the spirit, both good and bad, of an era. However, the true highlights of the film are the performances by the cast. They portray their characters well, but the star of the film is Chadwick, who owns every scene he is in. I give it 4.5/5, a crowd pleaser that has depth and important story to tell.
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  9. May 31, 2013
    10
    Sometimes a film gets everything right. This film escapes every pitfall--easy inspirationalism, cheesy comic relief, melodrama. Harrison Ford has made the transition from hero to codger successfully; Christopher Melloni is a perfect Durocher, and the leads are terrific. I found it all irresistible.
  10. Jul 14, 2014
    9
    This is a good movie. It teaches you a lot of lessons. For me as a half-African American this mobie taught me that you do not let racism put you do and corrupt your future plans. Also thaf you should not judged by the cor of your skin. I like Jackie Robinson in the movie becaise I get to see how he struggled in that time frame just because of his race.
  11. Apr 22, 2013
    9
    When I was a kid, I liked baseball. Even when I got older and joined band, I still liked to watch to watch a good baseball game. I learned about Jackie Robinson in school once, but all I knw was that he was the first African American to play baseball. This movie tells you the whole story of how Jackie Robinson got to play baseball on the Dodgers. While there are a few flaws, this movie isWhen I was a kid, I liked baseball. Even when I got older and joined band, I still liked to watch to watch a good baseball game. I learned about Jackie Robinson in school once, but all I knw was that he was the first African American to play baseball. This movie tells you the whole story of how Jackie Robinson got to play baseball on the Dodgers. While there are a few flaws, this movie is a movie you want to see. 9/10. Expand
  12. Apr 21, 2013
    10
    A very inspiring film, which had me rooting for Jackie all along the course of the film. The producers made many characters that seemed human and that you could relate to, which I could for some of them. A perfect movie. 10/10
  13. Apr 21, 2013
    10
    The state of foreign and domestic terrorism we live in today doesn't compare to what our friend's parents experienced not too long ago. This country was sickening and embarrassing. My heart was full, broken and full again throughout this movie. It will prove to be a lesson for generations to come.
  14. Apr 23, 2013
    9
    42 is an amazing movie that highlights not just Jackie Robinson's early uprising but also Robison's struggles against segregation and racism that destroyed America from the inside. The movie has intense baseball scenes (you may struggle to figure out whether it's an obvious scene or not from the scene's stiffness) which is tied with some plot related aspects. Though Chadwick Boseman42 is an amazing movie that highlights not just Jackie Robinson's early uprising but also Robison's struggles against segregation and racism that destroyed America from the inside. The movie has intense baseball scenes (you may struggle to figure out whether it's an obvious scene or not from the scene's stiffness) which is tied with some plot related aspects. Though Chadwick Boseman created a colourful (no pun or poor taste in humour intended) and deep character, Harrison Ford steals the show with his persuasive exertion during some of the more tense scenes. Though the movie's setting doesn't really capture the late 1940's setting outside of the segregation laws and cruelty towards African Americans, 42 is a must see movie that will fulfil not just any MLB fan's desire to see a movie about baseball, segregation, and the upbringing of a talented man, but also for many movie fanatics ...
    (Minor Spoiler Warning)
    Unless you're a resident of Pittsburgh.
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  15. May 3, 2013
    9
    I enjoyed it. It stays true to the facts and doesn't try to go above and beyond by making things up to get cheers from "critics." A fan of baseball history will enjoy this. Someone looking for a movie thrill may not. It's not subject matter that needs be fluffed up like Remember the Titans was.
  16. Dec 14, 2013
    10
    This movie is amazing I'm British who loves baseball more than football so no doubt I planned to watch this movie and I got to say it is amazing I can't say any more go watch this movie
  17. Jun 11, 2013
    9
    I father, I Brooklyn Dodger them...I Jack/ I Rob/ I sin...Ah man, I'm Jackie Robinson...'cept when I run base, I dodge the pen!

    I think baseball is boring...and I loved 42!
  18. Mar 7, 2014
    10
    i find movie 42 based on jackie robinson which i found interesting about jackies life and his teamates . i find base baseball movies great to learn i also love hockey movies as well . but this one is better then bradd pitts moneyball .
  19. Jul 13, 2014
    9
    I woke up this morning after renting 42 The Jackie Robinson Story thinking "Why didn't we see this movie sooner!" Tonight my children will watch it. It is an inspiring and motivating story; one to stimulate reflection on our own behaviors and promote mankind. This movie is for those all ages who are looking for a good story, history and the love for the game of baseball!

    Harrison
    I woke up this morning after renting 42 The Jackie Robinson Story thinking "Why didn't we see this movie sooner!" Tonight my children will watch it. It is an inspiring and motivating story; one to stimulate reflection on our own behaviors and promote mankind. This movie is for those all ages who are looking for a good story, history and the love for the game of baseball!

    Harrison Ford played Branch Rickey, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was a man who fought against the norm by believing in and signing a colored man in 1946 to play in the Major Leagues. Harrison Ford was convincing; he was a true image of Branch Rickey! I say Branch Rickey is a hero! Chadwick Bossman played Jackie Robinson, a handsome young athlete who was an incredibly talented baseball player. Jackie Robinson experienced public humiliation and harassment because of his race. Jackie and his wife were forced to be courageous and power through societies harsh racism! He let his talent speak for himself and he became a hero to many! I think the producers did an excellent job of sharing his story. In real life it wasn't nearly as clean as the movie demonstrated, however I believe the points of racism and how he changed the game of baseball forever were tasteful and well made.
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Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Mike McCahill
    Sep 22, 2014
    60
    Boseman hits his key scenes out of the park, making a swell couple with Shame's Nicole Beharie, while Helgeland stages Robinson's signature base-stealing with undeniable aplomb.
  2. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Sep 9, 2013
    60
    Already a hit in America, 42 is a well-told but square biopic doing justice to Jackie Robinson rather than exploring him.
  3. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Apr 15, 2013
    60
    Boseman is not a hugely close physical match to Robinson, except for perhaps in the power he conveys, but he’s a great choice to play the ball player, unfamiliar enough, despite a decade of small credits here and there, to feel like an athlete, not a movie star playing one.