User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 177 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 177
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. BKM
    Oct 9, 2013
    7
    It's extremely difficult to put Jackie Robinson's legacy into its proper perspective and for the most part 42 doesn't really try. Instead it is content to be a glossy, feel good sports story. If you can accept that, you'll find the film to be a genuinely entertaining and well acted biopic that tells an important story albeit in a less than urgent manner.
  2. Apr 14, 2013
    3
    42. The biopic of Jackie Robinson. The story, while inspirational, seems like that was all it was. Now, this isn't necessarily the fault of the Director and Writer or anybody else involved with making this movie, but biopics are always set up to fail, whether it be the greatest biopic ever made, or the worst. They're all set to fail. But only the strong survive. This, however, wasn't42. The biopic of Jackie Robinson. The story, while inspirational, seems like that was all it was. Now, this isn't necessarily the fault of the Director and Writer or anybody else involved with making this movie, but biopics are always set up to fail, whether it be the greatest biopic ever made, or the worst. They're all set to fail. But only the strong survive. This, however, wasn't strong. Ignoring the fact that throughout the entire duration of this movie, I felt like I was watching a TV movie, the story was a generic fallacy, which only covered a part of the legacy Jackie Robinson left behind. To get with the times, you must remember that back when Jackie Robinson was just starting with the, then Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, whites hated blacks. And if was a white sport, nobody wanted to do any business with blacks. Well, I get it. Those were the times, but it was the same ole generic response with the white folk is period movies like this, "I hate blacks!" or N****** ruin everything!" something of that tone. The tone of the movie felt bland and I wasn't emotionally invested into the movie as I should have. It was heavily corny at times, and wasn't as inspirational as the actual movie was. Disappointment was what I felt leaving that theater. Because a great, inspirational man's legacy was made a mockery of with this movie. Expand
  3. Apr 13, 2013
    5
    '42' is no 'Remember the Titans', an absolutely fantastic movie. I was hoping this one would be just as moving. But alas this film simply doesn't get it done because the story of Robinson is compelling. There really are only a couple of scenes that provide an insight into what Robinson was feeling. Overall the movie makes it seem as if Robinson is somewhat apathetic or at times even'42' is no 'Remember the Titans', an absolutely fantastic movie. I was hoping this one would be just as moving. But alas this film simply doesn't get it done because the story of Robinson is compelling. There really are only a couple of scenes that provide an insight into what Robinson was feeling. Overall the movie makes it seem as if Robinson is somewhat apathetic or at times even dismissive of his situation/importance and that his family was not affected much by the rampant racism of the time (which for the most part was heavily washed over in this film for some odd reason). I wish they would have focused more on the man and internal struggles of Robinson rather than the sport he played. Expand
  4. 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.
    Expand
  5. Apr 12, 2013
    8
    “42”, as mosr of us know, were the numerals on the back of the uniform worn by Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to be signed to play on a major league baseball team. It is also the title of the film starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford relating the story of this dynamic ball player from his start with the Kansas City Monarchs through the Montreal Royals until finally, in“42”, as mosr of us know, were the numerals on the back of the uniform worn by Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to be signed to play on a major league baseball team. It is also the title of the film starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford relating the story of this dynamic ball player from his start with the Kansas City Monarchs through the Montreal Royals until finally, in 1947, signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers and becoming its starting first baseman that season. This is a movie, unlike Django Unchained, which tells the plight, courage and fortitude of one member of a minority and what it took for him to succeed and to become a lone black player amidst major leagues 399 whites. The film, written and directed by Brian Helgeland (“Mystic River”, “Blood Work”, “A Knight’s Tale”) holds the viewer’s interest and attention for all of the 128 minutes of its running time and keeps us involved throughout. For this writer the film was especially meaningful for I lived in the Borough during the time in which this all took place and, as a young boy, I watched from the Ebbett’s Field bleachers the players on the field as they interacted with this new entry into the ballgame. Jackie Robinson, a four star athlete from UCLA and a commissioned Army officer (court martialed for refusing to move to the back of a bus) was the perfect man to, at 26, enter upon the road to ending the bigotry that was, after all, so much a part of America’s favorite sport at the time. Just as we today cannot imagine women not being able to vote 100 years ago, so difficult is it for us to understand what racism was in the 50’s and how shameful a legacy it left. If there is any difficulty with the film, it is trying to depict its hero.as recognizable but without it being a trite impersonation. Mr. Boseman is not a Robinson look alike yet there are certain times, stances and camera shots that make his portrayal quite believable. Harrison Ford, as Branch Rickey, the managing partner of the group that owned the Dodgers, is a fine addition to the film. Never too overly sentimental, the film does have its “Hollywood moments” but they are few and far between. Suffice it to say that the women and non-baseball fans in the audience seemed to enjoy the film as much or more than the rest of us. I give this film an 8 and recommend that it be seen by all who have a taste for history and/or a strong liking for baseball. More than anything else it is the story of adversity and how it was met head on by a strong willed and extraordinarily self-controlled individual. The story of this man and who he was can best be summarized by quoting the writer Bob Considine when he wrote “Jackie Robinson was a credit to his race….the human race.” Expand
  6. Apr 28, 2013
    7
    I grew up a Brooklyn Dodger fan. I saw Jackie Robinson play but had no idea about the trials and tribulations being the first black man in baseball. I just loved him as a ballplayer. I guess growing up in NYC, the melting pot of the world, we really didn't know about racism. As time went by I did come to understand the great sacrifices he made and the greatness of the man. He is soI grew up a Brooklyn Dodger fan. I saw Jackie Robinson play but had no idea about the trials and tribulations being the first black man in baseball. I just loved him as a ballplayer. I guess growing up in NYC, the melting pot of the world, we really didn't know about racism. As time went by I did come to understand the great sacrifices he made and the greatness of the man. He is so deserving of his number being retired. If memory serves me correctly Leo Durocher was suspended for being associated with known gamblers, not women? It was Gene Hermanski, not Pee Wee Reese, whom said all the Dodgers should wear number 42. And as inconceivable as it seems, it was Branch Rickey who said you should trade a ballplayer a year too soon rather than a year too late. He traded Jackie to the hated NY Giants in 1956 8 years after he broke the color barrier in 1948. And Jackie hated the NY Giants so much he retired rather than ever wear any other uniform but for his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie then went to work for Chock Full Of Nuts Coffee and became an executive. His widow Rachel is one of the classiest ladies ever! I just wished they had delved more into Jackie & Rachel as people as I so admire both of them. Expand
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Apr 22, 2013
    8
    Full disclosures: 1) I am not a baseball fan 2) I am not a Harrison Ford fan 3) I am not a ‘Hollywood biography’ fan and 4) because of the latter, I take ‘based on a true story’ with more than a grain of salt. Okay, now that I got that out of the way let me say GO SEE “42”!

    More than a baseball story this is about love between a man and woman, two men with tremendous courage and how
    Full disclosures: 1) I am not a baseball fan 2) I am not a Harrison Ford fan 3) I am not a ‘Hollywood biography’ fan and 4) because of the latter, I take ‘based on a true story’ with more than a grain of salt. Okay, now that I got that out of the way let me say GO SEE “42”!

    More than a baseball story this is about love between a man and woman, two men with tremendous courage and how one man can make a difference. This is a story of Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman, in a breakout role) who became the first major league black baseball player. It is about a man, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) who picked Robinson to do just that and backed him all the way just as his wife, Rachel Robinson, (Nicole Beharie) did.

    Thanks to the screenwriter and director, Brian Helgeland, you are taken on a roller coaster ride of sweet moments, comedy and anger while cringing at some of the true language many whites used against blacks and why Robinson was the man Rickey picked because he knew the former had the guts not to fight back. He shows, in only one scene, how it ate at him. Besides the language Robinson was hit by baseballs, had his foot stomped on by an opposing player and wasn’t wanted by most of the other players on his team.

    Harrison Ford shows he is more than just a ‘pretty face’ or action star. He disappears into the role of the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager completely and shouldn’t be forgotten at award time. Boseman and Beharie have great chemistry between them and the former, as the baseball player, shows how he drove the other teams pitchers and catchers crazy as he ‘danced’ in between bases either by stealing them or catching the others so off guard they dropped the ball or threw it wrong. More important Boseman shows the intelligence of the man inside the player and what he faced.

    There is a big supporting cast without a weak link. One of the funniest scenes in a movie in a long time, which could have gone awry, is when pitcher Ralph Branca (Hamish Linklater) wants to know why Robinson won’t shower with the rest of the team and it dawns on him that what he is saying could be taken the wrong way. Christopher Meloni effective, as Leo Durocher, is out of the film too soon. Lucas Black as shortstop Pee Wee Reese as the first player to embrace Robinson on the field touches you just as the language and taunts yelled at Robinson in public by the manager Ben Chapman (Alan Tudyk) of another team will make you gasp and/or cringe. T. R. Knight is strong as Rickey’s assistant as is Andre Holland as Wendell Smith the first black sportswriter to be accepted in the SportswritersAssociation. John C. McGinley is Red Barber who is a legend, even today, as a radio announcer for the Dodgers.

    “42” takes place during 1945 to 1947. I was about 10 years old and don’t really remember all of this though I did root for the Yankees against the Dodgers. This is a film that should be seen by all generations and especially the kids of today. Whether Jackie Robinson was as completely as ‘good’ a man as writer/director Helgeland makes him to be or the too pretty film isn’t as gritty in appearance as it should be one must realize that this is a ‘Hollywood biography’ but it will get you cheering and some will even applaud as the closing credits show what happened to most of the people pictured.

    THIS IS A MUST SEE FILM!
    Expand
  10. Apr 20, 2013
    5
    Schmaltzy baseball movie about a player enduring unbearable adversity to be much more than anyone could expect. Add to that the fact that it is true and you have a movie tailor made for me to love. So why didn't I? The easy answer is they white washed the story, and I think they did to a point. However this story was white washed long before it hit the big screen, and there is a validSchmaltzy baseball movie about a player enduring unbearable adversity to be much more than anyone could expect. Add to that the fact that it is true and you have a movie tailor made for me to love. So why didn't I? The easy answer is they white washed the story, and I think they did to a point. However this story was white washed long before it hit the big screen, and there is a valid reason for that. You will not find anyone in his family or that played with him that will not say that Robinson was not only a great ballplayer but a great person. A player who had every reason to fight, to be filled with venom, to give up. Robinson did none of these things even though no one would have blamed him if he did. That character prevails throughout 42 and is not the reason I would condemn this film.

    The problem with 42 is most of it does not feel authentic, although it does have some authentic moments. There are some scenes involving children that are especially problematic and will no doubt be greeted by most viewers with an eye roll. Robinson's teammates and wife are all painted with broad strokes and consequently we never get a realistic impression of their relationships. 42 also fails to give us a realistic look at racism. The racism either seems to be present in a character in its worst form or not there at all. It seems odd to use a word like nuance when talking about racism but I feel that is exactly what is missing from most of the conflict in 42.

    One relationship that 42 does well, and what saves it from being a total disaster is Robinson and Rickey. Ford is great as Rickey and Boseman is no slouch as Robinson which doesn't hurt. Their relationship is the only one given a true arc and their scenes together are the best in the film by far. Listening to Rickey talk about the abhorrent situations that Robinson endured is a far more emotional experience then anything we get to see in other scenes. As depicted in the film Rickey seemed to understand the difference between having empathy for Robinson and having sympathy, where other characters did not. This made him and Robinson the driving force behind everything that felt authentic in 42.

    I would be remiss if I did not give some credit to John McGinley when talking about 42. He portrays Red Barber, the Dodgers announcer during this period, and is a true stand out in a very limited role. His voice and cadence were perfect and really added to my enjoyment of the baseball sequences.

    42 is a flawed, but not fatally flawed film. It is a mixed bag that I think many people will really respond to. If your a baseball fan it is worth your time.
    Expand
  11. Apr 20, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This was a truly awkward movie. Before I get to the negatives, the color design of 42 was incredibly interesting. There was a certain dusty quality to the air that made the deep brooklyn dodger blue, and bright green grass absolutely gorgeous. It felt like it captured both the style of a dirtier, scrappier era of baseball, while also conveying the wonderful larger-than-life quality of Robinson.

    Now for the ugly truth. The script was the heart of the mess of 42. The film feels more like a set of connected events, than a story. It stays surface-level, merely focusing on the plot, as opposed to digging deeper and getting at the real man who faced real, terrible prejudice. While still staying surface-level, characters would openly converse about their deep troubles, which came across as fake. As did the entirety of Mr Mrs Robinson's relationship, for some reason. Couple scenes that seemed misplaced, with campy dialogue, and you had a movie that felt lost. I mean, at the end of it, do we really feel like we know the story of Jackie Robinson? Who he was, or why he's an American Legend? Kind of...but not really.

    I think 42 is a surface-level retelling of Jackie Robinson's first 2 years in white baseball, that ultimately fails to structure itself in a way that feels fleshed out, and compelling. The lack of direction ultimately leads the film to feel pretty shallow, and easy to forget.
    Expand
  12. Apr 29, 2013
    3
    Hey, you know that trap of cheesiness into which sports films usually fall? Well 42 isn't in there because it is made out of cheese. 42 never left a lasting impression such as "Yeah, I would certainly want to see that again". Instead, it's basically a high school play with no depth. Granted, the actual baseball in the movie is done well, even though it constitutes a third of the movieHey, you know that trap of cheesiness into which sports films usually fall? Well 42 isn't in there because it is made out of cheese. 42 never left a lasting impression such as "Yeah, I would certainly want to see that again". Instead, it's basically a high school play with no depth. Granted, the actual baseball in the movie is done well, even though it constitutes a third of the movie overall. The rest of it is Jackie and racism. That's it. Racism, racism, racism. Yes, it was an issue at that time frame, but the movie beats the horse to death with another dead horse. The characters seem to be cardboard cut outs of stereotypical 40s characters, complete with really REALLY cheesy dialogue. I thought I tasted cheddar in my mouth as the little boy said "Dear Lord, please let Jackie show what he can do". I couldn't get the taste out until I hit the restroom. Expand
  13. Jun 17, 2013
    7
    A well put together film that takes a look at the great Jackie Robinson. Chadwick Boseman gives a great performance and so doesn't Harrison Ford. The film has a few flaws with character development, but overall the film captures the hate and cruelty along with one man's inspiring influence on the youth at that time.
  14. Apr 12, 2013
    8
    I honestly thought that it was going to be some boring biopic, but boy was I wrong. It was really an engaging and heart felt story on racism and being accepted. It also had some great acting, especially from Chadwick Boseman. He really gives an unexpectedly terrific performance. Plus the storytelling is great and keeps you interested. This is a great movie that helps kick off a year ofI honestly thought that it was going to be some boring biopic, but boy was I wrong. It was really an engaging and heart felt story on racism and being accepted. It also had some great acting, especially from Chadwick Boseman. He really gives an unexpectedly terrific performance. Plus the storytelling is great and keeps you interested. This is a great movie that helps kick off a year of potentially great movies. Overall, this is one great biopic of an American legend. Expand
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. Aug 14, 2013
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Everyone thinks this is a good baseball movie, but aside from the lead actor, there is nothing I like about this movie! Granted the story is about a great baseball player, the acting absolutely SUCKS! Not even Indiana Jones can save this horrible atrocity of a movie! Mind you, this is just what I got from the PREVIEWS! Don't even waste your $10 on this DVD! Glad I didn't purchase it, or I'd ask 4 my damn money back! Expand
  18. 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.
  19. May 18, 2013
    8
    First: A great story, and told without sugar coating, and with simplicity. Harrison Ford imitated Branch Rickey perfectly; his makeup crew deserves an Oscar. I’m not sure that a perfect imitation is also fine acting, but it worked.

    My one problem with it was its pace. It often dragged and dragged, spending too much time and effort on simple matters. The worst example: I found the
    First: A great story, and told without sugar coating, and with simplicity. Harrison Ford imitated Branch Rickey perfectly; his makeup crew deserves an Oscar. I’m not sure that a perfect imitation is also fine acting, but it worked.

    My one problem with it was its pace. It often dragged and dragged, spending too much time and effort on simple matters. The worst example: I found the endless final home run rounding-the-bases in superslow motion to be embarrassingly trite, so ponderous that I found myself literally groaning aloud, thinking, "I got it, I got it already. When will this end?"

    I have no idea what could have been included to fill the time. If there is nothing more to say, just stop.
    Expand
  20. Lyn
    Feb 6, 2014
    6
    A straight-up biopic, but if you like baseball, you'll enjoy it. African-American ballplayers had some harrowing experiences in the early years, and the way Robinson (and others, such as Hank Aaron) coped with the pressure is very moving.
  21. 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
  22. 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."
  23. Apr 19, 2013
    6
    Sure, this is the story of Jackie Robinson's signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers, but it's equal parts about the owner who fought for the deal, played by Harrison Ford. He turns himself into an overstuffed, gravelly character that's one of his best performances, but all of them are solid (Nicole Beharie, as Jackie's wife, is particularly captivating). With the exception an early scene, thisSure, this is the story of Jackie Robinson's signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers, but it's equal parts about the owner who fought for the deal, played by Harrison Ford. He turns himself into an overstuffed, gravelly character that's one of his best performances, but all of them are solid (Nicole Beharie, as Jackie's wife, is particularly captivating). With the exception an early scene, this film is relentlessly serious. Of course, the subject is serious, but some relief for contrast might have made the dramatic struggle more effective. It's earnest in it's efforts to be inspirational and sometimes succeeds. More often, you can see the wheels turning. The period art direction is attractive. Overall, it tells an important history lesson in a mildly absorbing way. Expand
  24. Aug 10, 2013
    8
    Everyone knows that Jackie Robinson was the man who broke Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947, but few know why he was the one that was chosen. Robinson wasn't the best black player out there, he wasn't even a superstar, what he was, was well educated and understood that people attacked him out of fear and ignorance. He never took it personally and knew fighting back wouldEveryone knows that Jackie Robinson was the man who broke Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947, but few know why he was the one that was chosen. Robinson wasn't the best black player out there, he wasn't even a superstar, what he was, was well educated and understood that people attacked him out of fear and ignorance. He never took it personally and knew fighting back would accomplish nothing, and against all odds, no matter what was thrown at him, Robinson was able to brush it off. In 42, he's portrayed by newcomer Chadwick Boseman, who wasn't just fantastic, but also gracious for the opportunity to portray a true American hero. I am a big Jackie Robinson fan and through everything I've seen, Boseman has given the most clear and accurate portrayal of the man to date. His co-star is Harrison Ford, playing the legendary Branch Ricky. Throughout his life, Ricky was outspoken against segregation and didn't just help in breaking baseball's color barrier, eight years later, he broke the Latino barrier as well. What I love about Harrison Ford is that he's so predictable, you know you will always get a tremendous performance out of him and that he will go to extreme lengths to be as real to the story as possible. This film was outstanding, from top to bottom, but my one knock on 42 is that it didn't go beyond the 1947 season. Robinson played for nine years after that and was a key member of the civil rights movement after baseball. I would have liked to have seen how in 1955, at age 36, he led the Dodgers to their only championship in Brooklyn, with an improbably steal of home against the Yankees. I also would have liked to have seen how he became the first black broadcaster, or how he marched with Dr. King in Washington. 42 is one of the clearest, most accurate depiction of two years in the life of Jackie Robinson, and while it was terrific, I would have like to have seen them take it a step further. Expand
  25. Nov 22, 2013
    7
    42, based on the life of Jackie Robinson, still makes for a good story, even if you've heard it before. Although it is a good film, it likely won't be on the list of the year's best because after Harrison Ford, who delivers a great performance, there aren't any other worthy ones here.
  26. 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
  27. May 4, 2013
    5
    42 has a rushed beginning, sappy middle and a safe ending. The movie seem to focus too much on the negative impacts of the man, then what he accomplished. 42 takes the amazing story of an amazing man and turns it into a feel good TV movie.
  28. 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.
    Expand
  29. Jan 5, 2014
    5
    The movie is harmless and never takes any risks or does anything memorable. It is a straightforward biopic that doesn't really dig deep into Jackie Robinson as a person.
  30. 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.
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.