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Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 169 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Apr 11, 2013
    100
    Boseman is watchful, winning and confident, but never saintly. Yet he keeps Robinson’s moral spine aligned with his skill and self-respect, showing how he needed all of those to succeed.
  2. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Apr 11, 2013
    80
    The style of the film, lush and traditional, is nothing special, but the takeaway, a daily struggle for dignity, is impossibly moving.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 11, 2013
    75
    42 may not be a home run, but it’s certainly a solid three-base hit as worthy family entertainment.
  4. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Apr 12, 2013
    63
    And still 42 persists in entertaining you, even when you’re cringing, because the real story is so compelling.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Apr 12, 2013
    60
    Helgeland’s epic about Jackie Robinson’s first year in Major League Baseball is uneven — often exciting, and just as often shallow and ham-handed — but if there’s one thing to which it remains true, it's that the almighty American greenback and the all-American athlete are the great destroyers of bigotry.
  7. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Apr 9, 2013
    40
    The movie sugars up Robinson's story, and like too many period pieces it summons some vague idea of a warmer, simpler past by bathing everything in thick amber light, as if each scene is one of those preserved mosquitoes that begat the monsters of Jurassic Park.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 60
  2. Negative: 3 out of 60
  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 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. 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 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.
    Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. Apr 12, 2013
    8
    Everyone should go see 42, baseball fan or not. Really a great movie and makes you understand how horrible segregation and racism was back then. Jackie Robinson is a true hero for what he did. He not only affected baseball, but probably affected other sports and the civil rights movement also. Expand
  5. Aug 22, 2013
    7
    42 tiene como objetivo ser una pelicula que ablande el corazon del publico mediante la interacción de la muestra de una epoca ya pasada (en el beisbol) y se hace ver buena dentro de su genero Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. 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

See all 60 User Reviews

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