Catch a Fire

Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    Stories of resistance to oppression will never become obsolete, but this feels like a picture that should have been made a long time ago.
  2. 60
    The less rosy message of Catch a Fire is that aggression breeds aggression.
  3. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    60
    An intelligent thriller that effectively conveys the message that terrorism, even in apartheid-era South Africa, is rarely a black-and-white issue.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    50
    In the end, Catch a Fire plays like some weird hybrid on the crazy-quilt filmography of Phillip Noyce, which includes small productions made in his native Australia and the Sharon Stone sexcapade "Sliver." What it's definitely not is the standard-issue movie about apartheid; there's no white protagonist, no pale-faced hero riding in on his high horse to save the oppressed black man.
  5. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    50
    The horrors of apartheid deserve a better treatment than this.
  6. Director Phillip Noyce has made a serious movie that switches to almost popcorn entertainment.
  7. It’s a film that wants to play as if it were ripped from today’s headlines, but has been shredded into near incoherence.
  8. 50
    The problem with Tim Robbins' dreadful turn as a South African "anti-terrorist" official in Catch A Fire--and it was also a problem with his sniveling Bill Gates impersonation in "Antitrust"--is that he can't hide his distaste for his own character.
  9. The film never strays much beyond the obvious, despite a conscientious effort by Tim Robbins to humanize a white security officer.
  10. 50
    Catch a Fire just doesn't spark.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Mar 26, 2015
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. What is especially great about the film, is the very last scene, in which it starts out as Derek Luke as Patrick Chamusso, and finishes with the real-life Chamusso speaking. This is extremely effective in driving the point home that these events really occurred and that there are people out there who strive to make a difference in their environment. Full Review »
  2. Aug 11, 2011
    9
    Apartheid movies. I went into this one thinking that if youâ
  3. JasonE.
    Mar 7, 2007
    6
    Despite its obvious well-meaning humanistic intentions, "Catch a Fire" remains mired in genre trafficking despite its ambitions to convey the Despite its obvious well-meaning humanistic intentions, "Catch a Fire" remains mired in genre trafficking despite its ambitions to convey the power of self-realization. By repeatedly flushing the screen with the hopeful, joyous chantings/dances of the saintly natives he overshadows the smaller personal story of one man's triumphs over his own mild-mannered acquience to the injustices that plague his nation. Robbins adds a stern introspection that adds slight dynamicism to this otherwise didactic tale. Full Review »