Focus Features | Release Date: October 27, 2006
6.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 18 Ratings
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14
Mixed:
2
Negative:
2
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8
ChadS.Nov 3, 2006
When Patrick Chamusso (Derek Luke) reaches ANC headquarters, it'll become crystal clear as to why "Catch a Fire" does the story of apartheid some justice. We meet Joe Slovo (Malcolm Purkey), leader of the South African Communist Party, When Patrick Chamusso (Derek Luke) reaches ANC headquarters, it'll become crystal clear as to why "Catch a Fire" does the story of apartheid some justice. We meet Joe Slovo (Malcolm Purkey), leader of the South African Communist Party, who easily could've been the male protagonist in another film. Thankfully, the filmmaker didn't Alan Parker this baby, and allowed a black man to tell the story of his own reduction. To make allowance for this box office-killing gambit, unfortunately, there's an action scene that seems phoned in from another movie, seemingly, as some sort of cockamamie compromise to give apartheid some sizzle. If you're going to use bombast, use it to honor the memory of the dead, not some flick starring Harrison Ford in full sweat-mode. When depicting the violence that pervaded apartheid, "Catch a Fire" lacks that one defining moment in which we see and feel the monstrous evil of this government-sanctioned racism. It's okay for Patrick to be a bigamist, and Nic Vos (Tim Robbins) to be a good family man (we want complexity in our characters), but apartheid itself should be painted in broader strokes. It pulls back on the blood, which prevents the audience from a few hours of rabble-rousing after leaving the cineplex. In "Mississippi Burning", the ugliness of slavery becomes all-too-visceral when some klansman kicks a young boy in the face. "Catch a Fire" lacks such a moment. Expand
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10
EddyG.Oct 23, 2006
Extremely powerful movie. Excellent.
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9
richardhaberNov 2, 2006
Powerful and moving. An important historical film.
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7
TimidTimesOct 29, 2006
A great movie for Tim Robbins to star in and another great movie about the history of Africa. However its no classic like "Cry Freedom" or "Hotel Rwanda". It seems to be looking for the blockbuster getters instead of focusing on the real A great movie for Tim Robbins to star in and another great movie about the history of Africa. However its no classic like "Cry Freedom" or "Hotel Rwanda". It seems to be looking for the blockbuster getters instead of focusing on the real issues at hand. It's an airbrushed ride through the case of a man. With a PG13 rating and a foggy stardom, it seems only to create havoc for many audience members. But I enjoyed it and I think many people will too. Too bad it flopped in the box office. Expand
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9
fotpAug 11, 2011
Apartheid movies. I went into this one thinking that if youâ
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7
homer4presidentMar 26, 2015
This review contains spoilers, click expand 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. Expand
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