Hotel Rwanda


Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Emerges as an African version of "Schindler's List."
  2. 100
    Deep movie emotions for me usually come not when the characters are sad, but when they are good. You will see what I mean.
  3. An extraordinary and effective film.
  4. 100
    Enraging and enthralling.
  5. Several times, Hotel Rwanda teeters on the edge of making a unique, visionary statement about our times, but can't quite do it. Too bad. If it could have pulled itself together in one brilliant scene, this may have been a great movie, instead of just a very good one.
  6. Cheadle impressively carries the entire picture, delivering the kind of note-perfect performance that's absolutely deserving of Oscar consideration.
  7. 90
    The film turns into a triumph for Don Cheadle, who never steps outside the character for emotional grandstanding or easy moralism.
  8. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    It is a powerful portrait of a slightly befuddled man who, when inhuman demands were placed on him, found within himself an unexpected response.
  9. 90
    A startlingly effective and upsetting political melodrama.
  10. 88
    This role could represent a career performance for Cheadle, whose forceful and multi-dimensional portrayal keeps Hotel Rwanda at a consistently high level.
  11. 88
    One of the year's best.
  12. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    By turns harrowing and stirring, it’s a shame-inducing history lesson that never feels like a lecture.
  13. Not a striking film visually. It's deliberately plain looking, focused on the appalling events with an almost documentary immediacy.
  14. An articulate plea to Westerners not to repeat these terrible sins of omission.
  15. 83
    Cheadle's performance elevates Hotel Rwanda, making it a film that does justice to the tragedy it commemorates.
  16. 80
    Hotel Rwanda, based on real lives and events, aims unequivocally to break your heart.
  17. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Ultimately, one's reservations are overwhelmed by the story's urgency; it's impossible not to be shattered.
  18. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Hotel Rwanda isn't impersonal, even though it only hints at the story's full horror. It's stunning.
  19. 80
    Cheadle's quiet, superbly modulated performance as an ordinary man driven to heroism by hellish events reminds us that the slogan "no justice, no peace" has a private as well as a public dimension.
  20. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Cheadle is extraordinary.
  21. Cheadle, always a fine actor, is outstanding here--an almost willfully naive yet uncommonly decent man who sees civilization crashing and burning around him yet who, almost against his own better judgment, refuses to give in to it.
  22. It sweeps over you with blunt, unequivocal conviction.
  23. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    It's a weighty message movie, but it's a message worth delivering – and the cast's delivery is flawless.
  24. 78
    Scrappy, powerful, and shocking.
  25. 75
    George has been criticized for simplifying a complex story into an African "Schindler's List." But despite flaws in execution, this is a film of rare courage and imperishable heart.
  26. In condensing Rusesabagina's story, George has undoubtedly overstated the specific dramatic moments; the movie has more cliff-hangers than the "Indiana Jones" series.
  27. 75
    All we can do is hope that films such as Hotel Rwanda remind us all -- moviegoer and politician -- of the terrible cost of doing nothing.
  28. Throughout the film, Cheadle's eyes are constantly scanning his environment for opportunities or anything that may be amiss.
  29. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    I wish Hotel Rwanda felt like something more than a very, very good TV movie.
  30. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    The genocide of some one million Rwandan Tutsis by their Hutu neighbors remains a disgraceful and too-little-known episode in recent world history. Alas, Terry George's ineffectual Hotel Rwanda only partly rectifies that problem, taking what ought to have been a complex, powerful inquiry and simplifying it to a story about the resilience of the human spirit.
  31. It's a gut-twisting story handled, largely and predictably, with asbestos mitts.
  32. The story it tells is such a wrenching one it cannot help but move us, especially when the performance of a lifetime by Don Cheadle is added to the mix.
  33. A political thriller based on fact that hammers every button on the emotional console.
  34. 70
    The Rwandan genocide was one of the most shameful marks on Bill Clinton's presidency, but for all the film's powerful images, George stops short of the forceful political statement that Rusesabagina's story demands.
  35. 70
    It's a great part for a great actor and Cheadle does a magnificent job turning this living legend back into flawed, flesh-and-blood reality.
  36. A strange history lesson that leaves us more overlectured than properly overwhelmed.
  37. The subject is crucially important, but the movie dilutes its impact with by-the-numbers filmmaking, and Cheadle's one-note performance displays few of his acting gifts.
  38. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    The film presents the Rwandans in the worst possible way: venal, corrupt, vicious, stupid, barbaric and completely incapable of governing themselves. Honestly, I've seen more intelligent and sympathetic depictions of Africans in Tarzan movies.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 298 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 148
  1. May 17, 2016
    This is an amazing movie and its based on a true story.. can change anyone's life made me cry.

    Watch it online for free:
    This is an amazing movie and its based on a true story.. can change anyone's life made me cry.

    Watch it online for free:
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 9, 2016
    One of my favourite movies. I also feel like this is pretty accurate of what's happening in middle east & what happened in nazi germany. IOne of my favourite movies. I also feel like this is pretty accurate of what's happening in middle east & what happened in nazi germany. I also like how the head character changes his view on the situation and risks everything he owns for the people he didn't seem to care much about in the beginning. Full Review »
  3. Dec 23, 2015
    Incredibly impactful and powerful, Hotel Rwanda is a brilliantly crafted film that really hits the viewer quite hard thanks to great writing,Incredibly impactful and powerful, Hotel Rwanda is a brilliantly crafted film that really hits the viewer quite hard thanks to great writing, storytelling, and a phenomenal performance from Don Cheadle. Without Cheadle's performance, the film would still be very good, but his performance elevates it into the stratosphere of "great" films. The film, at every turn, leaves you on the brink of tears with its power as it pulls the back the cover on the Rwandan genocide. At no point did Rwanda receive the level of help they needed from the Western world, which is truly tragic and is touched on repeatedly throughout the film. An absolute indictment of the West and those who let this atrocity happen, Hotel Rwanda is just the Rwandan Schindler's List. It is far more than that and, honestly, may be just as good or better than that film. Cheadle is phenomenal and he truly commands the screen in Terry George's breathtaking and important film. Full Review »