Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. 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.
  2. An extraordinary and effective film.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Emerges as an African version of "Schindler's List."
  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
    A startlingly effective and upsetting political melodrama.
  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
    The film turns into a triumph for Don Cheadle, who never steps outside the character for emotional grandstanding or easy moralism.
  10. Not a striking film visually. It's deliberately plain looking, focused on the appalling events with an almost documentary immediacy.
  11. 88
    One of the year's best.
  12. 88
    This role could represent a career performance for Cheadle, whose forceful and multi-dimensional portrayal keeps Hotel Rwanda at a consistently high level.
  13. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    By turns harrowing and stirring, it’s a shame-inducing history lesson that never feels like a lecture.
  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. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    It's a weighty message movie, but it's a message worth delivering – and the cast's delivery is flawless.
  17. 80
    Hotel Rwanda, based on real lives and events, aims unequivocally to break your heart.
  18. 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.
  19. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Ultimately, one's reservations are overwhelmed by the story's urgency; it's impossible not to be shattered.
  20. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Cheadle is extraordinary.
  21. Hotel Rwanda isn't impersonal, even though it only hints at the story's full horror. It's stunning.
  22. It sweeps over you with blunt, unequivocal conviction.
  23. 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.
  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. 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.
  27. In condensing Rusesabagina's story, George has undoubtedly overstated the specific dramatic moments; the movie has more cliff-hangers than the "Indiana Jones" series.
  28. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    I wish Hotel Rwanda felt like something more than a very, very good TV movie.
  29. Throughout the film, Cheadle's eyes are constantly scanning his environment for opportunities or anything that may be amiss.
  30. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    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.
  31. 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.
  32. It's a gut-twisting story handled, largely and predictably, with asbestos mitts.
  33. 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.
  34. A political thriller based on fact that hammers every button on the emotional console.
  35. 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.
  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 219 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 142
  1. Mar 27, 2014
    Es la lista de Schindler pero version africana que relata como un administrador de un hotel salva la vida de unos 1200 hutus y tutsis durante la guerra civil entre estas dos etnias, increiblemente rodada, grandes interpretaciones, esos momentos de gran tension, una pelicula que muestra la deshumanizacion de las personas, una de las mejores peliculas que he visto en mi vida. Full Review »
  2. Feb 14, 2014
    A riveting story, that's slightly dampened by the sometimes oblique messages it gives about the harshness and horrors of the Rwandan genocide, but redeems itself with a hefty performance of Don Cheadle. It is toned down, both in language and violence, which destroys a historical film rather than make it more suitable to younger people. But I can see why it is acclaimed, but it is rather "safe". Full Review »
  3. Sep 19, 2013
    Great thought-provoking drama to be engaged in. The movie felt so natural and raw, like downing a straight shot of whiskey. Don Cheadle gives the performance of his career in this great film about the struggles during a very tense rebellion in Rwanda between the Hutu militia and the Tutsis. This film will stock with you for the rest of your life. Full Review »