User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 248 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 248
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  1. Apr 17, 2015
    7
    I really like this movie, and the fact that was based on a true story makes it amazing. But....! I thing that need a little bit more action. Yes.... even more!
  2. Mar 26, 2015
    8
    Hotel Rwanda is great. It tells it's story so well, that you cannot help but be compelled to watch more; you are spellbound, despite the horrific images and the sadness that comes with each scene. The movie is incredibly good and touching.
  3. Jan 25, 2015
    8
    Pathos and hope comprise the main building blocks of Terry George's "Hotel Rwanda," a film that attains greatness - not just for its effortless storytelling ability, but also because of the significance that that story happens to possess.
  4. Mar 27, 2014
    10
    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.
  5. Feb 14, 2014
    8
    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".
  6. Sep 19, 2013
    10
    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.
  7. Feb 14, 2013
    10
    Hotel Rwanda is a 2004 film directed by Terry George. The story is about the massacre occurred in 1994 in Rwanda, where Hutus massacred almost all Tutsi and of how Paul Rusesabagina found refuge and saved 1200 Hutu and Tutsi. A story that does a lot and think that speaks of the courage of Paul who saved so many lives and the world feigned ignorance. Excellent directed by George and the cast.
  8. Aug 11, 2011
    10
    Amazing film. If I told myself Catch A Fire was a movie Iâ
  9. May 29, 2011
    8
    Really good! Certainly a film that won't be easily forgotten! If dealing with a real history is very shocking and, unfortunately, still present, because many countries still suffer similar rebellions, as we see in the news about what happened recently in Egypt, and Libya is booming! "Why are people so cruel?" I would like to know too. But there are also people willing to help! I think thisReally good! Certainly a film that won't be easily forgotten! If dealing with a real history is very shocking and, unfortunately, still present, because many countries still suffer similar rebellions, as we see in the news about what happened recently in Egypt, and Libya is booming! "Why are people so cruel?" I would like to know too. But there are also people willing to help! I think this campaign is that the world needs, people have to react! Do what they can! I think the actors although aren't well known (apart from Nick Nolte) surprise! I was glad to see that Americans don't get to save everybody, as in several war movies! Very true what the reporter talks about the people watching the news and say "Oh, my God, how awful" and continue to dine with their families! Is what we do! But I think it might be different if anything awaken within us to show that we can indeed act. A film about violence, but also about hope, which I think everyone should see! Expand
  10. Jan 26, 2011
    8
    Cheadle's performance is amazing but the movie just didn't connect on all the levels that a Schindler's list did. The opening song just didn't fell right to me and really messed with the tone the movie would try to set later. There were some rather intense scenes and some scenes that made you shake your head with disgust, but the emotional attachment and the tears that should follow anCheadle's performance is amazing but the movie just didn't connect on all the levels that a Schindler's list did. The opening song just didn't fell right to me and really messed with the tone the movie would try to set later. There were some rather intense scenes and some scenes that made you shake your head with disgust, but the emotional attachment and the tears that should follow an uplifting story just weren't there. It might have been that the movie was a bit short (I know 2 hours isn't short but with a movie that is so character driven it never hurts to be a bit longer) and you never really got attached to the victims as we did with Schindler's List. I am in no way implying that Hotel Rwanda isn't good as it is a very good movie and one that all people should watch to educate themselves about what is really happening in Africa today, but only that it could have been a home-run but felt more like a triple! Expand
  11. ForettaW
    Jun 13, 2010
    10
    I was 11 when I watched this heartbreaking movie! I can say it made my tear up watching people being killed. I handled it well though because the point in my class was to see what is actually happening in the world of ours. It touched my heart so much! Wouldn't you think I am too young to watch a rated R movie?
  12. IanR
    Jun 28, 2009
    10
    Whether what others say, this is certainly one of the best dramas out there. My intention to watch this film was really for suspense, but I got more than what I expected. And this film goes to my list as the most moving film I have ever seen.Can't help but cry.
  13. nate
    May 4, 2009
    10
    Great film. Don was spectacular in his role. many emotions.
  14. TaylorB
    Apr 3, 2009
    10
    This movie was insane. I am 14!!! and this movie touched me greatly. It made me think this only happened 14 or 25 years ago. If you put you self in side one of those people who watched there children,mom,dad,brother or sister get chopped up with a knife or beaten to death. What do you think? This movie deserves 10/10!!!
  15. PatrickS
    Feb 26, 2009
    10
    ONe of the most inspiraional movies I have seen in a long time. It shows that no matter what and in the time of reckoning that one person can come out and change it for a country. Don Cheadle was brilliant and showed courage and teanacity to overcome the Hutu militia.
  16. royr
    Dec 24, 2008
    10
    Film threat- africa is experiencing the various messes it has because of the exact traits that some african leaders have that you say this film negatively depicts. for god sake man, how could an atrocity like this happen where sensibility and intelligence reigned? look no further than robert mugabe to see that the faults pointed out in some african leaderships, in this film are very Film threat- africa is experiencing the various messes it has because of the exact traits that some african leaders have that you say this film negatively depicts. for god sake man, how could an atrocity like this happen where sensibility and intelligence reigned? look no further than robert mugabe to see that the faults pointed out in some african leaderships, in this film are very accurately depicted. Expand
  17. MattG.
    Jul 13, 2008
    10
    A truly outstanding and moving film. I challenge anyone with a decent IQ and a bit of humanity in them not to be moved by it. The performances of the two leads are outstanding and the film conveys the full horror of the atrocities that occured. A film I am not ashamed to say moved me to tears but also left me feeling uncomfortable with my own apathy to the horrors that took place in the A truly outstanding and moving film. I challenge anyone with a decent IQ and a bit of humanity in them not to be moved by it. The performances of the two leads are outstanding and the film conveys the full horror of the atrocities that occured. A film I am not ashamed to say moved me to tears but also left me feeling uncomfortable with my own apathy to the horrors that took place in the mid 90's. This film ranks as one of my favourite of all time not quite as good as the similar themed Schindlers List but equally as heart breaking. Expand
  18. EvanO.
    May 30, 2008
    9
    This was a very good movie. I'm only 14 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The acting by Cheadle was terrific, and most of the plot was done spectacularly. I wasn't too bloody, but was very, very sad. It really is hard to believe that something like this could have happened only 15 years ago.
  19. JimB.
    Mar 25, 2007
    10
    One of the greatest movies of all times. Connects with the viewer on a political, moral, romantic, personal, and work ethical level.
  20. LanaS.
    Mar 5, 2007
    10
    A wonderfully acted, meticulously observed political drama.
  21. Riren
    Feb 25, 2007
    10
    Hotel Rwanda benefits greatly from being based on true events - it prevents the audience from ever being able to deny what they have seen. You'll want to pretend what you've seen was never real because the movie saves up its violence. Despite being set during a genocide, it is very sparing with the horrors it shows, giving each incident a much greater emotional impact. Don Hotel Rwanda benefits greatly from being based on true events - it prevents the audience from ever being able to deny what they have seen. You'll want to pretend what you've seen was never real because the movie saves up its violence. Despite being set during a genocide, it is very sparing with the horrors it shows, giving each incident a much greater emotional impact. Don Cheadle's amazing performance as the movie's highly sympathetic and interesting main character serves as the backbone of the plot. The events that bombard him are infinitely watchable and morbidly engrossing, and take your mind off the movie's few flaws. Hotel Rwanda does very little to explain the conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis, and the genocidal antagonists are nearly all one-dimensional - plot points that are casualties to what this movie is about. It isn't about the Rwandan holocaust, but the events in that man's life as Rwanda fell apart. Its messages are bitter, of shame to the foreigners who didn't care or didn't do anything to intervene, of native cowardice, and of the terror of irrational hatred and chaotic violence. Yet it is not a hopeless movie, nor even a pessimistic movie. It's simply honest, and more emotionally balanced than you could expect it to be. And again, anything unrealistic is saved, because it really happened. By far one of the best "based on a true story" movies to date. Expand
  22. RamzeezeB.
    Feb 24, 2007
    10
    just a great movie. it caputures the reality and is justs an awesome file.
  23. ArumA.
    Jan 14, 2007
    10
    what a moving inspiring movie.
  24. TenilleW.
    Jan 1, 2007
    10
    Unfortunatley Mr. Hall does not know that the truth of that horrific event was exactly how it happened. 1 million people died in that tragic event. If those people were able to govern themselves do you honestly think that this horrible event would have been taking place. People like this are exactly what this movie referred to. Unfortunately, these people will never see the truth for what Unfortunatley Mr. Hall does not know that the truth of that horrific event was exactly how it happened. 1 million people died in that tragic event. If those people were able to govern themselves do you honestly think that this horrible event would have been taking place. People like this are exactly what this movie referred to. Unfortunately, these people will never see the truth for what it is. Amazing movie, amazing acting, amazing voice to the million people who lost their lives. Thank you. Expand
  25. AbbyG.
    Dec 23, 2006
    10
    Our generation's parallel to the Holoacaust. This film will stay with you always.
  26. DonavinR.
    Dec 20, 2006
    10
    A truly powerful film, with SUPERB acting. Why was this film looked over for a Best Picture nomination?
  27. AstelleW.
    Dec 19, 2006
    10
    Stunnning and compassionate film!
  28. NoahS
    Oct 13, 2006
    10
    An oustanding film that deserved it's acclaim.
  29. SkylerP.
    Oct 13, 2006
    10
    Brilliant film!
  30. DouglasR.
    Aug 2, 2006
    9
    A truly emotional movie that highlights the disgraceful neglect of atrocities that occur in Africa. For the family featured it was a happy ending unlike for millions of others.
  31. Sophie
    Jun 29, 2006
    10
    5 stars. Finaly a good story without a typical black character (drug dealer, assassin, and other stuff).Many people could say that is awfull but they only say that because they never experienced a situation like that.I have 2 say that even if the movie was the crap that are saying, i would give the same 5 stars to the director for having the courage to expose this horrible matter.
  32. KennedyB.
    Jun 19, 2006
    10
    One of the best films of the 21st century. I could not believe Hotel Rwanda was not nominated for Best Picture, it absolutely deserved it. Don Cheadle was great as usual, but Sophie Okonedo's performance really shocked me. This woman is amazing!
  33. VinceT.
    Jun 19, 2006
    10
    A deeply moving film with great performances all around. Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo were outstanding.
  34. ShaniceT.
    Jun 12, 2006
    10
    This is one of the best films of the new millennium. Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo deserved to win the Oscars that they were nominated for! Their acting was breathtaking, and their chemistry was magical.
  35. PatC.
    May 11, 2006
    7
    A good movie presenting a story that needed to be told. While emotionally and morally self-evident, it was strangely lacking in lasting cerebral understanding. A film done well within the limits imposed on itself.
  36. RitaP.
    Feb 15, 2006
    8
    Great film on an important topic. I was also greatful that the movie tried hard not to potray the extent of the violence.
  37. SamD.
    Dec 10, 2005
    9
    Beautifully acted, and portrayed. What people and critics must understand is that Rusesabagina was not a saint and that the Hutu population were not all evil and corrupt. Imagine having to choose, as a Hutu, whether to kill your neighbors and their children, or have yourself and your children be killed. That is what many of the nay-saying critics below do not understand. In that genocide Beautifully acted, and portrayed. What people and critics must understand is that Rusesabagina was not a saint and that the Hutu population were not all evil and corrupt. Imagine having to choose, as a Hutu, whether to kill your neighbors and their children, or have yourself and your children be killed. That is what many of the nay-saying critics below do not understand. In that genocide there were three types of people; the Hutu extremists, the Tuitsi victims and the moderate Hutus. The extremists killed the other to groups bcause both were a threat to their goal: To wipe out the entire Tutsi population. At the end of thd movie, when the Tutsi "rebels" are shooting at the Hutus who are evacuating the country, it is also important to understand two more things; One, the group of Hutus running away is made up of mostly innocent Hutus but the Tutsi "Rebel" Army neither knows this or have the time to figure it out. Two, most of the "rebels" have lost family and friends to these people and therefore are pursuing reckless revenge, hence the "not caring" part. Truefully, this movie did not show ENOUGH bloodshed so it came off a little weak and civilized as to what it was: A barbaric GENOCIDE. Expand
  38. AnneI.
    Oct 31, 2005
    10
    There is no doubt in my mind that the miracles that were depicted in this movie were from God. It was a very moving and powerful movie.
  39. JustineL.
    Oct 22, 2005
    9
    Let not the following make same mistake... remember what the history taught us in Hotel Rwanda.
  40. jj
    Sep 3, 2005
    8
    So good.
  41. GarethC.
    Aug 28, 2005
    10
    Wow! This movie was outstanding. How did Don Cheadle not win the Oscar for his performance. A deeply moving film with an inspirational performance. You MUST watch this movie.
  42. BrianG.
    Aug 8, 2005
    10
    I absolutely loved this movie. It was a deeply inspiring film, to see how much one man sacrificed to help his family and innocent people which were from the opposing side. Best movie in a long long time.
  43. lorrainet.
    Jul 24, 2005
    9
    A very touching film. One which makes me ashamed to be a westerner. Why didn't we do more to stop the awful violence? How can people hate other people so much. How can people look others in the eyes - even children - and just kill them? I will never understand this. Paul was such a brave and amazing man. Thank you Paul for saving all those people with your bravery and cleverness. God A very touching film. One which makes me ashamed to be a westerner. Why didn't we do more to stop the awful violence? How can people hate other people so much. How can people look others in the eyes - even children - and just kill them? I will never understand this. Paul was such a brave and amazing man. Thank you Paul for saving all those people with your bravery and cleverness. God Bless you. Expand
  44. raVen
    Jul 9, 2005
    9
    (9.5) A frank photograph of the human lottery, as it stacks the odds according to race. I must agree: this was Cheadle's Oscar.
  45. MikeG
    Jul 9, 2005
    10
    To be honest with you, I don't really care about this film's strengths and weaknesses. The conflict that this movie is portraying is what does it for me; just the image of the soldier saying "No Rwandans" and the reporter's take on what people will say to his footage does it for me. It's so true.
  46. BitBurn
    Jun 9, 2005
    9
    Watching this movie made me realize how precious our lives are. How insignificant my little financial or emotional problems can be compared to what happened over there. Cheadle is extraordinary. The rest of the plot is fabulous too!
  47. AlyE.
    Jun 7, 2005
    10
    Excellent!!! Best movie I've seen in ages! No offense to Jamie Foxx, but Don Cheadle was robbed of the Oscar.
  48. ZanderS.
    Jun 4, 2005
    10
    This was a very good movie, it was scary is was sad it was happy. this movie shows us what really goes on in the world that we decided to turn our backs on.
  49. DedeB.
    May 19, 2005
    10
    Wow. This movie is simply amazing. Don Cheadle delivers one of the most amazing performances ive seen in years. In scope its all within believablitiy and it had quite a few gut-wrenching moments that will go down in cinematic history. You must watch this movie. Its a great history lesson on why not to be apathetic and when you do what happens to people.
  50. nottias.
    May 19, 2005
    10
    This movie will truly move you. It warns you that war and other problems still exists in the world. This open your eyes. I think every school should allow their students to watch this movie. Maybe the movie will teach young people how to reach out in help others even when their in the need of some help. Simply teaches them how to be brave but relaxed at the same time. In the movie Paul This movie will truly move you. It warns you that war and other problems still exists in the world. This open your eyes. I think every school should allow their students to watch this movie. Maybe the movie will teach young people how to reach out in help others even when their in the need of some help. Simply teaches them how to be brave but relaxed at the same time. In the movie Paul used all of his sources anything that came to his mind. Expand
  51. djrooker
    May 16, 2005
    7
    Don Cheadle is excellent in the role of paul rusesabagina; however, the movie is emotionally flat, feeling at times more like a made-for-TV movie, rather than a dramatic feature film. the story and don cheadle, of course, are worth the watch; i just wish that something as serious as a modern-day genocide would have somehow felt more important.
  52. K.R.
    May 12, 2005
    9
    This movie was amazing, i felt like i was going to impload or expload or somthing. Ive seen a couple movies that have touched me like this one. Paul is one man who saved over 1000 lives risking everything that he had and loved int he world. It shows whats going on every day across the world, even now im somolia and sudan. Im sure there hundreds of other place sthat arent even publicised This movie was amazing, i felt like i was going to impload or expload or somthing. Ive seen a couple movies that have touched me like this one. Paul is one man who saved over 1000 lives risking everything that he had and loved int he world. It shows whats going on every day across the world, even now im somolia and sudan. Im sure there hundreds of other place sthat arent even publicised by the media. I dont think ive ever rated a movie befor but i want people to see this movie and know that its based on a true story. Expand
  53. FinnR>
    May 12, 2005
    10
    This movie is so brilliant and powerful. I think this movie will make viewers want to do something and take action where it is needed, locally or globally. And right now something needs to be done about Dafur in Sudan. It makes the viewers question, "Where were we about eleven years ago and why didn't we help?" and
  54. TFrayling
    May 8, 2005
    9
    An excellent movie perfectly portraying the astounding events that happened in Rwanda. A must watch film.
  55. StacyD
    May 3, 2005
    10
    Wonderful!!!!
  56. armandos.
    Apr 28, 2005
    9
    Don Cheadle gave a magnificent performance. The movie held back on the graphic violence, which is a good thing-so that more people will be exposed to the situation in Africa. According to Jared Diamond, the overpopulation and enviromental destruction of the land is as much to blame for the genocide as any ethnic hatred. Besides, the differences between the two groups is superficial, and Don Cheadle gave a magnificent performance. The movie held back on the graphic violence, which is a good thing-so that more people will be exposed to the situation in Africa. According to Jared Diamond, the overpopulation and enviromental destruction of the land is as much to blame for the genocide as any ethnic hatred. Besides, the differences between the two groups is superficial, and there was much intermarriage going on. A great movie. Expand
  57. heihei
    Apr 23, 2005
    10
    How many innocent people more have to die on our watch ?????
  58. Crystal
    Apr 20, 2005
    10
    Within the first 30 minutes of watching this movie I was in tears. Out of all of the movies i have ever seen about any war, this one hit hardest. We as americans tend to get comfortable where we are and forget about the rest of the world its problems. Everyone needs to see this movie to wake them up.
  59. sveta
    Apr 19, 2005
    9
    A lot of Hollywod movies are crap. Bad script, bad actos, bad everything. This movie is magnificent. I find it hard to belive it was produce by Hollywood. Hollywod is driven by greed AND WILL NOT TAKE RISKS . If more people attenedd or rented or bought the DVD for this movie we would get better quality movies made insstead of the contatnt dribble that is constantly churned out as rubbish A lot of Hollywod movies are crap. Bad script, bad actos, bad everything. This movie is magnificent. I find it hard to belive it was produce by Hollywood. Hollywod is driven by greed AND WILL NOT TAKE RISKS . If more people attenedd or rented or bought the DVD for this movie we would get better quality movies made insstead of the contatnt dribble that is constantly churned out as rubbish that is delivered on a regular basis. Expand
  60. MichelleR.
    Apr 15, 2005
    10
    I had chosen this movie for my presentation and when i went to watch it, I was totally astounded at what had happened in rwanda... The beauty of the movie lies in the acting and the contents of this film. Cheadle certainly potrays the quest for freedom and survival marvellously.
  61. G.M.D.K.
    Apr 14, 2005
    10
    Powerful!Stunning! One of my favorite films of hope,strenght,and survival.
  62. [Anonymous]
    Apr 13, 2005
    10
    A story that I was not aware of, brought my attention to the horrible atrositites that happened in 1994. I want to help in any way I can to prevent this from ever happenign. I'm ashamed we did nothing to help these people
  63. BrutusO.
    Apr 5, 2005
    9
    Reading the reviews, it seems to me that a lot of people are missing the point of this movie. It isn't about America, or American/European culpability in the massacres, or Bill Clinton, or even about African governance. And it isn't particularly well made, either, or stylish. What it is, however, is legitimately terrifying in a way that most horror movies only dream about. Those Reading the reviews, it seems to me that a lot of people are missing the point of this movie. It isn't about America, or American/European culpability in the massacres, or Bill Clinton, or even about African governance. And it isn't particularly well made, either, or stylish. What it is, however, is legitimately terrifying in a way that most horror movies only dream about. Those of us who have been in East Africa know that the character stereotypes are pretty close to the bone. So some Rwandans are evil, some good. Some expatriates are good, and some aren't. Frankly, all of the cavilling and complaints about the actors pale into insignificance when faced with the fact that a lot of this stuff really happened, and will happen again somewhere, sometime. If that doesn't get you going, go back to Lord of the Rings or whatever for your thrills.Before I went in (I was dragged in by a girlfriend), I thought it was going to be tedious and obvious - but this movie has an emotional impact that transcends the medium. I found myself on the edge of my seat throughout, and was emotionally exhausted at the end. Nuff said. Expand
  64. ChadS.
    Apr 2, 2005
    7
    Paul Rusesabagina gets to be the focus, and hero, in his own film. The two journalists may remind you of the FBI agents in "Mississippi Burning", whose heroism regulated whatever black leadership there was during this juncture to the sidelines. Although Joaquin Phoenix and his journalistic cohort risk their lives to get footage of the machete wielding Hutus against the orders of his boss, Paul Rusesabagina gets to be the focus, and hero, in his own film. The two journalists may remind you of the FBI agents in "Mississippi Burning", whose heroism regulated whatever black leadership there was during this juncture to the sidelines. Although Joaquin Phoenix and his journalistic cohort risk their lives to get footage of the machete wielding Hutus against the orders of his boss, the story doesn't follow their renegade excursion. We only see the footage they captured without the embellishment of the danger they encountered in getting it. In "Hotel Rwanda", there are white people who want to help, but this movie is about Paul. Here's another example: there's a health-care worker who we presume to be the dead, but towards the end of the film, we see her on the periphery of the frame as the Rwanda survivors enter a refugee camp. She's not the subject, the Africans are. Even though she plays a part in the ludicrous attempt at a happy ending, the film establishes the Rwandans first before making her the focal point. Although a more sobering finish might've been more appropriate to the material, the postscript is the final word in "Hotel Rwanda". Expand
  65. GerronK.
    Mar 30, 2005
    10
    This film is an important one. I don't recall the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, but this film opened it up for me. By focusing on only several characters, director Terry George personified the horror in Rwanda. This is a magnificently powerful film, with a beautiful score and a wonderful song by Wyclef Jean. I recommend it fully!
  66. KaceyG.
    Mar 29, 2005
    9
    The acting in this movie was very well done, as was the whole story.
  67. PaulaW.
    Mar 19, 2005
    7
    I'd rate this a ten for its worthy premise but only about a five for execution. Hotel Rwanda performs an important service by putting names and faces and a landscape to far-off genocide, and it is clear-eyed about the limitations and failures of Western involvement. The heroic story of Paul Rusesabagina provides good narrative structure. But the melodrama, terrible dialogue, sketchy I'd rate this a ten for its worthy premise but only about a five for execution. Hotel Rwanda performs an important service by putting names and faces and a landscape to far-off genocide, and it is clear-eyed about the limitations and failures of Western involvement. The heroic story of Paul Rusesabagina provides good narrative structure. But the melodrama, terrible dialogue, sketchy accents and some shaky acting by Sophie Okonedo (sorry, Sophie--I loved you in Dirty Pretty Things) give this movie an unfortunate After-School Special quality. The educational value of Hotel Rwanda would be higher if it were letting the world know about a tragedy we could do something about now, like the ones going on in Sudan or the Congo, instead of one that's safely in the past. Then again it is important to know the mistakes of the past so we can try not to repeat them. Expand
  68. KatieF.
    Feb 27, 2005
    10
    Excellent - a must see movie! It was so powerful that the theater was completely silent as everyone left.
  69. MichaelL.
    Feb 24, 2005
    9
    Best movie!
  70. SusanM.
    Feb 22, 2005
    9
    Excellent movie, very inspirational, very moving. Anyone who gives it a 5/10 because it doesn't portray the violence graphically enough should maybe choose another movie genre, like horror! The story is about one man's courage in times of despair, one family's love when surrounded by hatred, not a gore-fest. I would highly recommend this movie.
  71. MarkB.
    Feb 19, 2005
    7
    Modest but smartly written and directed example of that problematic movie genre unflatteringly known as Spinach Cinema, featuring a standout performance by Don Cheadle (Devil in a Blue Dress, TV's Picket Fences) as heroic hotel manager Paul Ruesabagina, who protected over 1,000 Tutsi refugees from being wiped out in a 1994 South African civil war that escalated into mass genocide. Modest but smartly written and directed example of that problematic movie genre unflatteringly known as Spinach Cinema, featuring a standout performance by Don Cheadle (Devil in a Blue Dress, TV's Picket Fences) as heroic hotel manager Paul Ruesabagina, who protected over 1,000 Tutsi refugees from being wiped out in a 1994 South African civil war that escalated into mass genocide. Spinach Cinema is a blanket term used to describe good or bad films dealing with an uncomfortable-to-confront hot button issue that, if it were covered on CNN, many viewers would hurriedly surf past it to ESPN or a Friends rerun. Consequently, and with a few key exceptions (Gandhi, Schindler's List), these films aren't box office successes, because potential attendees respond to them the way most 5-year-olds respond to spinach. Case in point: the valiant but doomed 2003 Angelina Jolie/Clive Owen flick Beyond Borders; not at all a bad movie, but audiences avoided it in droves because who wants to see repeated closeups of bloated, starving African orphans either before or after a dinner date? Writer-director Terry George nimbly avoids most of the pitfalls by having most of the atrocities appear offscreen, using footage of mass executions very sparingly and fleetingly, and emphasizing suspense while adding an occasional, totally unexpected dash of humor. George's best move is the conception and casting of his central character, who in his actions bears some superficial resemblances to Oskar Schindler but is vastly different: Schindler was an aristocratic, highly successful businessman and womanizer whose change was so unexpected that director Steven Spielberg and writer Steven Zaillian wisely never completely explain it, knowing that they can't. Most of us aren't Schindler: we're not rich, and we're faithful to our partners...and Cheadle's great triumph as Ruesabagina is his portrayal of him as a vulnerable Everyman who does the right thing. This makes Hotel Rwanda, despite its tough subject matter, surprisingly upbeat and ennobling: it tells us that if he can act heroically and selflessly under overwhelming circumstances, we can too. And it counterbalances some of the difficult implications of mass slaughter that any film dealing with it has to confront: what was the rest of the world doing while this was allowed to occur? Judgment at Nuremberg, made by Stanley Kramer (the king of American Spinach Cinema and a filmmaker that everyone once liked until Pauline Kael wrote an essay telling them not to) hurled the thunderbolt that America gave the German judges who turned droves of innocent people over to the Nazis a slap on the wrist because we wanted to make nice with post-World War II Germany and get their business. Hotel Rwanda, in its own genteel way, makes an equally if not more damning indictment: that America and Europe mostly ignored the mass exterminations in Rwanda only partially because troops were occupied in other hot spots at the time (which would be a slightly defensible excuse if it were actually true)--but mostly because, in addition to Rwanda not being an oil-rich territory, it's pretty much Blacks killing off other Blacks, so why should America and Europe care? It's implied, rather than flatly stated outright, but in even hinting at it, Hotel Rwanda courageously graduates from Spinach Cinema to Cod Liver Oil Cinema. Expand
  72. EthanP.
    Feb 15, 2005
    5
    This is what happens when genocide is portrayed w/ a PG-13 rating. It's implied, but hardly visceral. And while it's admirable to try to capture as broad an audience as possible for this kind of message, it's not like teens are going to be showing up in droves. If this is an important, horrific movie on par w/ Schindler's List--which it's not, but anyway--mature This is what happens when genocide is portrayed w/ a PG-13 rating. It's implied, but hardly visceral. And while it's admirable to try to capture as broad an audience as possible for this kind of message, it's not like teens are going to be showing up in droves. If this is an important, horrific movie on par w/ Schindler's List--which it's not, but anyway--mature 14-year olds would still be able to watch it w/ an R-rating. Us Americans are already ignorant enough about what happened, so it makes little sense to shelter us from the extensive massacring. The tension of suffocation was never fully realized. There were too many "actually, we're just hanging out having a fully portioned picnic with our plastic plates" moments. And Cheadle's character was always leaving the scene to do his thing. Accurate, perhaps, but loose story telling. This was a high-quality, made-for-TV movie. It even started like one: everyday characters leading normal lives with hints of whimsy and possible danger...and Then the Earthquake Hit LA and People Were Devasted. This was a great act in history, but the movie was basically a light version of holocaust films. Expand
  73. JudeeG.
    Feb 12, 2005
    8
    A very powerful film. Obvisously, much of the gore and horrror of the period was left out, but the desperation and fear was excellently played out by Cheadle and the rest of the cast.
  74. Katy
    Feb 12, 2005
    9
    An authentic telling of an important story. The screenplay was amazing because of how accurately it modeled normal, everyday discourse, rather than making all the characters a little more witty or florid or metaphorical than we are in real life. Terry George boldly chose to be a storyteller rather than a filmmaker here. No pride, no ego.
  75. TripperR.
    Feb 11, 2005
    7
    So many contrived dramatic moments. At one point, my girlfriend and I actually got the giggles. When the true story is spectacular the film doesn't have to sell the drama, and this one doesn't do much else. If only the whole movie was as great as Cheadle and Okonedo.
  76. debbiel.
    Feb 9, 2005
    10
    The movie was a moving experience; it is a tribute to the humanity of one man who stepped up for all of us.
  77. DianaR.
    Feb 8, 2005
    10
    This is definetly an eye opener. I would recommend that everyone see this, I had no idea these atrocities were occuring. Also, as a side note, I imagine the user rating would be higher (around a 9) if someone didn't have a personal vendeta against the movie (which explains why they rated the movie with O's many many times in a row.....)
  78. AaronF.
    Feb 6, 2005
    3
    Do not see "Hotel Rwanda" ever. and by ever i mean never ever. not in theaters and certainly not when it comes out on dvd. do not rent it. do not watch it at a friend's house. if it is ever screened on television...change the channel. now you might be wandering what is so bad about this movie, and to be perfectly honest it wasn't the worst movie i've ever seen Do not see "Hotel Rwanda" ever. and by ever i mean never ever. not in theaters and certainly not when it comes out on dvd. do not rent it. do not watch it at a friend's house. if it is ever screened on television...change the channel. now you might be wandering what is so bad about this movie, and to be perfectly honest it wasn't the worst movie i've ever seen (cough-"Armageddon"-cough), but it was without a doubt one of the most disappointing releases in years. what works me up so much about this particular film's suckage is the buzz surrounding it; three oscar nominations - THREE!! don cheadle was fine, but that was about it. i don't give kudos to performances that beg for them, and this would be such a case. the story that the film explores, the rwandan genocide of 1994, is in itself a captivating subject. however the way in which this conflict is presented in this film plumbs all the depths of my bathroom sink. but the cardinal sin of this clunker is doubtlessly the writing. i might only feel this way because i personally have an interest in screenwriting, and because it is my belief that you can only make a good film if you start with a good screenplay, but in any case, the dialogue and pacing in "Hotel Rwanda" just plain blows. i can't count how many times i rolled my eyes during one of cheadle's characters monologues. i could go on forever but i...i just need to stop. i suppose i'll finish by telling you, the reader, that i really hate this movie because it did have promise. there were moments where i almost felt a twinge of compassion for the characters and events onscreen, and that is why this is the most frustrating release in a long time. Expand
  79. LinL.
    Feb 6, 2005
    6
    Don Cheadle's compelling presence holds the movie together, and you keep remembering in horror, "This is a true story." But the emotional ups and downs get wearisome -- tearful embrace in fear; tearful embrace in relief; tearful embrace in fear-that-turns-into-relief, etc.
  80. NirmalK.
    Feb 6, 2005
    10
    I though I will come disapointed knowing the story before going to movie but it is a very thoghy provovative movie. Well made and writen, They conveyed the barbarism without gore - must see.
  81. EugeneN.
    Feb 4, 2005
    9
    This movie is about courage. A must see movie.
  82. amandal.
    Feb 3, 2005
    9
    Don Cheadle is absolutely wonderful, as is the rest of the cast. Heart-wrenching movie; definitely must-see.
  83. KarenC.
    Feb 3, 2005
    9
    I saw the movie with someone who had spent time in Rwanda and knew the history from it's source. People critical of the portrayal of Rwandans are looking for what they want to see and not what is actual. We were both impressed and moved. The movie was made to tell the true story of a hotel manager and his experience in those awful 90 days of genocide, not the whole story of Rwanda. I saw the movie with someone who had spent time in Rwanda and knew the history from it's source. People critical of the portrayal of Rwandans are looking for what they want to see and not what is actual. We were both impressed and moved. The movie was made to tell the true story of a hotel manager and his experience in those awful 90 days of genocide, not the whole story of Rwanda. This should not be compared to Schindler's list...the stories have similarities, but are not the same. Schindler had years to work out his humanitarian effort...Rusesabagina's situation was thrust on him in a matter of days and grew more harrowing at an alarming speed. Don Cheadle was fabulous and deserves an oscar for his performance. Rusesabagina oversaw the whole making of the movie, so I feel confident that it was true to his memory. Expand
  84. MichalF.
    Feb 2, 2005
    9
    My only concern about this remarkable movie is the sound track. I found there were a number of times that I could not hear what was being said,mostly because the musical and noixse background overwhelmed the speaker.
  85. M.A.Moran
    Feb 2, 2005
    10
    Don Cheadle is amazing, but Paul Rusesabagina is truly the man! Excellent and powerful film without being preachy or manipulative.
  86. BrianB
    Feb 1, 2005
    9
    A powerful, important, and well-crafted film. Extremely moving. Would rate a 10 if not for Nick Nolte. See this despite him (it's a minor role anyway). The rest of the cast is very convincing, and portray very real emotions. A movie that stays with you long after you see it. And the soundtrack is wonderful too.
  87. CeciS.
    Jan 31, 2005
    10
    Certainly the best picture of the year (for those who live in the real world and not in a delusional fantasy-land (either political or just plain lazyland-- I'm not sure where Mr. 0-1 and his friends are from, but I fear the former...) A tight, tense storyline, pitch-perfect performances (great actors who knew that this one was a classic, for the ages) and (obviously) a hero whose Certainly the best picture of the year (for those who live in the real world and not in a delusional fantasy-land (either political or just plain lazyland-- I'm not sure where Mr. 0-1 and his friends are from, but I fear the former...) A tight, tense storyline, pitch-perfect performances (great actors who knew that this one was a classic, for the ages) and (obviously) a hero whose real life story was sometimes even more unbelievable than the film condensation. The film-makers were quite brilliant in their treatment of the genocide, as it allowed some of those who would never go to a documentary-version to see this film...and it also allowed children to see it-- a very important factor. Cheadle is simply amazing, but there really was not a weak spot in the cast. Of course, he had to be, to play Paul R-- now there is a lesson to all. Expand
  88. MarkS
    Jan 31, 2005
    7
    While this movie does remind one of Schindler's list, that does not make it a bad movie. It just shows that there are many good people in the world who look out for others, even in the most trying times. This movie shows us what happened in Rwanda while the world took a blind eye. I would have liked a little more of the historical context for the fighting that went on, but this movie While this movie does remind one of Schindler's list, that does not make it a bad movie. It just shows that there are many good people in the world who look out for others, even in the most trying times. This movie shows us what happened in Rwanda while the world took a blind eye. I would have liked a little more of the historical context for the fighting that went on, but this movie was quite good even missing that. Expand
  89. DeniseJ.
    Jan 31, 2005
    10
    This was the most moving movie I have ever seen.
  90. BillK.
    Jan 30, 2005
    8
    Given the inflammatory nature of the material, the film's great virtue is its sobriety.
  91. riazd
    Jan 30, 2005
    9
    Powerful.
  92. e.bS.
    Jan 30, 2005
    10
    One of the years best films . a.m.a.z.i.n.g.
  93. abhijay
    Jan 30, 2005
    8
    Obviously a film about genocide can't be subtle and it's hard to take lines like, "why are people so cruel?" seriously, but there is a fascinating individual story here, a rich, palpable and pervasive tension that is convincingly rendered onscreen without being too preachy. the shots of the "whites" leaving in the rain were highlights. maybe too intense for some as i found Obviously a film about genocide can't be subtle and it's hard to take lines like, "why are people so cruel?" seriously, but there is a fascinating individual story here, a rich, palpable and pervasive tension that is convincingly rendered onscreen without being too preachy. the shots of the "whites" leaving in the rain were highlights. maybe too intense for some as i found myself gripping the handrest with unusual ferocity for extended periods of time. as for the rash of 0-1 scores on the previous page. it's quite obvious they were posted by the same user. take a look at how all of the names are structured in the same way - first name, last initial. someone with an unusually racist worldview has taken time to try to railroad the metacritic site, hopefully most people have either been spurred to discover the truth by reading these ignorant statements or been wise enough to ignore uninformed one-note dismissals of the movie based purely on some vague notion of a fabricated history. Expand
  94. AbbyC.
    Jan 29, 2005
    10
    The most powerful movie I have ever seen. You need a moment afterwards to digest what you saw.
  95. RP
    Jan 27, 2005
    10
    One of my top 10 for 2004. Gripping. Not as good as Schindler's List but close.
  96. SJAnderson
    Jan 26, 2005
    10
    Magnificent. This was one of the best movies I have seen all year. The story is moving and Don Cheadle gives the performance of a lifetime. Hotel Rwanda is a must see.
  97. judyT.
    Jan 26, 2005
    10
    Excellent movie. I couldn't stop crying. You can only see it once is you have a heart and a soul. We should learn a lesson, but we won't.
  98. RyanL.
    Jan 26, 2005
    9
    Compelling story of the abhorent nature of humanity to both hurt and turn a blind eye, while at the same time shows the power of the human spirit to overcome under unimaginable circumstances. Cheadle and Nolte performances are chillingly realistic set against the backdrop of true events allows this film to excel where others fail.
  99. SeanW.
    Jan 24, 2005
    10
    Sadly, this is a film that is not reaching the general populace. I thought the movie touched just the right balance in how much violence to show and withhold. One cannot demonstrate the horror of such an event by trying to show the violence. How could you show a million deaths? What they could do was show the affects on individual lives like the hotel manager or the girl who begged the Sadly, this is a film that is not reaching the general populace. I thought the movie touched just the right balance in how much violence to show and withhold. One cannot demonstrate the horror of such an event by trying to show the violence. How could you show a million deaths? What they could do was show the affects on individual lives like the hotel manager or the girl who begged the Western journalist not to leave her because she'd be taken out and chopped. I even felt for the U.N. soldiers who had been castrated by the politics of their superiors. Hearing the bitter irony behind the comments of the West as they refused to term the situation genocide made me ashamed to be a Westerner. Are we behaving any differently now with the genocide in Darfur? As one of the characters in the film related, we just say that "It's terrible." Then we go back to eating supper. I highly, highly recommend it. Expand
  100. jimb.
    Jan 23, 2005
    9
    People are...retarded? I can understand criticism about the movie in terms of diluting it's impact and that outside of the story itself, the movie doesn't do anything that unique. But the story carries the movie itself, and while it pulled several punches, the events that the story recounts are true. I'm not familiar with the character's story specifically, but the People are...retarded? I can understand criticism about the movie in terms of diluting it's impact and that outside of the story itself, the movie doesn't do anything that unique. But the story carries the movie itself, and while it pulled several punches, the events that the story recounts are true. I'm not familiar with the character's story specifically, but the film effectively outlines everything that caused the genocide, that it wasn't some ancient tribal conflict as portrayed by the media, making it seem that it was inevitable, but the cause of a very specific set of contemporary circumstances. That Hutus and Tutsis didn't even exist until Beligans colonized the area in the 1800's is 100 percent true, as is the fact that the UN and US dragged their feet for very politically motivated reasons. France really was selling weapons to the Hutu militia, the radio station that everyone listened to really existed, and the US was afraid to call the situation genocide to aviod another Somalia. It had nothing with any real difference between the two groups, but this manufactured class which the modern world had a hand in creating. That's the moral of the story I think, that the world all had a part in perpetrating the violence, both directly and through intenional inaction, even though we like to think of a conflict born exclusively from that region. The movie could have been much more devastating, in terms of depicting the violence and horror that happened, I have nothing against criticizing the movie itself, but to claim that these events never happened is a lie. Phil Hall is a PC wussy, things were easily that barbaric, and much more so, since the film has a tame pg-13 rating,, that's how an entire population was able to slaughter nearly an million people WITH MACHETES. If there wasn't such hysteria and brutality going on, the genocide wouldn't have happened. Objectively, the movies probably a 7 just on how it looks and all that, but the story it tells is one of the most important of our time, and it does a good job of staying out of the way and letting the events speak for themselves. Expand
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    40
    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.
  2. Cheadle impressively carries the entire picture, delivering the kind of note-perfect performance that's absolutely deserving of Oscar consideration.
  3. 80
    Hotel Rwanda, based on real lives and events, aims unequivocally to break your heart.