User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30

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  1. Jul 25, 2013
    Although based on real events, the filmmakers go to great lengths to make it clear that this is a work of fiction. As such it works very well; it is a very powerful drama that puts the fight for civil rights to the fore. I must say I found it quite thought provoking, very well made and really well shot. The performances were all excellent with (for me), Gene Hackman standing out; although I thought Willem Dafoe was very good and Brad Dourif was excellent as the loathsome Deputy Pell. I also have to mention a couple of small roles; it was nice to see both Stephen Tobolowsky as Clayton Townley and R. Lee Ermey as Mayor Tilman; I know they didn’t have an awful lot to do, but they were both quality. Over all, an interesting drama that kept me interested all the way through a definite ‘must’ for any cinephile.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    My score: 8.7/10.
  2. Jan 4, 2013
    This film is a classic. It is truly gripping with the detectives playing two sensational performances. In particular, the violent scene at the barbers shop is excellent. The film also plays with all the emotions and sometimes is painful to watch as we witness the cruelty and suffering caused by the KKK in Mississippi.
  3. Jul 28, 2012
    Comprised mostly of racial abuse and interrogations, this portrayal of a certain historical event is flawed because it is all jumbled together, thinly veiled as a historical masterpiece. The difficulty of using these racial themes within film is the accuracy that it is shown in order to be of certain historical value. It is one thing that you use an event from history and go slightly off track to improve it, it is another thing that you take an event from history and change it around into a complete mess that disrupts the perhaps flawless construction of history. Of course, this film is of little entertainment value, not because of the violent, horrific aspects, but because of the intensity. It wasn't all doom and gloom in the 1960's, but I suppose you could expect that from something titled 'Mississippi Burning'. At least the ending provided something a little more cheerful, despite the fact many people had been killed in the process. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. 80
    Parker, a director of breadth, not depth, never supplies the big answers, but he does powerfully depict the climate of the Confederacy in the "Freedom Summer" of 1964.
  2. 100
    Apart from its pure entertainment value - this is the best American crime movie in years - it is an important statement about a time and a condition that should not be forgotten. The Academy loves to honor prestigious movies in which long-ago crimes are rectified in far-away places. Here is a nominee with the ink still wet on its pages.
  3. Reviewed by: Wayne King
    For those who know such places, Mr. Parker, who is English, evokes the texture, the gritty, fly-specked Southernness, the brooding sense of small-town menace, the racial hatred, with considerable accuracy.