Ray

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 3 out of 158

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User Reviews

  1. Dec 27, 2011
    9
    Jamie Foxx's performance in "Ray" is one of the best since Marlon Brando was "The Godfather". Up there with Colin Firth's The King's Speech and Phillip Seymour Hoffman's Capote as the best historical movies. Exploring the life of Ray Charles, Ray shows his depressing life, which is hidden behind his great music.
  2. NickH
    Nov 20, 2005
    6
    Jamie Foxx may give a wonderful performance as Ray, but the movie on a whole isn't all that good. Outside of the character Ray, most of the dialouge is akwardly written. Regina King is the only one in the supporting cast who takes the script by the horns and really shines. Hackford, while a decent director, didn't seem ready to go out and make this movie - the whole film has a Jamie Foxx may give a wonderful performance as Ray, but the movie on a whole isn't all that good. Outside of the character Ray, most of the dialouge is akwardly written. Regina King is the only one in the supporting cast who takes the script by the horns and really shines. Hackford, while a decent director, didn't seem ready to go out and make this movie - the whole film has a sort of "made for TV" look about it. Sometimes I wonder that if Ray Charles hadn't died, would this movie have been so "amazing" to so many people? I doubt it, but Foxx and King would have still gotten the credit they deserved. Expand
  3. DavidC.
    Oct 30, 2004
    10
    Wow! Jamie Foxx's performance is very oscar worthy. I liked how they incorporated a lot of music in the movie and how it's unafraid of showing all the sides of Ray's life. It's also very inspirational and a good example for the artists of today to learn from.
  4. Katy
    Nov 3, 2004
    10
    This is the first 10 I've ever awarded on Metacritic. Emotionally moving, intellectually gripping, visually interesting, and ohhhh the MUSIC! I didn't want this one to end ... I wanted to know more and more about Ray and about the thoughts and feelings of these people he overlapped with. Jamie Foxx really was that good. Few biopic actors are able to be both imitators AND actors This is the first 10 I've ever awarded on Metacritic. Emotionally moving, intellectually gripping, visually interesting, and ohhhh the MUSIC! I didn't want this one to end ... I wanted to know more and more about Ray and about the thoughts and feelings of these people he overlapped with. Jamie Foxx really was that good. Few biopic actors are able to be both imitators AND actors at the same time, but he really maintained the balance throughout. Expand
  5. caseyk.
    Dec 10, 2005
    10
    It was the best movie ever! i loved it because i cried and smiled! ray charles is a strong man!
  6. Mar 18, 2013
    1
    Putting aside Charles' incredible body of music, and his impact on American (if not global) culture, I'm reviewing the movie, which is not a great one. I'm still pretty amazed, nearly a decade after this movie came out, how few people seem unperturbed by the degree of bad or over acting in this movie. Literally every single scene in this film has an example of it, and given the talent onPutting aside Charles' incredible body of music, and his impact on American (if not global) culture, I'm reviewing the movie, which is not a great one. I'm still pretty amazed, nearly a decade after this movie came out, how few people seem unperturbed by the degree of bad or over acting in this movie. Literally every single scene in this film has an example of it, and given the talent on call, the blame, as far as I am concerned, falls squarely on the shoulders of writer/director Taylor Hackford. Another issue I have is the editing/pace of dramatic scenes, which I found to be rushed, and therefore ineffectual. Perhaps laughably so. It's just hard to take this movie seriously at all, which is a big problem since it's so long. In it's rush to get to the end, the viewer is hustled along through Mr. Robinson's life like pilgrims through a museum with definite profit targets. Anything worth notice gets rushed, while everything that can be crammed in is. And then, at the end, we get crummy reading scenes that describe the rest of the movie. That's our reward for enduring this mess. More mess. In sum, "Ray" is overwrought, over-acted, corny, and too long. Expand
  7. Jan 7, 2011
    4
    The movie claims it is not the blindness that cripples one, but the drug abuse. Explains how to get along without one's eyes. A lot of music, but little insight into his music making. At times boring if you are not a Ray Charles fan.
  8. MarcusM
    Feb 7, 2005
    10
    Simply amazing. Ray alongside Collateral prove that Jamie Foxx is much more than a fill-in actor and slap-stick comedian. A very good movie, touching from start to finish and Foxx plays Mr. Charles beautifully. How you would pass this movie up and not owning it is beyond me.
  9. ChadS.
    Nov 10, 2004
    7
    What struck me most about "Ray" was the circumstances behind Charles' recording of "Georgia on my Mind". Buddy Holly recorded with a symphony shortly before he stepped onto that plane, and if Ray Charles overdosed on heroin, the great bluesman would've had the same sort of swansong as the great rock-and-roller. It was interesting to learn that "Georgia on my Mind" was viewed as What struck me most about "Ray" was the circumstances behind Charles' recording of "Georgia on my Mind". Buddy Holly recorded with a symphony shortly before he stepped onto that plane, and if Ray Charles overdosed on heroin, the great bluesman would've had the same sort of swansong as the great rock-and-roller. It was interesting to learn that "Georgia on my Mind" was viewed as a naked stab at the mainstream. Since "Ray" is so open about showing an artist's warts, it's a little jarring to see the film slip into sentimentality with that fantasy sequence. Jamie Foxx is convincing. Expand
  10. ArnoldP.
    Nov 8, 2004
    7
    Sizzling setimental entertainment with a cadre of terrific actors headed by the mesmarizing Foxx, all working their heart out. BUT if flawed, no I'm not an elitist snob, the pacing, the rhythm, the length, did not soar to match this incredible subject. There was a part of the directing that made scenes seem too old fashioned, almost formula, missing make this a more complete totally Sizzling setimental entertainment with a cadre of terrific actors headed by the mesmarizing Foxx, all working their heart out. BUT if flawed, no I'm not an elitist snob, the pacing, the rhythm, the length, did not soar to match this incredible subject. There was a part of the directing that made scenes seem too old fashioned, almost formula, missing make this a more complete totally involving story, not matching the occassional gems like the mother watching her child learn to deal with his loss of sight. The psychological revelation at the end as Charles deals with his lifelong demons was too simplistic, robbing us from seeing a great film, which it could have been. Maybe in these troubled times I wanted and expected too much, still I enjoyed the movie. Expand
  11. Kyle
    Dec 29, 2004
    7
    Effective and well acted, a conventional biopic that I wished had broken more conventions...like "Kinsey" did.
  12. RichardG.
    Oct 31, 2004
    8
    Great Movie! an Instant classic. Jamie Foxx was absolutely phenomenal in this movie. This movie showed his arrival as a big screen actor. He deserves and Oscar for his performace, it was flawless and gripping. The movie has a few flaws though, certain parts seemed rushed, and certain parts seemed not long enough. The movie follows a very noticable format with the songs being written and Great Movie! an Instant classic. Jamie Foxx was absolutely phenomenal in this movie. This movie showed his arrival as a big screen actor. He deserves and Oscar for his performace, it was flawless and gripping. The movie has a few flaws though, certain parts seemed rushed, and certain parts seemed not long enough. The movie follows a very noticable format with the songs being written and sung right after Ray went through a problem or scenario dealing with the lyrics in the song. The director Taylor Hackford must be blamed for this. The acting in the movie is suberb. This script is witty and wonderful and the settings are delightful. This is a very good tribute to the late Ray Charles. Expand
  13. DeAndreaE.
    Jan 10, 2005
    10
    I loved this movie because it showed Ray Charles's life to the fullest. It also showed a side of Jamie Fox that people don't usually see.
  14. DeaW.
    Feb 19, 2005
    9
    Excellent movie and great performance by Jamie Foxx. One of the better movies I've ever seen.
  15. PeterJ.
    Apr 28, 2005
    9
    Excellent movie. Jamie Foxx was sensational. I am not really into Ray's music all that much, but his "story" is what makes this movie. He overcame 3 tragedies at a young age, watching his young brother drown, going blind, and losing his mother. That, along with growing up in poverty, makes his success story even better. It is sad, however, that Ray got addicted to drugs and could not Excellent movie. Jamie Foxx was sensational. I am not really into Ray's music all that much, but his "story" is what makes this movie. He overcame 3 tragedies at a young age, watching his young brother drown, going blind, and losing his mother. That, along with growing up in poverty, makes his success story even better. It is sad, however, that Ray got addicted to drugs and could not stop womanizing. Great movie. Expand
  16. BruiNation
    May 9, 2005
    10
    The character of a trully great film is not how perfectly well it is produced, written, or directed, but how well it inspires you afterward. Ask yourself this...do you want to know more about Ray Charles, having seen this movie? Did you feel sorry for him, or did he make you angry? Either way, you must agree, he was a fantastic entertainer, his story needed to be told...if nothing more The character of a trully great film is not how perfectly well it is produced, written, or directed, but how well it inspires you afterward. Ask yourself this...do you want to know more about Ray Charles, having seen this movie? Did you feel sorry for him, or did he make you angry? Either way, you must agree, he was a fantastic entertainer, his story needed to be told...if nothing more than to help understand what trully drives a man to genius. This is the Best Film of the Year. Period. Way more inspiring than Million Dollar Baby. Jamie Foxx makes this movie possible. No question. See it, if nothing more than to capture a glimpse into the life of a man worthy of his fame, despite the realities of his persona. Expand
  17. BobH.
    Nov 17, 2004
    10
    I gave this movie a 10 because of Jamie Foxx. His performance is absolutely incredible. He will have you believing he IS Ray Charles. Having said that, the movie is depressing and not at all flattering to the late Mr. Charles. It dwells and centers on his life some forty years ago. It glosses over his recent accomplishments when he became a great humanitarian and a world ambassador of I gave this movie a 10 because of Jamie Foxx. His performance is absolutely incredible. He will have you believing he IS Ray Charles. Having said that, the movie is depressing and not at all flattering to the late Mr. Charles. It dwells and centers on his life some forty years ago. It glosses over his recent accomplishments when he became a great humanitarian and a world ambassador of love and peace. If for nothing else, see this movie for Jamie's portrayal of the legendary entertainer. Foxx is an absolute lock to win the Best Actor award next spring as it would prove a total travesty should he not win. Expand
  18. TheresaW.
    Nov 2, 2004
    10
    Jamie Foxx was amazing. He has arrived.
  19. MichaelM.
    Nov 2, 2004
    9
    The life of former Blues and Jazz pianist Ray Charles is simply mesmerizing. His struggle into the music industry from both being black and blind is almost impossible to believe. I knew this even before seeing "Ray", the new film by Taylor Hackford about musical legend Ray Charles, and I was a bit worried that the film would not do the man justice. However, all my fears or reservations The life of former Blues and Jazz pianist Ray Charles is simply mesmerizing. His struggle into the music industry from both being black and blind is almost impossible to believe. I knew this even before seeing "Ray", the new film by Taylor Hackford about musical legend Ray Charles, and I was a bit worried that the film would not do the man justice. However, all my fears or reservations about the film not living up to my expectations were put to rest as soon as the ending credits started to role. "Ray" is quite possible the best biopic drama I've ever seen. Despite it's few flaws, the film really digs deep into Ray Charles' life, and tells it like it is. It really doesn't make Charles out to be a saint, just a normal-mannered guy with mostly good intentions. The thing I admire most about "Ray" is it tells all the wonderful glorifying parts of Ray Charles' life, but it doesn't leave out or skimp around the unglorifying parts. They show "Ray" engaged in many affairs outside of his marriage without regard for his wife. They could have told this part more lightly, or had Charles be really sorry about this, but they didn't. I truly admire that! As for Ray Charles heroin addiction, they portray that in full gritty detail also. They really show how the drugs make him into a monster, instead of just breezing by that chapter of his life to get to the more inspiring parts. As for the message "Ray" sends -- it's a positive one for the recently desceased blues sensation. It pretty much shows him as a basically good man who got involved with things that altered his usually good natured train of thought. As for the acting in the film, it's absolutley OUTSTANDING. "Ray" boasts the very best ensemble film cast of the year so far. The film contains something that is very rare for any film -- not one single weak performance. The best performance in the film however, is Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles himself. Jamie Foxx plays Ray with such passion, authenticity and craft, you'd think you were watching the actual Ray Charles himself on screen. Foxx doesn't just deliver the best performance of his career, he also proves to the audience that he has a truly good understanding of the legend he is potraying. You can definetly count on Jamie Foxx picking up an Academy Award, or at least a nomination early next years at the Oscars. In conclusion, "Ray" is a brilliant acheivement, that despite it's small flaws (like running a little too long), shows us how amazing the late Ray Charles really was. Grade: A- Expand
  20. MarcK.
    Dec 19, 2004
    7
    It is a rare situation where I agree with the MetaCritic score, but this time I do. The best parts of this movie are the scenes where we see Ray as a little boy with his Mom (truly moving), and of course Jamie Foxx. However, I will say the film was a bit too long, and tended to drag at the end.
  21. MaryP.
    Dec 20, 2004
    10
    This movie had me sitting on the edge of my seat not an action thriller, but it was a thrill to see the actors on screen especially Jamie Fox...whew! I see photos of Ray Charles now and think of Jamie. He was 'Ray'...an awesome tribute to an awesome man by an awesome man! Whether he gets an Oscar or not, which he should, this movie was a historical, romantic, musicial, dramatic This movie had me sitting on the edge of my seat not an action thriller, but it was a thrill to see the actors on screen especially Jamie Fox...whew! I see photos of Ray Charles now and think of Jamie. He was 'Ray'...an awesome tribute to an awesome man by an awesome man! Whether he gets an Oscar or not, which he should, this movie was a historical, romantic, musicial, dramatic masterpiece with a little humor to spice it up! Love you Jamie! Keep up the good work... Mary P. Expand
  22. MikeG.
    Dec 4, 2004
    8
    A very good film about one of the most endearing musical icons in American R&B history. I thought Jaime Foxx was very good, but not amazing. What I enjoyed about the movie was how adriotly it covered the journey of a poor African-American blind man to the heights of superstardom. Instead of falling back on the usual cliches and proud speeches, the movie simply showed Ray Charles as the A very good film about one of the most endearing musical icons in American R&B history. I thought Jaime Foxx was very good, but not amazing. What I enjoyed about the movie was how adriotly it covered the journey of a poor African-American blind man to the heights of superstardom. Instead of falling back on the usual cliches and proud speeches, the movie simply showed Ray Charles as the flawed guy he was, without any apologies. It's refreshing to see a biography that avoids taking sides as much as possible yet doesn't avoid civil rights, drug use or any of the other issues a weaker movie might have skirted around. Expand
  23. Larry
    Dec 6, 2004
    10
    Great acting by Mr. Foxx as he is sure to win the Best Actor trophy. He will have you believing he is Ray Charles.
  24. tillieh.
    Oct 29, 2004
    10
    Here comes the oscar.
  25. KennethM.
    Oct 29, 2004
    10
    I Thought this movie captured the very essense of the spirit ot this singer. Ray has the ability to cross boundaries through his lyrics and heartfelt performances. For a hollywood movie i thought justice was done for a full life, presented in two hours. Regina King and Jamie Foxx were outstanding in the characterizations.
  26. armandos.
    Feb 13, 2005
    8
    The best thing about this movie is Jamie Fox's performance and the music supplied by Ray Charles. The director suggests that Ray's heroin addiction could be attibuted to a childhood trauma that he experienced-to somehow mask the pain of the memory. The device the director uses of flashing back to Ray's childhood will either give more emotional resonance for viewers, or may The best thing about this movie is Jamie Fox's performance and the music supplied by Ray Charles. The director suggests that Ray's heroin addiction could be attibuted to a childhood trauma that he experienced-to somehow mask the pain of the memory. The device the director uses of flashing back to Ray's childhood will either give more emotional resonance for viewers, or may strike others as a contrivance. You be the judge. Expand
  27. y.chavez
    Apr 6, 2005
    7
    It was a really good movie and it stole my heart. it is deprssing to see a talented young, disabled man fall due to drugs but i was very happy at the end when he finally changed even if it was hard for him.
  28. ChuckM.
    Aug 21, 2005
    8
    Best musical performance by an actor that I've ever seen - Jamie Foxx does a great job of convincing me (a professional musician) that he was Ray Charles & could play the piano. I liked the movie, but was not incredibly simpathetic for a drug-using adulterer.
  29. MarkB.
    Nov 13, 2004
    8
    Four months-plus before the Oscars always runs the huge risk of being far too soon to call, but even at this early date the most apropos term to describe the four other guys running against Jamie Foxx for Best Actor could very well be "superfluous". (Sorry, Paul, Leonardo, Johnny and Jim; I call 'em as I see 'em.) No doubt that the producers and director Taylor Hackford Four months-plus before the Oscars always runs the huge risk of being far too soon to call, but even at this early date the most apropos term to describe the four other guys running against Jamie Foxx for Best Actor could very well be "superfluous". (Sorry, Paul, Leonardo, Johnny and Jim; I call 'em as I see 'em.) No doubt that the producers and director Taylor Hackford could've found a dozen other actors, comedians or comic actors who could "do" Ray Charles; Foxx BECOMES him. The movie itself is big, uneven and a little unwieldy, with a jittery flashback structure that seems uncertain and a bit haphazard at the starting gate but falls into place more smoothly as Charles' story gains momentum. While in typical Hollywood biopic manner some of the character motivations are a tad oversimplified (a bit too much is handily explained by the tragic accidental drowning of Ray's little brother George) there are other admirable examples in which the protagonist makes life-changing decisions for realistically vague reasons, in the best Schindler's List tradition. (In Lady Sings the Blues, Billie Holiday's life-ruining drug addiction is far too neatly attributed to her horror at witnessing a lynching; here Charles gets hooked because he...well, he gets curious about it. Similarly, his decision to boycott Georgia as a performing site because of its segregation policies is depicted as a spur-of-the-moment choice.) The power of the material, the subject and Foxx's performance really seem to up the game of director Hackford, who's normally a middling, slightly self-important talent whose best fictional film (and only other big box office hit) was An Officer and a Gentleman, which became old enough to smoke and drink last year. For every familiar sequence Hackford delivers that would feel right at home in a 1959 musical bio (some of the montages depicting Ray's climb are really hokey), he also comes up with one that's truly inspired: the brother's death, which is more horrifying than I anticipated it would be, or the movie's highlight: a flashback to Charles' childhood, when his blindness has become full and he starts learning to depend on his hearing...and Hackford lets his sound effects crew go wild. Again, it can't be too strongly emphasized that the major reason Ray succeeds and satisfies so admirably (besides, of course, the wonderful music) is Foxx's landmark portrayal. It not only equals but surpasses such historic depictions of American musical luminaries as James Cagney's George M. Cohan, Doris Day's Ruth Etting, Diana Ross's Billie Holiday and Kevin Kline's Cole Porter because, as terrific as those were (especially Cagney's), you never forget you're watching Jimmy, Dodo, Di and Kev. Foxx on the hand, so becomes a part of Ray Charles that he completely disappears. Expand
  30. SusanB
    Nov 18, 2004
    9
    Foxx is incredible, and so is this film. Although it wasn't a film I wanted to see, (I was dragged by friends) it sucked me in right from the start and never let go. I learned a great deal about a man with whom I was pretty unfamiliar (other than Pepsi commercials) but what a joyous celebration of his life, warts and all.
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Unlike his songs, the film holds something back. It goes deep into a life filled with as much trouble and pain as triumph and accomplishment but never quite gets at the root of who Ray is.
  2. 88
    Jamie Foxx gets so far inside the man and his music that he and Ray Charles seem to breathe as one.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Bursting at the seams with music, Taylor Hackford's ambitious film provides a good sense of the pioneering entertainer's extraordinary journey and brings it to life with plenty of colorful detail.