Weinstein Company, The | Release Date: December 25, 2007
7.5
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Generally favorable reviews based on 59 Ratings
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7
FadeBlackJun 3, 2017
A very, very well made movie, important and inspirational subject matter, very likable cast...but lacking in any real strong conflict. There are a couple of scenes of real tension, but it never really steps out into full gear.
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8
greatjumel08Aug 6, 2016
This film is exciting and inspiring. The story of racism and discrimination. How the black isolated from the white. What makes the story exciting is how they fought this kind of dilemma. They did not used violence or arms to stop it. But theThis film is exciting and inspiring. The story of racism and discrimination. How the black isolated from the white. What makes the story exciting is how they fought this kind of dilemma. They did not used violence or arms to stop it. But the power of words. The power of reasoning. The power of imaginations which make the big difference. Facing the best University is not only bravery but also the spirit of unity. Enjoy watching! Expand
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9
jacobborssenSep 12, 2014
We’re in the middle of the 1930’s. The great depression, the rasism flows in the south, black people get lynched without having any protection by the law. The black fighter James Braddock has recently defeated the white, mighty Max Baer whichWe’re in the middle of the 1930’s. The great depression, the rasism flows in the south, black people get lynched without having any protection by the law. The black fighter James Braddock has recently defeated the white, mighty Max Baer which 70 years later results in the movie Cinderella Man. Denzel Washington is about to do the same thing as the director of Cinderella Man: he takes on a true story of the eventful 1930’s. The movie is called ’’The Great Debaters’’ and it’s about a black debate team in Texas. Lead by the engaged and strong-willed english teacher Melvin Tolson (Denzel Washington), this personality-strong debate team starts to experience success no one could even imagine. The movie is well made, rich on details and tells us about an interesting time-period which contributes to the success within an already proven genre.

At the time of the action American Universities were still race-regulated and the black Wiley College in Texas had a successful debate team. The purpose with this debate team is to travel and meet other debaters from others schools in a form of a contest in rhetorics and argumentative techniques. Mr. Tolson, the teacher, handpicks a little group of smart students to represent the school. He declares, quite frankly, that he chooses this team for best possible balance: Two ordinary debaters, one researcher and one substitute. Henry Love, a drinking buffoon which is strongly intelligent. Hamilton Burgees, a fat superb debater. Samantha Booke, the substitute and the only female debater in the movie in all matters. James Farmer Jr., the extremely talented researcher, a boy who’s four years younger than everyone else in the group.

During Tolsons capable leadership and strongly pathos based arguments, this debate team starts to win. First against other black colleges and eventually they start winning against white universities. Their winning streak grows and in the end they get the privilege to debate against the reigning champions, the famous Harvard University. The road to get there was long and lined by troubles, sprung from the intolerant social society and Mr. Tolsons radical personality and what he does on his free time.

I would lie if I didn’t say that this movie is one of those ‘’win against all odds’’ kind of movies. But it’s not only that, it’s something much more. It’s a movie based on a true story which depicts the hectic relationships between the black and the white society, where the protagonists are exposed to rasism and even lynchings. The movie also touches questions about love, nurture and gender during a time where people had a really conversative view against these phenomenons.

It can seem hard to do debates, where the questions and responses already have been assigned, thrilling in a movie - but that’s something that the director has thought about. The debate scenes are kept short and have one bad peculiarity: our Wiley team always draws for the ’’good side’’ which makes the movie so political correct. It would have been intriguing to see the Wiley team debate against something that represents themselves.

The joint between The Great Debaters and the movie Cinderella Man as mentioned earlier, is many. The composure is similar and the narrative in both movies is something extraordinary. Both movies unfolds during the eventful 1930’s and shows us about the large racial differences, the inequality between men and women and the money crisis during that time. The largest dividing points are that The Great Debaters also showed us about the big differences in the school system at that time.

Washington really knows how to control the genre of serious drama. The composure is flawless but predictable. The writers did bring all the actual events into the movie, added some fictitious scenes and places the scenes is the perfect order to make a good movie. The slow beginning of the movie has the ability to capture us, much thanks to Denzel’s authority. The controversy comes somewhere in the middle of the movie and follows by a brilliant second half. The recess comes during the second half of the movie and it’s what makes the movie so great. The final argument we hear in the last debate , strongly based on events that happened during the movie, still rings in that crammed Harvard courtroom. Not necessarily peaceful and humble, but strong. Perhaps even radically.

Based on a true story, the director and writers have made a unique and capturing narrative. The story about Wiley College is something I take with me every time I think about, write or discuss anything about racial differences or the 1930’s. The final argument made by James Farmer Jr. still gives me goosebumps and is probably one of the best ending scenes I’ve ever seen. Denzel Washington, have with this movie, proved to the film industry and the audience that he can do more than just acting.
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10
Tss5078Feb 22, 2013
The Great Debaters is another inspirational tale of the oppressed, but unlike most, this film has the distinction of being pretty close to historically accurate. I was hesitant to see this film, because who wants to watch a film about aThe Great Debaters is another inspirational tale of the oppressed, but unlike most, this film has the distinction of being pretty close to historically accurate. I was hesitant to see this film, because who wants to watch a film about a debate team? Denzel Washington, however, happens to be one of my favorite actors, so I gave it a shot and learned quite a bit. The debate team was just an instrument, and was comprised of four people who would all go on to play significant roles in the Civil Rights Movement. The films follows award winning author, Melvin Tolson (Washington), on his journey to create the best African-American College debate team in the country, a team that would eventually go on to challenge the debate team at Harvard University. Everything about this movie was extremely powerful and well done. From the language to the graphic imagery to the story and the performances I was completely blown away by this film. I went into it thinking, if it's bad I'll turn if off after a half-hour. Now, I'm thinking about watching it again tomorrow. This is the way historical films should be done, The Great Debaters was fair, accurate, and just a great film! Expand
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9
JayH.Mar 15, 2008
Inspiring, disturbing, engrossing and well-told. This is a movie that will long be remembered as it made a deep impression on someone far removed from the setting of the story.
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8
GeorgeMovieJan 22, 2008
Just a very good movie with superior acting.
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0
JustinC.Jan 19, 2008
Director Denzel Washington and producer Oprah Winfrey sizzle up the bacon with a smart idea. And you know what? This idea succeeds, director Denzel Washington certainly functioned this film with a heart, but no soul. It is mechanically let Director Denzel Washington and producer Oprah Winfrey sizzle up the bacon with a smart idea. And you know what? This idea succeeds, director Denzel Washington certainly functioned this film with a heart, but no soul. It is mechanically let out, sappy, and weak. It isn't the spoiled product Denzel and Oprah are selling, and making money off of, and the Golden Globe nomination. It is the motion capture, it has crisp cinematography, but no fun. The day time being used for each scene is practically a seemingly 3:15 in the afternoon, with that sun starting to set, all nice and bright. It just bores you by the poor lighting, and camera-shot views. There is nothing special about this, just that I am very surprised what I am seeing here on the internet. What's the hype anyway? I didn't know so many people liked Oprah. Maybe its Denzel Washington, coming back to life on the big screen a month or so later than his previous installment American Gangster, starring as Frank Lucas. Just the problem with The Great Debaters is that Denzel's argument is Exceedingly weak, racism about black people in most movies is a settling downfall to see them do the exact same thing again in this. And they obviously win the debate, but its just a bore, it is pointless. The story is good, the movie could have came to a great success, but I was just left Awfully disappointed. This is probably the biggest letdown of the year. Expand
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10
petel.Jan 8, 2008
The story takes the viewer back in time, and masterfully gives the viewer a peak of what used to be.Washington as always is amazing, along with the other actors notably the young Denzel Whitaker. A MUST FOR ALL AGES AND RACE.
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6
BillyS.Jan 5, 2008
It may star Denzel Washington, he may have directed it, and he does both with commendable results, but The Great Debaters has got Oprah Winfrey written all over it. You've got oppression and rising above it, finding your inner-self and It may star Denzel Washington, he may have directed it, and he does both with commendable results, but The Great Debaters has got Oprah Winfrey written all over it. You've got oppression and rising above it, finding your inner-self and becoming true to your spirit, following your dream and realizing it's in your grasp, just hold on to it and become the beautiful downtrodden soul that you truly are. The only thing missing was a placard hailing Borak Obama and a plug for her school in South Africa!! If you love the teachings of the Oprah, you'll love this movie, if you love Denzel, go see American Gangster. Expand
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10
AndrewK.Jan 3, 2008
Unforgettable story of tenacity in the face of naked oppression.
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10
LauraV.Jan 1, 2008
They really should have used USC instead of Harvard to give USC credit for being one of the early universities trying to break down the color barriers. That would be my only critique. Otherwise, it's a fine study of human courage in the They really should have used USC instead of Harvard to give USC credit for being one of the early universities trying to break down the color barriers. That would be my only critique. Otherwise, it's a fine study of human courage in the face of adversity and keeping one's dignity when put in horrible situations. Expand
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7
ChadS.Dec 29, 2007
A college/university, even in a traditionally republican-voting state like Oklahoma, are liberal bastions that repudiates the opposing ideology of its conservative constituency. The sometimes hokey, sometimes uplifting "Great Debaters" ably A college/university, even in a traditionally republican-voting state like Oklahoma, are liberal bastions that repudiates the opposing ideology of its conservative constituency. The sometimes hokey, sometimes uplifting "Great Debaters" ably demonstrates this demarcation when Wiley College debates Oklahoma City. Wiley wins the debate(scored by university officials), but not the hearts and minds of the people(townies). As each racial group claps subjectively on the topic of intergrating colleges, you're reminded of the O.J. Simpson trial when television cameras captured our country's ongoing racial division after the jury's verdict of innocence was announced. A film like "The Great Debaters" is bittersweet because our country has a long way to go. Henry Lowe(Nate Parker) is the heart of the film. After witnessing a lynch mob put the finishing touch on a desecrated man, Henry retreats into the role of "The Invisible Man"(the Ralph Ellison novel) because he sees no future for an educated black man. Henry doesn't forget where he comes from(a backwater). Hamilton(Jermaine Williams), on the other hand, quits the debate team because of Mr. Tolson's politics. He forgets who he is. Collapse
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10
JenniferDec 29, 2007
Awesome movie!!! This is a good quality film. Well done. Make sure you don't miss this movie. Very inspiring!
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9
JimC.Dec 28, 2007
Should've gone for topicality. Or maybe the K. Otherwise, good film.
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7
DaveW.Dec 28, 2007
Good move but "The Master Debaters" was a much more entertaining flick.
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9
bobbymDec 27, 2007
A really good film. I would have liked to have met the real Tolson. The lynching and the pig scenes explain much about the American Black experience. They provide rationale for understanding the emotional response of most Blacks even though A really good film. I would have liked to have met the real Tolson. The lynching and the pig scenes explain much about the American Black experience. They provide rationale for understanding the emotional response of most Blacks even though lynching is no longer a real threat in America. Expand
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10
DionneG.Dec 27, 2007
very touching movie. I cried, i laughed, and ultimately i enjoyed the movie. Glad I saw it and I would recommend it to all
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9
MarjorieS.Dec 27, 2007
I think this is a very, very important movie.
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10
BeverlyS.Dec 27, 2007
This movie based on a true story was moving. I live in Phoenix, Arizona where there are very few African Americans and I am African American so I made sure I saw this particular movie before it left the theaters. I was not the only one in This movie based on a true story was moving. I live in Phoenix, Arizona where there are very few African Americans and I am African American so I made sure I saw this particular movie before it left the theaters. I was not the only one in the theatre crying during the film yet I was the only Black person at the showing. It was so good to see us as a race even though we were held back in many ways be successful in showing what we can do even though were not treated fairly. I am so proud to be Black and American, African American. Everyone no matter their race should see this movie. Expand
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9
MartyK.Dec 26, 2007
A truly inspiring story, very well acted, produced, and directed. You will definitely leave the theater feeling better than when you entered!
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10
EarlB.Dec 26, 2007
No competion anymore on best picture, best director, best supporting actor(whitaker)!!! This is a must see movie for all races, natioanities, and ages. Exceptional script, cast, story, and direction. Not a Denzel fan per say, but he truly No competion anymore on best picture, best director, best supporting actor(whitaker)!!! This is a must see movie for all races, natioanities, and ages. Exceptional script, cast, story, and direction. Not a Denzel fan per say, but he truly outdid himself on this one!!!!! Expand
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9
EdnaM.Dec 26, 2007
An inspiring MUST SEE. Can't wait to see it again.
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