User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47

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  1. Mar 6, 2014
    0
    I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . I hate Japanese Women . Expand
  2. Feb 22, 2013
    10
    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 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
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    Wouldn't it have been more fascinating if, just once, they had to argue, as all debate teams must, against their own beliefs? That would have really tested these amazing kids' mettle--and the movie's too.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    Tailor-made for maximum inspirational, historical and educational impact, The Great Debaters shines a bright spotlight on a remarkable example of black achievement long forgotten in the sorry history of the Jim Crow South.
  3. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    50
    The film avoids potentially interesting frictions by always letting the team debate (and win) on the "correct" side of every issue--that which aligns with generally accepted modern liberal sympathies. The kids follow their party line all the way to the big game, a ridiculous, fallacy-riddled face-off against Harvard.