• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Feb 25, 2008
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. The women are the more critical characters, in any case, and Rashad, McDonald and Lathan give the show all the power it needs for its uncomfortable and frustrating yet in some ways hopeful ride through the life of a black family in 1950s Chicago.
  2. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    The women are the main event here, including the wonderful Audra McDonald (also a Tony winner) as Walter Lee's long-suffering wife and Sanaa Lathan as his spunky sister. It would take a hard heart not to root for this family, to cry with them or to rejoice when they finally get their moment in the sun.
  3. 90
    This knockout adaptation of the Lorraine Hansberry play is a model of both the pure power of stage acting and TV’s potential to bring us up close to that acting without deadening it.
  4. 100
    As terrific as the three women are, the movie would not have been made without Combs and would not work as well without him
  5. 80
    At three hours, this adaptation might seem a bit lengthy, but when Raisin’s female cast members are on the screen, the time flies by.
  6. Those three performances are so good that they lift up everyone around them, whether it's Combs (best whenever he has Rashad or McDonald to spar with) or John Stamos, surprisingly subtle in what could be a thankless role as the white man who doesn't want the Youngers moving into his neighborhood.
  7. 100
    Combs does a great, great job--especially for someone who isn't known as an actor. And the rest of this cast glows. Don't miss it--and don't let your kids miss it either.
  8. The play, and the production, might have been better served by rolling a few cameras into the theater, but I know that isn't how people like to do these things.
  9. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    90
    Rapper Sean Combs holds his own as ambitious son Walter Lee Jr., but Phylicia Rashad is devastating as a matriarch trying to hold her family together when a dream deferred turns dangerous.
  10. It seems more a collection of cliches than the revered semiautobiographical work of the first black woman playwright to land on Broadway, a woman whose father fought a restrictive racial covenant all the way to the Supreme Court to keep his family's home in a white Chicago neighborhood in the '30s.
  11. 100
    ABC's new version of A Raisin in the Sun deserves fanfare: It's a strong contender for best TV movie of the season.
  12. This three-hour production, starring most of the cast of the 2004 Broadway revival, flies by with lightning speed--and that cast led by Ms. Rashad, superbly authoritative, impossibly attractive as Lena, is no small part of the reason. Ms. McDonald is heartbreaking as Ruth, desperate to understand her husband's descent into misery, and Mr. Combs, who portrays that husband, delivers a sterling performance.
  13. There are no mediocre performances here.
  14. Reviewed by: Eddy Weiss
    100
    It's a beauty--in many ways richer than the Broadway production--and should not be missed.
  15. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    83
    The whole production is a model of subtle adaptation.
  16. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    80
    No one will mistake this well-produced but inevitably dialogue-driven piece for pure cinema, but Leon and adapter Paris Qualles open up the play just enough to avoid the usual stage-to-screen claustrophobia.
  17. Reviewed by: James Greenberg
    80
    The staging remains a bit creaky, but none of this diminishes the spirit of the play or the cast's commitment to the material, which almost seems palpable. It's still a provocative, powerful piece of work.
  18. Reviewed by: Linda Winer
    70
    This handsome, moodily shot movie liberates the play from the confines of the tiny apartment with almost too many scenes on the bus, in a bar and, most chilling, in the back room of a beauty shop where the neighborhood abortionist boils forceps.
  19. Reviewed by: Chris Rawson
    80
    [The audience] will see some wonderful acting, especially from the luminous McDonald as Walter Lee's wife, Ruth. And they will see the movie debut of director Leon, who has helped turn these fine stage performances into convincing movie work, with the help of a screenplay by Paris Qualles that opens up the play into small additional scenes that will be a special pleasure for those who already know the play on stage.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. MattR.
    Jun 27, 2008
    10
    I have read the book for this play and the movie is just as good if not better than the play. it shows how racism and the hardships of people I have read the book for this play and the movie is just as good if not better than the play. it shows how racism and the hardships of people can be overcome by staying together as a family. This is a must watch movie Full Review »
  2. [Anonymous]
    Mar 27, 2008
    6
    Better Luck, Next Time. The women carried the show. I never felt the passion of Walter Lee Younger from Sean Combs (P.Diddy). P.Diddy should Better Luck, Next Time. The women carried the show. I never felt the passion of Walter Lee Younger from Sean Combs (P.Diddy). P.Diddy should fall back, in performing the character Walter, and do what he does best as an Executive Producer - "Behind the Scene". Full Review »
  3. SR.
    Mar 16, 2008
    10
    This was easily the best production I've seen on commercial television in years. I know it was risky and I certainly hope it was worth This was easily the best production I've seen on commercial television in years. I know it was risky and I certainly hope it was worth the risk to ABC and the advertisers. It was way worth it to me. Full Review »