Magnolia Pictures | Release Date: December 9, 2016
5.5
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 143 Ratings
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Positive:
78
Mixed:
9
Negative:
56
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10
lysseyDec 13, 2016
Amazing, Well thought out, provoking and yet so starkly and most depressingly familiar. Jimmy Baldwin was a man of which we could tell many stories but this one felt much needed, well crafted and supremely relevant today. Raoul painted theAmazing, Well thought out, provoking and yet so starkly and most depressingly familiar. Jimmy Baldwin was a man of which we could tell many stories but this one felt much needed, well crafted and supremely relevant today. Raoul painted the unfinished story of blacks in america with Baldwin's forever eloquent rhetoric. Expand
17 of 37 users found this helpful1720
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10
kirkersDec 17, 2016
Don't be fooled by the racist trolls driving down the score. Just see the documentary! It is everything the pro reviewers say it is, and more. Worth it simply for Samuel L. Jackson's narrative voice.
20 of 49 users found this helpful2029
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5
Brent_MarchantFeb 5, 2017
A fine collection of powerful images, prose and messages that, regrettably, never coalesces into a cogent, well-organized whole. Despite its insightful parallels between Baldwin's observations and contemporary events, the film's narrative isA fine collection of powerful images, prose and messages that, regrettably, never coalesces into a cogent, well-organized whole. Despite its insightful parallels between Baldwin's observations and contemporary events, the film's narrative is all over the map, desperately searching for direction to get its points across. There's probably a good movie in there somewhere; it just doesn't show in the finished product. Expand
6 of 6 users found this helpful60
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2
UncleWillardMar 12, 2019
This is not as impactful as people think. This has been done to death and the documentary brings nothing new to the table. I'm really surprised this is where it is on this list. It's as if critics feel they have to elevate anything that talksThis is not as impactful as people think. This has been done to death and the documentary brings nothing new to the table. I'm really surprised this is where it is on this list. It's as if critics feel they have to elevate anything that talks about race, sexuality (especially non-heterosexual sexuality), or gender. I mean, tell those stories, but at least bring something new to the table. This does not. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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8
TVJerryFeb 18, 2017
James Baldwin was a distinguished black writer and an outspoken critic of race relations in America. There are elements of a traditional doc in this film, but it's more an artistic treatise using Baldwin's eloquent words (quietly voiced byJames Baldwin was a distinguished black writer and an outspoken critic of race relations in America. There are elements of a traditional doc in this film, but it's more an artistic treatise using Baldwin's eloquent words (quietly voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) and charismatic on-screen appearances to delineate his musings on the subject. It's supported with disturbing historical photos and excerpts from Hollywood films. There is a focus on 3 great leaders of the civil rights movement (Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King), but the extended analysis sometimes becomes repetitive or seems to ramble. Even so, this is a forceful examination that sadly still rings true more than 50 years later. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
pogobryan72Feb 8, 2017
This is one of the most moving and thought-provoking documentaries I have ever seen. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I would consider it essential viewing in the post-Obama era.
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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10
oysterishFeb 8, 2017
I left this film moved and impressed by James Baldwin. I was impressed by him as a human being, really. Although racism was his subject, he spoke with such depth and insight that his real subject was broader than that. His clarity and wisdomI left this film moved and impressed by James Baldwin. I was impressed by him as a human being, really. Although racism was his subject, he spoke with such depth and insight that his real subject was broader than that. His clarity and wisdom touch all of us in our humanity. Go see this movie. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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10
StevieGJDFeb 9, 2017
I suspect that every 0 rating was posted by someone who did not see the movie and is a racist, a homophobe, or both. Any intelligent person who sees this movie could not give it a 0. I must admit that I knew who James Baldwin was beforeI suspect that every 0 rating was posted by someone who did not see the movie and is a racist, a homophobe, or both. Any intelligent person who sees this movie could not give it a 0. I must admit that I knew who James Baldwin was before this film, but I had not read anything more than a short essay of his in college. I was completely blown away by his intelligence, his insight and his verbal acuity in numerous old television appearances. It is so sad that there are so many people in this country who hate people because they are black or because they are white or because they are gay or because they have the audacity to challenge existing societal norms. One of the most amazing things about Baldwin that I got from this film is that he, unlike other outspoken civil rights leaders of the 1960s, is that he didn't hate white people. He just saw what was so obvious to him then, and is obvious to me now, that there are many ignorant people who hate other people based on their skin color, ethnicity or religion. This film was so powerful to me that I watched another documentary about him the next day and I am now reading Baldwin. If you have an open mind and want to learn about a great writer and communicator then this is a movie you will adore. But posting a 0 review for a movie you did not see is just ignorant. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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7
GreatMartinFeb 10, 2017
(Disclosure--not full: I met James Baldwin at the 92nd Street YMCA in NYC just after his second book "Giovanna's Room" was published and he was participating on a panel for what was very rare at that time talking about gay sex, black men and(Disclosure--not full: I met James Baldwin at the 92nd Street YMCA in NYC just after his second book "Giovanna's Room" was published and he was participating on a panel for what was very rare at that time talking about gay sex, black men and women in the 1950s none of the 3 related to each other. At that time he was friends with Marlon Brando and Wally Cox and I had lived next door to the former and when he saw me he hugged me and asked me to join them for a bite to eat afterwards. For awhile I became part of their circle though I certainly was on the outer circle!)

With all that said after he went to live in Paris I didn't see him nor when he came back so I didn't know too much about his last book that wasn't finished when he died and Director Raoul Peck decided to make this documentary using Baldwin's words, and public appearances, to finish the book.

James Baldwin knew Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Junior, and all 4 men, in the 1970s, wrote and spoke about events that took place many decades before and, unaware, all talked about events that are taking place today.

"I Am Not Your Negro" is an in your face look at race relations in our country from day one until today and though it is Oscar nominated it would be better seen on HBO or PBS or showed in classrooms for all ages.

I do hope whoever sees this will be lead to the readings of James Baldwin's from his "Go Tell It On The Mountain" to "Giovanni's Room", "The Fire Next Time", "Notes Of A Native Son", "Another Country" just to name a few that will have you entertained, moved, educated and intrigued.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
MetaflixMar 9, 2017
I Am Not Your Negro is a powerful--and timely--documentary that makes clear the story of race relations in America is still being written. Directed by Raoul Peck and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the film presents vast amounts of archivalI Am Not Your Negro is a powerful--and timely--documentary that makes clear the story of race relations in America is still being written. Directed by Raoul Peck and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the film presents vast amounts of archival footage from the civil rights era, juxtaposed against modern day representations of racial conflict, in which both the past and present are contextualized by the words of writer James Baldwin.

Given that the source material is nearly 40 years old, many of Baldwin’s thoughts and opinions on the black experience in America ought to feel dated, yet the overall feeling leaving the theater isn't about how far we've come, but how much farther we still have to go.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
abrownoneJan 31, 2017
Anyone who wants to know where America has been and where it's headed should give this a watch. I would also recommend reading some books from James Baldwin. And yes, Samuel L. Jackson's narration is as great as you'd imagine. Knowledge isAnyone who wants to know where America has been and where it's headed should give this a watch. I would also recommend reading some books from James Baldwin. And yes, Samuel L. Jackson's narration is as great as you'd imagine. Knowledge is power so watch and read up! Expand
13 of 31 users found this helpful1318
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10
giantsloarFeb 2, 2017
The user score for this movie demonstrates how big a problem racism is in America today and is reason enough to see this movie. Absolutely brilliant film.
6 of 15 users found this helpful69
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10
RelaxedmikeMay 8, 2017
This is a great introspective delight narrated by Samuel Jackson. For you people who avoid blacks simply because you don't want to or do not how how to deal with them, this will give you tremendous insight into what it feels like to be blackThis is a great introspective delight narrated by Samuel Jackson. For you people who avoid blacks simply because you don't want to or do not how how to deal with them, this will give you tremendous insight into what it feels like to be black in america. Don't hate..Learn!! As one old classic line goes? Some people cannot/will not..handle the truth!! Please, Don't be one of them. Because..I Am Not The Negro YOU..Want Me To Be!!!! Expand
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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7
BigDegs29Feb 8, 2017
This is why you can't trust critical reviews anymore. "Hey guys, it's got 'negro' in the title, we better give it a perfect score. If we don't, we're racist. That's how racism works, right?"

I think critics are actually hurting the doc,
This is why you can't trust critical reviews anymore. "Hey guys, it's got 'negro' in the title, we better give it a perfect score. If we don't, we're racist. That's how racism works, right?"

I think critics are actually hurting the doc, because they're so obviously biased. But it IS a decent documentary. Worth seeing.
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0 of 5 users found this helpful05
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10
brianarrMay 14, 2017
A brilliant and heart-wrenching portrayal of the reality of racism in America. Some technical annoyances with narrative over clips with audio that are detract from the otherwise flawless execution.
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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10
TheShrike222Jul 29, 2017
To watch this documentary only once would be to do it a disservice. It needs to be watched again, with intense focus, an open mind, and an open heart if you are to see what James Baldwin demands, rightfully, be seen, understood and acted on.
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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