The Great Debaters Movie Information

Movie Information

Overall Rank: 1919

Average Rating: 2.9/4

# of Ratings: 95

Theatrical Release Date: 12/25/2007

Blu-ray/DVD Release Date: 05/13/2008

Language: English

Genre: Drama, Historical

MPAA Rating: PG

Director: Denzel Washington

Actors: Forest Whitaker, Denzel Washington, Kimberly Elise, Jermaine Williams, Jurnee Smollett, Denzel Whitaker

Plot: Inspired by the true story of the first debate team of a small college in Texas which eventually went on to battle Harvard for the national title.

Quick Movie Reviews

Rating of
3/4

mitchellyoung - wrote on 08/02/2012

Denzel Washington proves his directing chops in an interesting take on a little known era of history. The cast is impressive and some young actors stand out among the ensemble. The film hits the right emotional notes and, while it isn't a classic film, it's still well-made and insightful.

Rating of
2.5/4

sapien - wrote on 01/15/2010

The fact that it was a true story was maybe the only thing that was interesting about this movie.

Rating of
2.5/4

Allison - wrote on 12/14/2007

Great cast and the performances don't disappoint. Rich in history.

Full Movie Reviews

Franz Patrick
Franz Patrick
Movie God

Rating of
3/4

Loved the Debate Scenes

Franz Patrick - wrote on 09/29/2008

I enjoyed this movie from an academic and emotional point of view. Even though the rest of the film is consistently good, the debate scenes are the ones stand out because they’re both exciting and educational. I didn’t care so much about the drama between the characters because I feel like I’ve seen it all before too many times. At times, the film would linger too long in the characters’ sadness to the point where the picture would slow down a bit. I wish that Denzel Washington and and Forest Whitaker had more scenes together. The one scene where the two of them engaged was so interesting due to their subtle acting. The message about racism wasn’t hammered even though it was always there so that was a nice surprise. Since this was based on real life, a lot of people knew how it …

Delorted
Delorted
Producer

Rating of
3/4

Review - The Great Debaters (2007)

Delorted - wrote on 01/07/2008

James Farmer (Denzel Whitaker) was an average black child of the 1930's when he joined Melvin B. Tolson's (Denzel Washington) debate team. The true story of their fight against the odds is portrayed in "The Great Debaters."

If you ever want a deja vu, this is the movie to watch. I've seen this movie before, only then it was called "Remember the Titans." The sports may be different, and this one may be more dramatic, but it's not original and follows the same pattern as the countless other team-defying-the-odds movies.

The acting was good, the story itself was inspirational, but the whole message is a little old these days. Honestly, I think they've played the race card to death by now. We get it, black people were treated badly, but things have changed and we need to stop reminding …

patjohnson76
patjohnson76
Producer

Rating of
3.5/4

Debate is fun

patjohnson76 - wrote on 01/02/2008

Denzel Washington stars and directs this film about a debate team from a black school in Eastern Texas that began a winning streak of historic proportions. As the team suceeds in their debates, they become the first team to feature a woman, the first team to debate a white team (and win) and the first black team to debate at Harvard. The plot outline is incorrect, the debate with Harvard wasn't for the national title, though Harvard was the national champion, it was simply a debate at Harvard. I liked Washington's direction more than his character (his teacher character is pretty formulaic). The young cast of debaters are the ones who really shine here, as does Forest Whitaker as the dean of the college. There's nothing here you haven't really seen before, but when it's packaged so …

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