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42

10/10
Drama . Biography . Sport
 

"42" is the powerful story of Jackie Robinson, the legendary baseball player who broke Major League Baseball's color barrier when he joined the roster of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The film follows the innovative Dodger's general manager Branch Rickey, the MLB executive who first signed Robinson to the minors and then helped to bring him up to the show.

 
Actors: Brad Beyer , Brett Cullen , Jud Tylor , Ryan Merriman , John C. McGinley , Christopher Meloni , Nicole Beharie , Harrison Ford , T.R. Knight , Chadwick Boseman
Directors: Brian Helgeland
Country: USA
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News

Boseman is watchful, winning and confident, but never saintly. Yet he keeps Robinson’s moral spine aligned with his skill and self-respect, showing how he needed all of those to succeed.


Steve Persall
Tampa Bay Times

One of the all-time great sports movies — primarily because it's one of the all-time great sports stories.


Marc Mohan
Portland Oregonian

Spike Lee wanted for years to make a Jackie Robinson film, and I hope he still gets his chance. Another take, maybe angrier or more polemic, could be fascinating, and the heroism of Jackie Robinson was significant enough to justify more than a few movies.


Gabe Toro
The Playlist

42 is excessively retro, neglecting the urge to pepper scenes with comic relief or oppressing, flashy conflict.


Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

Helgeland works in what I think of as a conservative — or maybe it's just really, really basic — neoclassical Hollywood style, spelling everything out, letting the story unfold in a plainspoken and deliberate fashion, with a big, wide, open pictorial camera eye. It's like the latter-day Clint Eastwood style, applied to material that's as traditional as can be.


Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York

The style of the film, lush and traditional, is nothing special, but the takeaway, a daily struggle for dignity, is impossibly moving.


Laremy Legel
Film.com

A kind and decent film, but doesn't add to Robinson's legacy.


Ann Hornaday
Washington Post

Harrison plays Rickey with a jutting jaw, squinting eye and hoarse bark straight out of the Irascible Old Coot playbook, his character constantly invoking God and the almighty dollar to justify what became known as Rickey’s “noble experiment.”


James Berardinelli
ReelViews

Unfortunately, the generic bio-pic structure of 42 prevents it from ever becoming something great.


Lou Lumenick
New York Post

42 may not be a home run, but it’s certainly a solid three-base hit as worthy family entertainment.


Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer

42 doesn't shirk from showing how daunting it was for Robinson to turn the other cheek, as Ford's Rickey tells him he must do, in the face of the insults and hostility.


Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The inspirational movie named for Robinson’s number is too dignified to throw audiences a curveball, let alone a knockdown pitch, but its solid fundamentals make it a winner.


Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times

42 is competent, occasionally rousing and historically respectful — but it rarely rises above standard, old-fashioned biography fare. It’s a mostly unexceptional film about an exceptional man.


Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Earnest, righteous, historically accurate and often entertaining.


Rex Reed
New York Observer

It’s a perfectly unexceptional but slickly made, sincerely acted, often entertaining, sometimes manipulative and always watchable blend of action on the diamond and bravery behind the scenes that will please baseball fanatics more than movie historians. It’s a good enough biopic to make you wish it were a better motion picture.


Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic

Helgeland has given us an impressive introduction to one of the most important men in U.S. history. But you can’t help wanting more.


Louis Black
Austin Chronicle

Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Beharie as Rachel Robinson both deliver terrific performances, and the cast of managers and ballplayers – are excellent. Harrison Ford plays Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey as a larger-than-life eccentric, seeming almost like a demented Orville Redenbacher at times.


Bob Mondello
NPR

A profile in real-life courage that would be stronger as a movie if it weren't quite so intent on underlining teachable moments.


Claudia Puig
USA Today

It takes a particularly ham-fisted filmmaker to transform a fascinating and historically significant story into something as formulaic as 42.


Connie Ogle
Miami Herald

And still 42 persists in entertaining you, even when you’re cringing, because the real story is so compelling.


Rick Groen
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

In the hallowed frames of 42, the legend is front and centre and still inspiring. Too bad the more interesting man is nowhere to be seen.


Ty Burr
Boston Globe

The ambitious new biopic about Robinson, is better written and produced than those children’s books, but it isn’t any deeper, and that’s a disappointment.


Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

Treats its now-mythic Brooklyn Dodger with respect, reverence and love. But who's in there, underneath the mythology?


Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Given Helgeland's rep as a screenwriter (including an Oscar for 1997's L.A. Confidential), it rankles that 42 settles for the official story. The private Robinson, who died of a heart attack at 53 in 1972, stays private. We stay on the outside looking in. Let it be.


Mike McCahill
The Guardian

Boseman hits his key scenes out of the park, making a swell couple with Shame's Nicole Beharie, while Helgeland stages Robinson's signature base-stealing with undeniable aplomb.


Ian Nathan
Empire

Already a hit in America, 42 is a well-told but square biopic doing justice to Jackie Robinson rather than exploring him.


Mary Pols
Time

Boseman is not a hugely close physical match to Robinson, except for perhaps in the power he conveys, but he’s a great choice to play the ball player, unfamiliar enough, despite a decade of small credits here and there, to feel like an athlete, not a movie star playing one.


David Denby
The New Yorker

Sixty-six years later, when a black man holds the Presidency, equality may still be, for some, unbearable, but Robinson abruptly moved America forward. 42, however limited at times, lays out the tortured early days of that advance with clarity and force.


Mike Scott
New Orleans Times-Picayune

Aesthetically, Helgeland's film -- while highly polished -- is straight-forward stuff, hewing so closely to the prescribed genre conventions as to border on unimaginative.


Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine (Vulture)

Helgeland’s epic about Jackie Robinson’s first year in Major League Baseball is uneven — often exciting, and just as often shallow and ham-handed — but if there’s one thing to which it remains true, it's that the almighty American greenback and the all-American athlete are the great destroyers of bigotry.


Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Robinson's combination of fortitude, restraint and passion for the game was stunning. You can't help getting caught up in this story, even as you are wishing the telling was sharper than it is.


A.O. Scott
The New York Times

It is blunt, simple and sentimental, using time-tested methods to teach a clear and rousing lesson.


Scott Tobias
The A.V. Club

The Jackie Robinson biopic 42 operates in a box inside of a box—and not the batter’s box, either, because that would imply it has some freedom to swing away. It’s thoroughly embalmed in the glossy lacquer of conventional baseball movies, and limited further by trying to deal with the horrors of racism in that context.


Nick Schager
Slant Magazine

The film elevates the story of Jackie Robinson to that of cornball legend rather than just honoring his legitimately uplifting, heroic saga by telling it straight.


Todd McCarthy
The Hollywood Reporter

Pretty when it should be gritty and grandiosely noble instead of just telling it like it was, 42 needlessly trumps up but still can't entirely spoil one of the great American 20th century true-life stories, the breaking of major league baseball's color line by Jackie Robinson.


Scott Foundas
Variety

A relentlessly formulaic biopic that succeeds at transforming one of the most compelling sports narratives of the 20th century into a home run of hagiography.


Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

The filmmaking is TV-movie-of-the-week dull and Robinson’s ordeal is hammered home to the exclusion of virtually everything else in his life.


Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

What's been carefully filtered out of the film as a whole is the tumult and passion of Robinson's life.


Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice

The movie sugars up Robinson's story, and like too many period pieces it summons some vague idea of a warmer, simpler past by bathing everything in thick amber light, as if each scene is one of those preserved mosquitoes that begat the monsters of Jurassic Park.


Add Soundtrack

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2. Shame On You ( Performer: Spade Cooley )


3. Moon Glow ( Performer: Artie Shaw & His Orchestra )


4. Begin The Beguine ( Performer: Melora Hardin )


5. Be Honest With Me ( Performer: Gene Autry )


6. Star Spangled Banner ( Performer: The United States Coast Guard Band )


7. Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) ( Performer: Billie Holiday with Camarata And His Orchestra Courtesy of Columbia Records )


8. Panama ( Performer: The Lecuona Cuban Boys )


9. Masabi ( Performer: Alberto Socarras Y Su Orquesta Cubanacan )


10. Moonlight Memories ( Writer: )


11. Rose of Tralee ( Writer: )


12. The Star Spangled Banner ( Performer: Thomas Helgeland )


13. Take Me Out To The Ballgame ( Performer: Ed Alstrom )


14. Straighten Up And Fly Right ( Performer: Nat King Cole Trio )


15. The Sidewalks Of New York ( Performer: Ed Alstrom )


16. Don't Get Around Much Anymore ( Performer: Duke Ellington )


17. I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town ( Performer: Louis Jordan and The Tympany Five )


18. Move It On Over ( Performer: Written and Hank Williams )


19. The Ball Game ( Performer: Written and Sister Wynona Carr )


20. Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball? ( Performer: Count Basie )


21. Jackie Robinson ( Performer: Mark Isham Itunes )


22. Good Rockin’ Tonight ( Performer: Wynonie Harris Itunes )


23. Lover Man (Oh, Where Can He Be?) ( Performer: Billie Holiday Itunes )


24. I’m Gonna Move To the Outskirts of Town ( Performer: Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five Itunes )


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