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Denzel Washington

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About the Movie

Some people build fences to keep people out - and other people build fences to keep people in. Academy Award winner® Denzel Washington and Academy Award nominee® Viola Davis deliver the year’s most powerful performances in the film adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Fences. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, the film takes a passionate look at former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Washington) as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. Washington’s directorial triumph pulses with the universal truths of love, forgiveness, and happiness despite what lies beyond your own fence.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 211
  • Fresh: 197
  • Rotten: 14
  • Average Rating: 7.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Yes, Fences suffers somewhat from the bare-bones transferal of the "action" from stage to screen but the material is so compelling that viewers can easily lose sight of the movie's "play nature." – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Dec 25, 2016

Fresh: Washington has pledged to bring all of plays in the cycle to the screen. The good news is he started with a home run. – Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News, Dec 29, 2016

Fresh: Washington's performance is a sight to see all on its own, and when Davis roars into life in the second half she's unstoppable. – Anthony Morris,, Feb 15, 2017

Fresh: One of the pleasures of Fences is seeing Washington's dominant technique - that swaggering walk, the hardening of his voice when challenged - get batted back by the visceral force of Davis' performance. – Craig Mathieson, The Sunday Age, Feb 10, 2017

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Great movie if you want to get angry

Why didn't I get up and leave? Unfounded hope. Nothing but the cover picture hinted that this was a positive movie, not even the commercials. I just assumed because that's what usually happens: a change of character or a great reveal. I continued to watch this movie hoping that the main character, Troy, would change directions and apologize to his family for his behavior, or explain to his son he saw great potential and wanted him to do good, or tell his wife truthfully he had never done anything wrong (but had considered it) and fully intended to spend the rest of his life being a loving husband and doting father. It never happened. Troy Maxim went through the whole movie refusing to become a better person, refusing to try anything new, refusing to hear anybody out, refusing to admit when he'd done wrong, refusing to stop doing things that hurt other people, refusing to do anything fun and upbeat. He was stuck in a rut and became the rut for others. He was the kind of person you can't believe exists but they somehow do. I went into the theater looking forward to a happy ending, sat through it looking forward to my husband and I switching movies, and left at the end looking forward to a drive home listening to an upbeat comedian on Pandora. If you're looking for a movie that inspires you to do great things or shows you the power of love... this is not that movie. Maybe try Hidden Figures. This is the movie you watch when you want to bolster your bad mood so you don't forgive someone's wrongdoings. This is a great movie if you want to get angry.


I went to watch this movie thinking that it was going to be like another Coach Boone. I got up and left instead 40 minutes in due to nothing significant occurring. Sure you could say that I didn't give it a chance, I would agree partially. But as I sat there watching the movie I realized my ears started to hurt from all talking that Denzel Washington's character produced.
Within the first 15 minutes there had been easily five heavy sexual references that were not necessary nor part of the plot. I can't figure out how rotten tomatoes gave this movie a 94%, I guess that just shows us what society deems as appropriate talk.
I think also upon racism in the movie and racism to modern day. Repeatedly throughout the beginning Denzel Washington's character states the N word stating how the white man is racist and that he is not, but he is just as racist if not more racist I find. People wonder why racism is still around, well one of the reasons is because of movies like this when people see what occurred in the past they have feelings rekindled around anger and hatred, now why would we want to rekindled these things we should be moving on from racism but when movies come out portraying racism then we give it a stamp of approval. Too many times do we bring things back from the past when we really we should be drawing on the future. We already know what this world can be like with hatred and anger, it's not a great place.

Amazing, but not for everyone.

Denzel Washington provides an emotional, well written, and realistic script that makes you feel like you are right there with Denzel and Viola Davis. Fences will have you feeling happy, sad, and at sometimes, wanting to talk to some of the characters in the film while watching. If you love a good, well written, Drama, then this movie is for you. But, if you like fast moving or action-packed films, well then this isn't for you.
Fences puts you into the shoes of a struggling, African American family in the mid 50's, but when the film ends you ultimately start thinking, "What was the plot?". Denzel makes an amazingly real film that has your heart racing and that plays with our emotions but, ultimately (when you think about it) had no plot.
I will give Denzel Washington's Fences 5 stars for delivering an emotional and real story.

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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2016

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