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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: 214
  • Fresh: 200
  • 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 see this last night and all I can say is that it is a must see. It reminded me of Death of a Salesmen, another great play and movie. The acting is spot on, of course with Washington and Davis. For being Christmas night, the theater was packed. There wasn't anything I would change. I think this film desrves all of its accolades and all of the awards. It also reminded me of A Raisin in the Sun. It's about race, socioeconomic status, love, ambition, and the relationship between parent and child. The cinematography is breathtaking. The plot is spellbinding. I can't say enough good things about it. Go watch it.


This movie was amazing definitely recommend it and Viola Davis is just an amazing actress

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