Flash of Genius
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Academy Award® nominee Greg Kinnear stars in this inspiring true story about an ordinary man and his extraordinary fight against one of the most powerful corporations in the country. Dr. Robert Kearns (Kinnear) and his family are on their way to achieving the American Dream when he invents a device that can be used in every car in the world. But when an auto giant steals his idea, Robert does the unthinkable: He takes on the corporate titan in a battle nobody thinks he can win. Co-starring Alan Alda, Dermot Mulroney and Lauren Graham, it's the remarkable, feel-good journey critics are calling "hugely entertaining!" (Pete Hammond, Hollywood.com)
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 105
- Fresh: 62
- Rotten: 43
- Average Rating: 5.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The product is concept, not execution, and the delivery techniques bear standard Hollywood patents.
Rotten: While some scenes deliver, Flash of Genius suffers from an occasional lack of narrative tension.
Fresh: "Flash of Genius" isn't that good, but it's an enjoyable way to start the Oscar season.
Rotten: Too much technical information about circuit boards, Motorola transistors and U.S. patent laws eventually takes up more screen time than Kearns' sympathetic story, leaving the viewer restless and bored.
A movingly bittersweet drama in the guise of a typical biopic
This movie’s subject, Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear), is barely a footnote in history, but an illustrative one. He is less known as the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper than for the lengthy legal battle he fought to be acknowledged as such. Kearns, an engineer, is both selfish and completely right in his fight with the Ford Motor Company, which consumes him to the point that it threatens his relationship with his wife (Lauren Graham) and children. That’s the contradiction explored here and what makes it a cut above the typical underdog drama. The screenplay by Philip Railsback does a good job of summarizing the history of Kearns’s invention and his crusade for recognition. A non-lawyer will have some idea of why it can take so long for the wheels of justice to turn. It seems more authentic in this respect than the still-worthwhile "North Country," the most similar film I can think of. (That was about sex discrimination.) There was only one time watching this movie where I said, no, I can’t imagine it happened like that, and that was when Kearns apparently learns his invention was stolen only when he drives down the highway and sees someone using it. About the only other inauthentic thing is the timeline, which the movie slightly fudges, along with Kearns’s age. This is no big deal, but a stronger period feel would have have made the story even richer. Despite the title, the movie is not at all flashy, and so not similar to "Tucker: The Man and His Dream," another automobile-related biography, but of a larger-than-life sort of individual. Here, Kearns is a both an everyman character, lately a specialty for Kinnear, and a man of extraordinary persistence. The portrayal is sympathetic, but some people may find him foolishly uncompromising. In any case, they will wonder how far they would go to defend a principle, and be reminded that, no matter what decision they would make, something must be sacrificed, even if it is only time. Thus the movie is bittersweet, and therefore, to me, unexpectedly moving.
I just watched this and I thought that this movie was excellent. I read one of the other reviews and it was mentioned what would they do in a situation like this... At one point 30 million dollars was offered to settle this and he said no. I enjoyed the fact that Dr Kearns stuck to his conviction and wanted one thing only and that was he wanted to be recognized for his invention. If anyone can take one thing from this movie it should be its not about the money all the time, its about the principle.
I love to see movies that have the little guy persevere...I always buy American cars because I believe in them, but I need to say - SHAME ON FORD! This man went through hell because Ford was greedy and assumed they would get away with it. Dr. Robert Kearns deserved all the money and recognition he received and more!