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Plot

Hero is a word we hear often in sports, but heroism is not always about achievements on the field of play. “42″ tells the story of two men-the great Jackie Robinson and legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey-whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball.

Rating

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Film information

Genre: , ,
 
Director:
 
Studio:
 
Release date: Apr 12, 2013
 
MPAA rating: Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including language
 
Official website: http://42movie.warnerbros.com/
 
Runtime: 2 hr. 8 min.
 
Movie Reviews:
  • 100
    Tampa Bay Times - by Steve Persall
    One of the all-time great sports movies — primarily because it's one of the all-time great sports stories. ...read more

  • 83
    Portland Oregonian - by Marc Mohan
    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. ...read more

  • 83
    The Playlist - by Gabe Toro
    42 is excessively retro, neglecting the urge to pepper scenes with comic relief or oppressing, flashy conflict. ...read more

  • 83
    Entertainment Weekly - by Owen Gleiberman
    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. ...read more

  • 75
    Washington Post - by Ann Hornaday
    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.” ...read more

  • 75
    ReelViews - by James Berardinelli
    Unfortunately, the generic bio-pic structure of 42 prevents it from ever becoming something great. ...read more

  • 75
    San Francisco Chronicle - by Mick LaSalle
    A superior sports movie, dealing honestly with a great American story. ...

  • 75
    New York Post - by Lou Lumenick
    42 may not be a home run, but it’s certainly a solid three-base hit as worthy family entertainment. ...read more

  • 75
    Philadelphia Inquirer - by Steven Rea
    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. ...read more

  • 75
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch - by Joe Williams
    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. ...read more

  • 75
    Chicago Sun-Times - by Richard Roeper
    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. ...read more

  • 75
    Movie Nation - by Roger Moore
    Earnest, righteous, historically accurate and often entertaining. ...read more

  • 75
    New York Observer - by Rex Reed
    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. ...read more

  • 70
    Arizona Republic - by Bill Goodykoontz
    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. ...

  • 67
    Austin Chronicle - by Louis Black
    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. ...read more

  • 65
    NPR - by Bob Mondello
    A profile in real-life courage that would be stronger as a movie if it weren't quite so intent on underlining teachable moments. ...

  • 63
    USA Today - by Claudia Puig
    It takes a particularly ham-fisted filmmaker to transform a fascinating and historically significant story into something as formulaic as 42. ...read more

  • 63
    Miami Herald - by Connie Ogle
    And still 42 persists in entertaining you, even when you’re cringing, because the real story is so compelling. ...read more

  • 63
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - by Rick Groen
    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. ...read more

  • 63
    Boston Globe - by Ty Burr
    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. ...read more

  • 63
    Chicago Tribune - by Michael Phillips
    Treats its now-mythic Brooklyn Dodger with respect, reverence and love. But who's in there, underneath the mythology? ...read more

  • 63
    Rolling Stone - by Peter Travers
    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. ...read more

  • 60
    The New Yorker - by David Denby
    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. ...read more

  • 60
    New Orleans Times-Picayune - by Mike Scott
    Aesthetically, Helgeland's film -- while highly polished -- is straight-forward stuff, hewing so closely to the prescribed genre conventions as to border on unimaginative. ...read more

  • 60
    New York Magazine (Vulture) - by Bilge Ebiri
    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. ...read more

  • 60
    Los Angeles Times - by Kenneth Turan
    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. ...read more

  • 60
    The New York Times - by A.O. Scott
    It is blunt, simple and sentimental, using time-tested methods to teach a clear and rousing lesson. ...

  • 58
    The A.V. Club - by Scott Tobias
    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. ...read more

  • 50
    Slant Magazine - by Nick Schager
    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. ...read more

  • 50
    The Hollywood Reporter - by Todd McCarthy
    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. ...read more

  • 50
    Variety - by Scott Foundas
    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. ...read more

  • 42
    Christian Science Monitor - by Peter Rainer
    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. ...read more

  • 40
    Wall Street Journal - by Joe Morgenstern
    What's been carefully filtered out of the film as a whole is the tumult and passion of Robinson's life. ...read more

  • 40
    Village Voice - by Alan Scherstuhl
    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. ...read more

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User Comments & Reviews

  1. Sol C

    Home Run for 42!!!! Great film. Definitely Oscar worthy. Too bad they released the film in April rather than December for Oscar consideration. The film reminded me of movies like The Natural, Field of Dreams, Remember the Titans, Glory Road, and The Express. The film is well written and directed.

    Chadwick Boseman is great in the film. Harrison Ford is unrecognizable here. This is one of his best performances. Lucas Black, Alan Tudyk, and Christopher Meloni deliver fine supporting work here.

    I definitely recommend this film.




  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    Jackie Robinson: Are you looking for a Negro who is afraid to fight back?
    Branch Rickey: No, I need a player with guts enough not to fight back.

    I don’t acknowledge this very often, but I like to bookend my reviews with quotes from the film. Sometimes they sum up the film in a sense and other times they are just quotes I enjoyed the most. The two I have chosen for 42, a film that chronicles the introduction of Jackie Robinson into Major League Baseball, are featured in the film, but are also actual quotes from the men who said them. They are not the most inspiring words I have ever read, but 42 also isn’t the most inspiring movie I have ever seen. Regardless, it is a film that I have wanted to see, as the subject matter is important. While the film is only good, as opposed to great, it is occasionally quite moving, well made and acted, and a fitting tribute for a man who mainly just wanted to play baseball.




  3. Matt

    Such an incredible film, Imagine just less than 50+ years ago people were so ignorant and racism was a plague! Times have surly changed and for the good!