IMDb > "The Jacksons: An American Dream" (1992) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:


Author: spiritskittles from US of A
13 June 2004

the movie was amazing and I've been a fan of it since I was 2. Extremely well written and the storyline was able to show all aspects of the family and Jackson career without making anyway out to be the bad guy. The story shows the Jackson boys from the very start of their career. It shows the in and outs of their careers as well as their business and father-son relationship with Joe. Trust me, it's more than you ever thought you knew about the family. From the excitement and what it was like to be in the public eye, to it's effects on the young men's personal lives. This is truly a beautifully written, well- respected depiction of the Jackson 5's American Dream.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A Great TV Movie!!!!

Author: Yolanda Darnell
20 May 2000

Personally, I liked this movie. Even though I have been an avid Jackson fan since the beginning, I was able to evaluate this movie with a proper perspective and I'm giving it a 10!!!!!! Both Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Angela Bassett were outstanding as Joseph and Katherine Jackson. The remaining cast were excellent and the musical numbers were magnificent!! The writing, art direction, costume design and all the other elements that makes a great movie were impeccable.

Within the last year, I've seen several movies about teen idols from the seventies and some of them were lousy and not historically accurate(especially with the music). Not this one!!! The Jacksons' movie was historically accurate in it's depiction of the world's greatest musical family.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Way long, but not bad.

Author: Victory_Over_Trolls ( from Newark, CA
21 April 2005

This two-part miniseries (long enough to be a week-long miniseries if each episode was an hour), was at times overly dramatic, somewhat lacking in humor and even kind-of depressing. Still, it's one of the best music bios ever.

The absolute best thing about this piece is Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. Hilton-Jacobs captures the menace of the notorious Joseph Jackson. He is a father you would NOT want to disobey. On the other hand, he brings a level of humanity and respectability, sometimes even likability to the role that makes it a three-dimensional character. In many music bios, it's hard to believe they're talking about real people (exhibit A: The Doors), but not here. Hilton-Jacobs expresses Jackson's deep, cutting flaws, but also the good things about him.

As for the bigger stars in the two-parter, Vanessa Williams is likable as Susan de Passe: a Motown employee who believes so much in the boys that she convinces Berry Gordy to hear them. Billy Dee Williams is likable as Gordy, but he comes off as a saintly carefree sort. Angela Basset also excelled as the boys' mother: willing to sacrifice her goals and dreams for the sake of the family.

All three actors who played Michael were also fantastic. It's so sad that Wylie Draper died so soon after this movie came out. He really captured Michael as well as anybody could. He reminds the viewer of what people saw in Michael in the early 80s. Alex Burral and Jason Weaver also performed great as Michael, especially during the music scenes. The actors who played Michael's brothers fared also. While it clearly centers around Michael, it goes to great lengths not to make the other boys second-bananas (the only one who isn't explored much is Janet, ironically, because her fame rivals that of Michael in real life).

Speaking of the music scenes, they are almost all very well done. The scenes where they appear to be lipsynching songs (such as when they record "I'll Be There" are done pretty well, but when the actors (presumably) get to handle it on their own, it really comes alive, whether it's the kids singing old r&b classics toward the beginning, or the final concert scene at the end with a lively version of "The Love You Save."

All in all, great music and great acting make this movie one of the best rock bios of all.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

I love this movie

Author: hawk_man72000
11 April 2002

I like all biographies, and I really love the Jacksons, I thought Wylie Draper (the guy that played the older Michael Jackson) looked a little like the real one, I'm sorry that we lost him, he was a good actor. Jason Weaver's acting gave Wylie something to work with, and he succeeded in Alex Burrell's (Michael Jackson from age 6-9) version of Michael. I didn't know at first that Jermaine's son was playing him, he looks exactly like his dad, but I think the guy who came after Jermaine Jr. really ruined it as far as portraying Jermaine is concerned, but his "overacting" worked in some scenes like with Hazel Gordy at the airport and talking with her in the hotel room and also talking with his dad.

I like the music, that's my favorite part, I'm gonna buy this movie, it's worth it.

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14 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A few mistakes, but nonetheless overrated

Author: Regina_Fiehlguud
6 September 2003

I don't understand why this movie is so heavily slaughtered with criticism. This is way better than most made-for-TV garbage currently being aired on TV. The cast adds magic to this movie with their outstanding acting abilities, especially Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Angela Bassett, Vanessa L. Williams, and Billy Dee Williams. And the three actors playing Michael Jackson were absolutely magnificent, especially Wylie Draper, with his performance of "Billie Jean". They all made me believe they really were Michael Jackson, especially since they sounded like them when they spoke! I'm surprised this movie wasn't released to theaters.

Now, here's what went wrong:

1. A few things were inaccurate. First of all, "Kansas City" was not the Jackson Five's first single. And second, "ABC" was released and recorded before "I'll Be There".

2. Call me a nitpicker, but I guess the casting directors don't care much for continuity problems. The only actors that even looked alike were the three actors that played Michael. The casting directors' picks for Tito Jackson are forgivable, because while they don't look alike, they both look like Tito to a certain extent. Marlon Jackson's bone structure and skin color seemed to change considerably as he got older, but that's not even the half of it- in real life, he's practically identical to his brother Michael, but such was not the case in the film. The biggest problem is the casting directors' picks for Jackie and Jermaine Jackson. Good move picking Jermaine Jackson, Jr. to assume the role of his father. And the guy who played Jackie as a teenager really captured the essence of Jackie- shy, sensitive, sweet. Not to mention he looked a lot like Jackie. However, the actors who played Jackie and Jermaine, although both are extremely handsome men (I was disappointed I couldn't find photos or anything of Colin Steele on, were just horrible. Again, it's the same problem- their skin color and bone structure seem to change. And since when does Jackie have green eyes? Not looking like the person you are supposed to portray is one thing, but portraying them the wrong way is quite another. I was disappointed in the way Terrence Howard portrayed Jackie- a smart-mouthed, girl-crazed jackass. In real life, Jackie is none of those things. Maybe he was a little girl-crazy, but not to the point where he acts like a womanizer.

3. I think they should have involved Janet Jackson in the film a little more. Not that they should have had lead roles, but a scene involving her or something would have been okay, like when she's on television, or when she about to kick off her own music career. I was disappointed only to see Janet as a young child, a nobody in the shadows of her brothers. They definitely should have filmed a scene in which she was a little older.

Overall, though, the entire cast was spectacular, and the film was great. It tells the story behind the Jackson family, captures the true talent of Michael and the J5, and, of course, is a great opportunity for the ladies to have a look at some eye candy.


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

a terrific show!

Author: Allen W. from New York City
29 October 2001

This movie is terrific. The Director lets the story unfold without resorting to histrionics. The different boys playing Michael are all wonderful and evoke the charm that made the real 10 year old into a star. Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs does wonderful work portraying a man that many have vilified without adding his own judgment.

Special mention should be made to the choreography: Michael Peters does an excellent job of recreating the signature moves of the Jackson 5, and the scene with Jackie Wilson subtly suggests many of the steps that a real-life Michael Jackson uses.

I enjoy this movie and can't wait to see it again.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The best film ever

Author: midesalami from United Kingdom
27 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is the best film ever. It has touched me so much. Jermaine Jackson did really well producing this film and may god bless u. Michael should watch this. All the 3 people that played as Michael did an excellent job. Love u guys. The person that played the older Michael was called Wylie Draper. Sadly Wylie died a year after they did the film May he rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers go to his family, and my love too. Wylie was the best, He acted as Michael as if he was really Michael. He did a good job on the moonwalk. He looked very cute and did a good job. My luck also goes out to all the other cast especially to Floyd who played as little Marlon. He was so cute. The boy who played little Michael was Alex. The person who played the second Michael was Jason. He was so so so good. Well done u guys. Well done Wylie. Never forget u. People that this film was poor should thing again because it's the best film ever. Wylie was the star. He did really well and i love him for that. The 2nd star would have to be jason weaver.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Snoozfest 92

Author: kevcom from Hawaii
28 June 2009

Considering how long this movie is one would think that it would have covered a lot more of the Jackson's actual history. Countless upon countless of known and well-documented Jackson family facts are either completely ignored or inaccurately portrayed. This film (produced and green lighted by Jackson family members -- including Michael) is simply a vehicle to paint the Jackson family in the best light possible. And are we really suppose to feel sorry for their personal hardships considering the vast amount of wealth, privilege, and fame that their career's handed them? The good news is that the film is pretty well acted. Most notably by Angela Bassett and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as mom and "Joseph". The actors who play the Jackson siblings do a decent job in their respective rolls with the exception of Wylie Draper as the older Michael. He's a decent actor and a great dancer, but not for one second did I believe him as the King of Pop. Of course it would be difficult for any actor to convincingly portray an individual as unique and multilayered as M.J.

If you're a Michael Jackson fan, or a fan of the Jackson's in general, you'll enjoy this film. Just don't come away from it thinking it's an accurate historical piece on Michael, or the Jackson family.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Can it be I stayed away to long?

Author: franksherman from United States
30 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was a huge success and failure at the same time. Their is a lot of incorrect information in this movie and unnecessary cameos by the likes of Boyz to Men.

I do however think that this movie was a huge success in showing how these poor children were treated and what a monster Joe Jackson truly is. They show Michael growing up trying to just be like any child. He is just like any child. Then they show the physical and emotional abuse he is forced to endure so that his father(a failed musician) can try and make a name for himself. And it shows similar effect done to all the children but Michael being the youngest the effects are more profound. How can someone go through something like this as a child and not be a wackjob once he is freed from his terrible father and a billionaire?

It is definitely educational and could have been better but as far as telling the story of a tortured soul and brilliant musician and performer it perfect.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I Love Michael Jackson!

Author: fgreenserene from United States
26 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love Michael Jackson and his brothers. I love their music and they are a great influence. All the actors in this movie were great. I loved Jason Weaver and Wylie Draper. They were the ones that really shined. Rest in Peace to Wylie. The one who played Jermaine (Colin Steele) kinda over-reacted on some scenes. But he's adorable. Terrence Howard made a great impression on Jackie. And the guy who played Marlon did a good job. Angela Basset was okay, it wasn't her best roles but she did okay. Lawerence-Hilton Jacobs was outstanding! He is just like Joe Jackson. This is a good movie. I can't wait to see it again. Wylie Draper is really sexy. But I suggest that Susanne De Passe should get her facts straight on a couple of things. Some of the facts were inaccurate. If you are going to make a movie you have to have the RIGHT data or else it's useless.

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