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Reviews & Ratings for
Antwone Fisher More at IMDbPro »

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64 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

Antwone Fisher

Author: b_blocke from United States
17 September 2005

This is the ONLY movie I've ever been moved to write about. I rarely even watch movies let alone offer opinions, but this movie is exceptional in so many ways. The acting is powerful and believable (duh.. it's real..), and the entire story is totally captivating. I was watching on satellite and had to endure commercials, and it was sheer torture waiting for the movie to resume.

This has to be one of, if not THE finest film ever made. Congratulations to EVERYONE, especially MR. Fisher. I'm a 55 year old guy that teaches in Cleveland and I never thought I would cry, but there I was with tears streaming down my face, all alone in my living room late at night. This story should be told and retold for generations to come. Thank you Mr. Fisher, Mr. Washington, and everyone else. This was a life-changing experience - not a movie. God bless you all for putting this together. I just can't figure out why this movie is not huge forever. Well, I suppose I can hazard a guess, but I truly hope I'm wrong - I think we all know what that guess is...

Thanks again - not just for the movie, but for the most powerful message possible. If you haven't seen this movie, SEE IT NOW! You won't be sorry, but if you don't see it, you'll be missing the experience of a lifetime. BJL

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34 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

A classic `grab at your heart' story about a troubled young man's life and search for happiness.

Author: skomormj from Columbus, Ohio
14 July 2003

The protagonist, Antwone Fisher is played by the up and coming young actor, Derek Luke. Luke is a young sailor, filled with rage, easily provoked, and often unable to control his emotional outbursts. His temper soon earns him several mandatory sessions with a naval psychiatrist; played by Denzel Washington (he also directed the film). Early on, their personalities clash, but eventually Washington unlocks the two sources of Luke's anger-an abusive childhood and a pervading fear of being abandoned.

The film takes us on a journey of Luke's life, one marked by periods of intense loneliness and sadness while being driven by a constant search (an obsession) for family. It is through Luke's life that we learn that perseverance can carry us through the periods of darkness and eventually deliver some form of happiness

By counseling and befriending Luke, Washington enables him to deal with his lifelong sadness and move on. When the film wants to grab at your heart, it succeeds with good writing and convincing performances by Luke and Washington. In a graphic abuse scene from Luke's childhood, Washington artistically and gutterly insures that we not only empathize with Antwone, we personally experience his helplessness. This scene, which showcases Washington's directorial skill, places Luke in a full frontal position, trembling, with the whites of his eyes looking directly at the camera (the viewer). Anyone watching the screen can't help but be mesmerized by the abject fear in Luke's eyes.

As the film progresses, Washington, the director, introduces two minor twists to the plot. The first highlights Luke's reluctance to trust as he begins dating for the first time. This sub-point is purposeful and displays the infinite lingering effects of Luke's childhood on his adulthood. The second involves martial (family) problems within the psychiatrist's life which, while ironic, is never developed.

Much like his performance as a compassionate lawyer in Philadelphia, Denzel Washington's screen presence in Antwone Fisher commands our attention and emotions, leaving few dry eyes in the theater. This film's writing, direction and acting exposes our souls and grabs our hearts.

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30 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

An incredible film I recommend to everyone

10/10
Author: ChavRose06 from Sydney, Australia
9 September 2004

An adaption of the book 'Finding Fish'. This story is about a troubled young sailor Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke) who tells the painful story of his past to a psychiatrist Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington). A brilliant debut performance by Derek Luke and an always stunning performance by Denzel Washington.

This movie was incredible on so many levels and I was disappointed that it didn't win an Oscar, I think it was because it was released at a bad time that's why it was overlooked. I strongly recommend this film to everyone, you'll be touched by his story and it really does make the audience become empathetic with this young man that is Antwone Fisher.

If you like inspirational true stories, then watch Antwone Fisher.

Thank you

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28 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Golden Child

10/10
Author: rbrb
20 December 2004

A stunning film of high quality.

Apparently based on true events which, as told, has the clear ring of truth about it, this movie is highly emotional and deeply moving.

An abused and neglected child often becomes wayward in adulthood, as one of life's failures, be it as a gangster, drug addict or burden on society.

Antwone Fisher as a young adult in the navy, is troubled. He is on the brink of being a loser. He is counselled in therapy by a psychiatrist and it is that relationship which takes center stage in the play.

In flash-backs and therapy the source and remedies to Antwones angst are revealed.

Outstanding performances from the whole cast. The story is in effect a family tragedy with emotional and physical torment. All the actors give full blooded performances with conviction and realism.

One message from the movie is the importance of raising children decently.

The real Antwone deserves success. To have endured wickedness as a child but to rise above that, shows a magnificent character.

And to all those out there who have endured such torment but to have survived and succeeded: you are all winners. 10 out of 10.

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22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

The best psychological drama since "Ordinary People" and "Good Will Hunting"

Author: george.schmidt (gpschmidt67@gmail.com) from fairview, nj
30 December 2002

ANTWONE FISHER (2002) **** Derek Luke, Denzel Washington, Joy Bryant, Salli Richardson, Leonard Howze, Kente Scott, Kevin Connolly, Rainoldo Gooding, Novella Nelso, Malcolm David Kelley, Cory Hodges, Stephen Snedden. Actor Denzel Washington makes a powerfully confident directorial debut in this biopic about a good young sailor in the navy (Luke in a truly stunning acting debut of award caliber excellence) – the eponymous film subject – whose past demons have nestled into nothing but troubles for him and with the assist of the outfit's psychiatrist (portrayed evenly by Washington) Fisher is able to gain a foothold on his present and more importantly, his future. Heartbreakingly poignant and all too knowing in its depiction of the triumph of the human spirit ; at the same time non-condescending nor preachy; the film unfolds like all good storytelling: naturally and effortlessly. Bryant also gives a remarkable debut turn as the young woman who sees Fisher for the man he is and nothing less. The real Fisher was a security guard @ Sony Pictures prompting Washington to make the movie and coincidentally Luke worked in the gift shop, an amateur actor in the making, who knew Fisher and the rest is history. One of the best films of the year.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A True Familial Drama

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
20 September 2004

The violent and rebel twenty-five years old sailor Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke) is sent to three sessions for evaluation with the navy psychiatrist Dr. Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington), after another outburst and aggression against a superior ranked navy man. Reluctant in the beginning of the treatment, he gets confidence in Dr. Davenport and discloses his childhood, revealing painful traumas generated in his foster house. Meanwhile, he meets Cheryl Smolley (Joy Briant), and they fall in love for each other. Resolving his personal problems, Antwone becomes a new man. This true familial drama is a touching and positive story of a man who finds a friend and is sent back to a regular life. The direction of Denzel Washington is excellent, making sensitive, attractive and with good taste, a story about child abuse. In the hands of another director, it might be a very heavy story. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): 'Voltando a Viver' ('Returning to Live')

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18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely mind boggling

10/10
Author: Edouard from New York
20 March 2005

Every one should see this movie because each one of us is broken in some way and it may help us realize 1) My life isn't as bad as I thought it was and 2) How important it is to adopt a child in need. There are so many out there. To think that the movie was actually based on a real person made us think deep about life and how the world has and always will be. Corrupt, but that corruption doesn't have to reach your home. We all have a choice! Definitely recommend this one... and while you're at it, I'd like to throw in "The Color Purple" and "Woman, Thou Art Loosed" by T.D. Jakes.

These are all movies that are based on life and give us a glimpse of life.

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

A director is born.

7/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
28 August 2003

Not having seen the film in the original theater release, I was happily surprised when the DVD arrived, since this film did not have the wide distribution it merited.

Denzel Washington directorial debut and the finished product have nothing to envy other films about the same theme by more accomplished directors. The film has a very professional look. It shows that Mr. Washington has learned a lot being on the other side of the camera. He brings a different angle to this film.

One of the best things the film has is, without a doubt, the fine performance by Derek Luke. He is an actor who, with the right guidance, will go far, no doubt. His take on the troubled young man, at this point of his life, in turmoil and suffering for a bad hand life, up to now, has dealt him, is very true. His Antwone is a fine portrait of a man in pain who is basically very good and has so much to give, but no one seems to see that side of his character.

At the worst time of his despair, Antwone is sent to Dr. Davenport, played by Mr. Washington, in a very sober, if somehow subdued manner. Because of the angst within Antwone, he misses the opportunity of opening himself to this man, who wants to help, but because of the constrains placed on his office, just have three sessions and then has to dismiss his patient.

Things work out, as Antwone is able to convince the doctor to keep on working with him. Antwone's past is revealed in detail. The abuse he suffers at the hands of Mrs. Tate, his foster mother, is brutal, to say the least. The attempt at the hand of an older woman in the Tate's household of a sexual molestation, gives Antwone a bitter taste that stays with him throughout his adult life, as he has been scarred by the shame he carries with him.

Antwone finds love at last with Cheryl, who is patient enough to make him see a different world by the love she and support she gives him.

The lead performances are very good indeed. Denzel Washington's Dr. Davenport has his own problems too. He is not a happy camper either. He can help Antwone, but he cannot help himself, or his relationship with an adoring wife.

The talent in the film is incredible. Joy Bryant makes a fine Cheryl. Novella Nelson, who is a fine actress is superb as Mrs. Tate, the abusing foster mother.

The reunion of Antwone with his unknown family is a bit too sugary and sentimental, but of course, if one is to believe that Fisher finds happiness at last, one has to accept that part of the film as well.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A moving story for adoptees

10/10
Author: (esargent) from Portland, OR
17 January 2003

I was adopted at birth and certainly did NOT have the problems Antwone fisher had in the movie, but I still share some of the emotions and this movie really helped to bring them out and force me to deal with them. It even caused me to realize that I do have a "missing piece" and I am going to seek out my birthparents now.

I cried for almost a day after I saw this the first time. Antwone's confrontation with his birthmother juxtaposed with his father's family's reaction to his sudden appearance are powerful for those of us who don't know what will happen if we find our birth parents. And his self-confidence and self affirmations to his mother and against the abusers of his past were so powerful. I could really identify with this and my need to tell people "yeah, I was put aside by my parents when I was born. BUT another set of parents picked me up and loved me. And now I am a success!"

It also helped my wife understand me and our adopted children, who did go through tragic experiences before they came to our home. And it helped me to realize just how messed up our social system is. If you remember reading the story last year about the foster kid in Florida who was "lost" AND then the "Miranda & Ashley" story in Oregon City where SCF ignored multiple sexual abuse complaints about the man who ultimately killed them AND the week this movie was released, yet another story in New Jersey of three kids who were ignored by the system. One died. The state apparently thought the home they were in was ok because the guardian was employed (as a stripper) and "only occasionally" used heroin!

There are just so many issues that are brought out in this movie - and they are dealt with so well by the script and by the acting that Antwone Fisher should be a "Best Picture" nominee for sure. No matter if you are adopted or not, it is a heart-tugger that can't be ignored by anyone concerned about children in our society.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A miraculous journey to recovery that will warm one's soul...

Author: janyeap from Washington, DC
4 December 2002

It's Denzel Washington/s debut as a director, and his film does very well in exploring the moral dilemmas and redemption of his principal character, Antwone Fisher. Skirting the line between facts and fiction, he addresses the issues of pains, rage and aspirations of the young man. The film flows with a vividly soulful and engaging cinematic pace that is truly praiseworthy. There are many instances of sentimental exposes that viewers will find difficult to forget. The tale floats like an ordinary fare, but Denzel, the actor, keeps the story in motion as a priceless support to his refreshingly new protege actor, Derek Luke. Very cool performance! With every step he takes in the scenes, his presence commands the screen! Also, the heartfelt performance of the 28 year-old actor, Derek Duke, who plays the adult Antwone ‘Fish' Fisher, is equally awesome. This film does capture a journey that will keep the audience holding on to the belief that every human outcast can be saved, given the right guidance. A truly inspirational film that should be seen by all.

The story is really formidable and the overall cast is formidably impressive. The theme of redemption is solidly and beautifully expressed through the interaction of the characters. The flashback reminders of the tyrannically abusive past of young Antwoine work well to help explain the rage, lack of confidence and misbehavior of Antwone Fisher. The on screen chemistry between Washington's Dr. Davenport and Luke's Antwone, and between Antwone and Joy Bryant's Cheryl is captivating. Novella Nelson's Mrs. Tate is certainly a terror to meet. I was also impressed by young Cory Hodges' terrific performance. Overall, the cast presents their characters in a very believable manner. I find myself associating some of the characters with those from the writings of one of my favorite authors, James Baldwin. Unfortunately, with the exception of the Antwone, the D. Davenport and the Cheryl characters, many of the talented actors seem to ooze in and out of sight without solid positioning. I could sit and watch the melodrama of the last Thanksgiving scene over and over again.

The flow of events set forth the pace of behavioral and mental development of Antwone. They may seemingly appear as events flatly thrown in as mere excuses to show Antoine's faults, but succeeds in giving reasons and offering solutions to the problems faced by the Antwone character. I love the way they are presented, almost in a hurried pace as if to raise spontaneous questions in the audience's minds as they analyze the young sailor's attitude! The film does portray a sense of emotional parallel between Antwone and Davenport, both waiting for the correct moments to burst out with their hidden deep-rooted emotions. That `poem-reading' session is a definite highlight of the film. Derek Luke has a unique charismatic charm that will surely warm the hearts of many.

This is great family film that expounds on the battle of a man `under a rock' in his attempt to fight his internal demons. Yep, there are a lot of visual moments of traumatic pains and sufferings as there are many instances of emotional victories. And Mychaela Danna's music scores contribute wonderfully to the intensity of the moods of characters. Truly an inspirational film to watch! Thoroughly enjoyable!

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