(2006)

Critic Reviews

62

Metascore

Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
Entertainment Weekly
With the same affinity for stories of culture clash he showed in "The Quiet American" and "Rabbit-Proof Fence," director Phillip Noyce embraces the tale with gusto.
75
This deeply moving and disturbing film derives power from being based on the true story of a black South African who does everything possible, no matter how degrading, to get by within an immoral system, but becomes radicalized almost despite himself.
75
Philadelphia Inquirer
Luke, who had the title role in Denzel Washington's directorial debut, "Antwone Fisher," is that rare actor who can convey profound inner conflict with just a look in his eye; his performance is attuned, astute and remarkable.
75
New York Daily News
The movie belongs to Luke, who brings the heroic Chamusso to life as richly as Forest Whitaker does the evil Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland."
75
Miami Herald
Screenwriter Shawn Slovo -- whose white parents were anti-apartheid activists in South Africa -- ends his finely tuned screenplay on a note not of violence and anger but of forgiveness. It's a breathtaking coda that reminds us of that undeniable human beauty: the ability to survive, to fight for right -- and then move peacefully on.
75
New York Post
Luke, who seems to have been marking time since his impressive debut in the title role of Denzel Washington's "Antwone Fisher" four years ago, is fiercely good as this reluctant warrior and devoted family man.
75
Catch a Fire isn't edgy like some of Noyce's previous titles nor is it a big-budget endeavor with A-list stars. Instead, it's a simple and sincere tale of inspiration.
75
Premiere
Right off the bat, Catch a Fire distinguishes itself from other recent international productions about Africa (including The Constant Gardener and The Last King of Scotland) in that it is actually told from an African perspective.
70
Wall Street Journal
An affecting story of punishment and crime, of betrayal and redemption marred by preachiness and a treacly ending, Catch a Fire is notable for its refusal to see things in terms of black and white.
70
The Hollywood Reporter
Comparisons to "Hotel Rwanda" make sense up to a point - both feature heroes who have the scales removed from their eyes - but "Fire" is no tearjerker, and here the story of Chamusso's conversion serves mainly as prologue to the main plot, a history-tinted cat-and-mouse policier in which he will attempt to finish the job he was wrongly accused of starting.
63
Though preachy at times, Catch a Fire is a well-constructed action thriller elevated by Luke's performance.

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