(2013)

Critic Reviews

62

Metascore

Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Boseman is watchful, winning and confident, but never saintly. Yet he keeps Robinson's moral spine aligned with his skill and self-respect, showing how he needed all of those to succeed.
83
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.
75
San Francisco Chronicle
A superior sports movie, dealing honestly with a great American story.
75
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.
75
A kind and decent film, but doesn't add to Robinson's legacy.
75
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.
65
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
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.
63
It takes a particularly ham-fisted filmmaker to transform a fascinating and historically significant story into something as formulaic as 42.
50
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.
40
Wall Street Journal
What's been carefully filtered out of the film as a whole is the tumult and passion of Robinson's life.

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