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Reviews & Ratings for
"Roots" More at IMDbPro »

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36 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Review of Roots

Author: nofearcoalition from United States
1 June 2016

I absolutely love this version of Roots. Its unfortunate that some reviewers of this program refuse to understand the basic fact that there are no good or bad kidnappers - only bad. The act of kidnapping does not allow for some to claim a moral high ground because you provide "small kindnesses." This version of ROOTS is similar to the stories my grandparents told me. Africans were not grateful for small favors - they wanted their freedom. What is undeniable is that all white people profited from this filthy trade in human beings - even the abolitionist. Some abolitionist were honest enough to admit this simple truth.

I wish this version of ROOTS appeared on basic channels so that more people, particularly non- cable watchers could have learned about the resistance of Africans to kidnapping and oppression. Bravo to the producers of this version of Roots!

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24 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

So Moving (And Accurate)

Author: jamie from Alabama, USA
3 June 2016

The Roots reboot (it's not a remake) was such an amazing piece of television that, despite several users' reviews, was (sadly) historically accurate. Decades of additional research has gone into slavery since the original Roots which allows for a more historically accurate depiction of slavery, although that means it's not necessarily as true to Alex Haley's book (a fair trade-off, if you ask me). Regardless, it is a compelling piece of storytelling based on the facts of the US's shameful past.

That said, some of the negative reviews on here are stunning in their idiocy. My two favorite being the one who asks why there's no depiction of the "good Christian slave owner" and the one who claims there are historical inaccuracies and claims the fact that he "lives with a black woman" as proof that he is an expert on the subject. Basically, what I'm saying is that you should take that 7.whatever overall rating with a grain of salt. Pretty sure the rating for this miniseries should be nearer a 9 overall.

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27 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Love the re-make!

Author: tori
31 May 2016

Such a delight! Both my young daughters we're able to follow and stay interested; now they both have lots of questions about American history... Very nicely re-made. Hopefully now they will be interested in watching the original (although not in HD), or they will ask to actually read the book.

Oldest daughter is currently in APUSH and concerned about the lack of quality information regarding this period of time. My youngest tends to be in denial about this era, as she can't quite understand cruelty amongst people, in general. This was a great way to introduce her to this country's past (and maybe explain how it relates to the present).

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32 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

A great show about America's sad and dark history

Author: Aman
31 May 2016

This show is absolutely brilliant. It really shows America's sad and dark history with slavery. The beginning sort of reminded me of the Amistad movie starring Djimon Hounsou and Anthony Hopkins, the gore violence and details really showed how people back then lived like mere products simply because of their skin color. I especially liked how it shows the lives of these slaves back in their homeland from where they were kidnapped from; the lives they once had but were ripped apart from at no warning. It's a part in history no one likes remembering, a part in history we'd all rather forget than remember. Movies and shows like these are very violent and filled with so much gore details, but it is a remembrance of the hard reality people once faced, lived, and died in.

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17 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Roots 2016 - I expected better

Author: pattana746 from PA, USA
6 June 2016

I watched the original in my 20s, and I remember how shocking and great the impact was. I don't think this new version can compare to the original Roots. The acting was not good. It felt rushed, and so many important details were left out, as if to get it produced and on the screen as quickly as possible. There were only four episodes. I didn't feel that we got to know and "feel" the characters enough to care about them. The only actor that did an excellent job of portraying some emotion was Forest Whitaker, who is an astounding actor. I was eagerly anticipating this new version, but was very disappointed in it. I expected so much better from the History Channel.

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14 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful & Terrible Film

Author: stacymattthomas
5 June 2016

First, I admit I don't remember seeing the first Roots. I may have when I was young but I don't remember it and I've never read the book so I came into the story with no presuppositions. Even though this is a work of fiction (that Mr Haley apparently plagiarized) it is a work of fiction based in historical fact. Like many incredible works of literature or film the thread of the story may be fiction but it's set in a very real period in history.

All that to say, I'm astonished by some of the reviews on this board. It seems some want a polished up version of history, a Gone With the Wind version that is still ugly if you look close enough at the nuances of the story. The truth is, humans were stolen from their homes and the only world they had ever known or seen and then their traffickers sold them like they were livestock or furniture or maybe even less. They had no rights and every single thing - especially their dignity - was stripped from them. They were dropped into a world they didn't understand or recognize, without even the fortune of common language. This isn't some made up perspective to suit the politics of Black Lives Matter or anything else, it is fact.

If a movie were set in the early 1940's in Germany and the story was about a Jewish family who were actually treated decently by their "Christian" jailers while they were living in a concentration camp, that showed some good sides to the camp as well, everyone would RIGHTFULLY be appalled. But here? No, it seems some want to polish up this ugly stain of American history and call it decoration rather than what it was - horrific.

Okay, so now that I got that off my chest... I found myself crying through many parts of this miniseries and gripped by the injustices at every step. I wanted some happy endings too but only because I was drawn in and rooting for the main characters, but I also realize that happy endings rarely happened during this era for Africans and African Americans and as they rarely had control over their own lives they must have had to deal with the emptiness of unfinished stories, unanswered questions, the sickness of not knowing what happened to their loved ones when they were stolen or violated or sold off. As the viewer I felt that pain and I empathized with the main characters. The apathy and sometimes hatred coming from the slave owners and traders and the way one sin would lead to another and to another so even those with some sense of decency were quick to treat black people as less than and not equal to as soon as they felt threatened or to feel better about their standing in society. This Roots was more The Kitchen House than Gone with the Wind, as viewers we benefit from that fact.

The production and settings were gorgeous and the actors were as well. I thought this was a beautiful telling of a most terrible time.

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21 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Sad but historically factual!

Author: minmuf from Toronto, Canada
2 June 2016

Both my husband and I have watched the 1st 3 installments to this miniseries. We both had seen the 1977 version, and although some changes have been made...the story still haunts us. I have always felt a deep emotion to any stories of slavery and till this day I still cannot understand why the color of our skin can cause such emotion in people.My heart has been heavy these past few days as the hardships this family endured is beyond bravery, beyond restraint, beyond compassion.... It is a reminder of not only what happened in North America, but what happens all over the world ....people thinking they own another human being...

I will never ever forget this miniseries, it stayed with me from 1977 and this version will stay with me till I die....Perhaps I will be still around to see equality, passion and love for all human beings, no matter the color of their skin.

The acting of the whole new cast is beyond believable.


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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Not the best

Author: sueb-262-93825 from New Zealand
5 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've only just started to watch the new series but am amazed that the women had strapless bras/bodices in 1760, Africa. America should come to terms with historical fact and the human body. Why are the male and female bodies more on display in this series, because now USA/society wants this and it attracts more viewers. Sometimes less is more. Everything looks much cleaner, more perfect and clinical than real life. I hope that there is historical evidence of force feeding of transport slaves, it seems very contrary. So far it hasn't improved on the earlier series. Is this what today's audience wants? Not if they're educated and discerning. The first series was very powerful, shocking and educating for many people.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Bland Retelling of the Alex Haley Classic Modeled on "Twelve Years a Slave"

Author: l_rawjalaurence from London
21 June 2016

What to make of this much-heralded remake of the Alex Haley classic? It has a lot going for it - a starry cast led by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Malachi Kirby, Forrest Whittaker and Lawrence Fishburne; atmospheric photography Peter Menzies jr. and Sharone Meir; and an authentic production design by Ida Random, David Barkham and Jonathan Hely-Hutchinson.

Yet the overall impression of this four-parter is one of blandness; a sense that the directors Bruce Beresford, Phillip Noyce, Mario van Peebles and Thomas Carter are simply retelling the story without any feeling for its historical significance. There are too many dramatic set-pieces strongly reminiscent of TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, especially when the African American characters are assaulted by their white masters, while the settings (a plantation; the white slave-owner's house; the cattle-market) are shot in such a way - using bright light accompanied by atmospheric music - as to encourage the belief that we are watching a pared-down version of the Steve McQueen film.

The narrative lumbers on throughout each episode, with a pronounced lack of dramatic incident. The directors seem to have been so concerned with atmosphere (or lack thereof), that they have not really encouraged the actors to flesh out their roles. Too often we see performers simply going through the motions of performing with little concern for historical verisimilitude.

This is a real shame, because the idea to remake ROOTS seemed in principle to be such a good one, as a way of reminding viewers that the racial conflicts taking place in the antebellum United States have still not been resolved today. What a shame, therefore, that the creative personnel involved in this miniseries failed to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

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10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Utter PC crap

Author: Frank
27 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The original version of Roots is a deeply moving story of an American family through 4 generations of unimaginable cruelty, hardship, tragedy and the evils of slavery. This new version however is nothing but 8 hours of Hollywood pandering to BLM thugs. Ridiculous and unnecessary changes to key parts and plot elements have been shoehorned in all over the place: the way Kunta was captured, Kunta fighting in the British army, Fiddler being impaled, the couple of scenes where Kunta basically turns into Maximus from Gladiator and smites his enemies, petty much every civil war scene etc, etc etc. Nearly every violent death scene is given the extra level of splatter that you'd expect to see in a bad summer action movie flop. The white villains from the original are given an extra level of gratuitous, almost cartoonish cruelty. The white characters who had shreds of redeeming qualities in the original were either changed to be completely evil (like the "Harvey"/Murray family - there were a couple scenes where I half expected the Murray son to curl his mustache and give a "MUAH HAHA"-type laugh like a comic book super-villain ) or deleted entirely (the Johnsons). Oh and just to be extra PC, within the films first 10 minutes excuses are made - in both the narration and dialogue - for the fact that slavery was also practiced in Africa.

Don't waste your time with this piece of crap.

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