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Selma (2014)

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A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.


Ava DuVernay


Paul Webb
3,475 ( 142)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 59 wins & 89 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
David Oyelowo ... Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Carmen Ejogo ... Coretta Scott King
Jim France ... Gunnar Jahn
Trinity Simone ... Girl #1
Mikeria Howard Mikeria Howard ... Girl #2
Jordan Rice ... Girl #3
Ebony Billups Ebony Billups ... Girl #4
Nadej K. Bailey ... Girl #5 (as Nadej Bailey)
Elijah Oliver Elijah Oliver ... Boy #1
Oprah Winfrey ... Annie Lee Cooper
Clay Chappell Clay Chappell ... Registrar
Tom Wilkinson ... President Lyndon B. Johnson
Giovanni Ribisi ... Lee White
Haviland Stillwell ... President's Secretary
André Holland ... Andrew Young


The unforgettable true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay's "Selma" tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. Written by Miss W J Mcdermott

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One dream can change the world. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



UK | USA | France



Release Date:

9 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Selma: El poder de un sueño See more »

Filming Locations:

Marietta, Georgia, USA See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$633,173, 2 January 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ava DuVernay offered the role of Richie Jean Jackson to Niecy Nash after watching her in Getting On (2012). See more »


John Lewis wears a wedding band in 1965. He was never married until 1968. See more »


Martin Luther King Jr.: Selma it is.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Martin Sheen is not listed in the credits. See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Care Bears Nutcracker Suite (2014) See more »


Written by John Legend (as John Stephens), Common (as Lonnie Lynn), Rhymefest (as Che Smith)
Performed by Common & John Legend
Common appears courtesy of Artium Records/Def Jam Recordings
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
John Legend appears courtesy of Getting Out Our Dreams/Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An intelligent, resonate and expertly crafted piece, if a little dry.
23 January 2015 | by Sergeant_TibbsSee all my reviews

Poor Selma. This Oscar season is quite unsatisfying without being able to see Selma live up to its full potential had a proper awards campaign taken place. While I expected it to still do well with the Academy, instead it makes an appearance similar to Pride at the Golden Globes. Sitting (almost) alone in the Picture category representing a minority. At least it seems it'll win Best Song. There's two aspects that sorely deserved a nomination, with all due respect to their peers. One is David Oyelowo's performance as Martin Luther King Jr., who nails his articulate speeches with an arresting passion. Sparks fly in his hands and you can't take your eyes off him. The second is Ava DuVernay's direction, whose delicacy, intelligence, and gravitas shine on screen. I marvel at how she wrote those original speeches yet still demonstrates a remarkable restraint. Selma takes itself deadly seriously, there's not a lick of humour to be found, and any break from documenting its events are often downbeat character moments.

There's a reason - the critics weren't kidding when they said that Selma feels like a mirror to society today with the violence and unrest. It's almost disturbing, but it resonates stronger than I ever expected. The film may be very dry, but every time it starts to lull it grabs you back, often in Oyelowo's hands. The most rousing moments of the film are when people are joining arms to do something together. Bradford Young's cinematography is the aspect that really holds it together. He relishes in the darkness, pushes objects to the edge of the frame, and holds so much tension in the air. At the very least, he makes this film such expertly crafted cinema. However, I would've liked to have seen King withstand a bit more damage. He may be courageous but it's difficult to have a truly compelling protagonist without taking some punches themselves. Perhaps Selma is too broad for its own good. It may not incite a fire in me like the filmmakers have, but I certainly admire the filmmaking. Lots of bright futures in this cast and crew.


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