The Great Debaters


Action / Biography / Drama / Romance

IMDb Rating 7.6 10 51281


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 55,374 times
February 16, 2012 at 12:03 AM


Denzel Washington as Melvin B. Tolson
Glen Powell as Harvard Debater #1
Forest Whitaker as Dr. James Farmer Sr.
Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Samantha Booke
748.39 MB
23.976 fps
2hr 6 min
P/S 7 / 94

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by sbusch-35048 8 / 10

Great acting

This is a movie that checks all the boxes for a based on a true underdog story, but it does it with superb acting, good cinematography and pacing, and powerful scenes. From what I've heard, it takes many liberties with the actual story, but the final product is still gratifying. My only gripe is the cliche story moments (especially in the beginning), but after a few scenes, the story picks up, and leads to a surprisingly emotional climax. I definitely recommend, especially for the acting.

Reviewed by zkonedog 9 / 10

A Great, Non-Confrontational Look At The Jim Crow South

In my opinion, Denzel Washington is the foremost actor (in terms of actual talent, not money making ability) of our generation. Yet, my one beef with him has often been his very sympathetic, almost revisionist-history take on certain race issues, such as Malcolm X or the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. In those types of films, one race can do no wrong while the other is the root of all evil, which (in reality) is usually never the case. When viewing this film, then, I had myself steeled for that sort of thing once again...the "take with a grain of salt" mentality. Fortunately, this movie had zero problems in that area.

The film tells the story of the small Wily College debate team in 1930s Texas (deep in the Jim Crow South) under the tutelage of the famous Melvin Tolson that took on all-comers (big or small) and defeated nearly every one of them. Yet, despite the amazing feats accomplished by that debate team, the real message of this film centers on the actual issues that are being debated, mainly having to do with civil rights or civil disobedience. This is where the debate format comes in very handy, as it allows for both sides of those important issues to be aired in the film. Does some bias show? Yes. Yet, everyone has their own opinion, and the bias that is evident in the film does not go beyond that.

The acting in this movie is also terrific. Washington is at his cool-as-a-cucumber best, while the young acting talent (forming the debate team) is also very strong. The presence of Forest Whitaker is another plus.

Overall, this is a great film that will really get you thinking about the issues that plagued the Jim Crow South. Most importantly, though, you will be able to see both sides of the story before making your decision. While in the film the judges decide who wins each debate, you can decide for yourself what you believe to be the most convincing argument.

Reviewed by Ross622 10 / 10

One of Denzel Washington's best movies

"The Great Debaters" was Denzel Washington's second movie as a director and it is one of the best movies that he has ever done. The movie stars Washington as Professor Melvin B. Tolson who teaches at Wiley College which at the time during the 1930's was an all black college located in Texas. As the title of the movie happens to give away during the early scenes of the movie Tolson decides to start a debate team that even though it has very few members during the course of the movie the team proves to be very effective with a strong winning record when it comes to debating other colleges from all across the country climbing the ladder from debating just black colleges in the beginning to debating white colleges near and towards the end of the movie. The team members include James Farmer Jr. (Denzel Whitaker, who isn't related to Forest Whitaker) whose father James Farmer Sr. (Forest Whitaker) also happens to be a college professor, Samantha Booke (Jurnee Somllett-Bell) and a few others. Washington's direction for this movie is so good along with Robert Eisele's screenplay the movie really makes you feel like you are really there in the debate audience watching these characters or at least that's how I felt while watching the movie. This isn't the only movie that Denzel Washington starred in in 2007 the other film being Ridley Scott's "American Gangster" which was also based on the true story of mobster Frank Lucas in which Washington also happened to give a great performance. Because of this movie i'm looking very much forward to seeing the other two films that were directed by Denzel Washington which are "Antwone Fisher" (2002) which was his first film as a director, and his most recent film "Fences"(2016). This is the best civil rights drama that I have seen so far and is one of 2007's very best films.

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