PG-13 | 25 December 2014 (USA)
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"Selma," as in Alabama, the place where segregation in the South was at its worst, leading to a march that ended in violence, forcing a famous statement by President Lyndon B. Johnson that ultimately led to the signing of the Voting Rights Act.


Pretty Good

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Best movie of this year hands down!

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best movie i've ever seen.

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An old-fashioned movie made with new-fashioned finesse.

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Magnificent re-telling of struggle for recognition of black voting rights. Incredibly it wasn't awarded an Oscar. Only real qualm is the soundtrack which is all over the place. Oyelowo's central performance holds everything together. Film doen't try to be over-ambitious with result that it isn't over-blown.

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No 20th century figure looms as large as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and no film could possibly encapsulate who he was and what he did over the course of his short but powerful lifetime. But in "Selma," director Ava DuVernay and writer Paul Webb find an ideal window of time through which to explore King's influence and not as a dreamer, but as a strategist. The film examines the chess moves that took place leading up to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a critical piece of legislation that removed many of the barriers keeping African-Americans away from the voting booth. In early 1965, King (David Oyelowo) arrives in Selma after being unable to convince President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) of making swift changes to protect the black right to vote. Knowing the only way he can make change is to double dow on peaceful protest and make more headlines in the news, he begins planning with members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and ultimately challenges Alabama Gov. George Wallace (Tim Roth), risking lives in order to get the federal government to act.Emotion layers every part of "Selma," but Webb's script has a definitive focus on tactics and explores the political maneuvering behind affecting actual change. Today, we regard the Civil Rights Movement and King's methods as one of the most effective efforts to enact social and political change and "Selma" shows just how calculated - not impulsive - those methods were.At the same time, the film suggests King was riddled with doubt. The man we know to be resolute if not stubborn in his will was keenly aware of the consequences for his fellow man. Oyelowo's best work as King comes in emulating his incredible oratory skills rather than the behind-the-scenes moments, but he's compelling nonetheless and captures both the strong leadership and humanity of this legendary figure.Still, the film operates best when it explores King as strategist and the dynamics on both sides of the board trying to plot their next move. The little character moments with King and, for example, his wife, Coretta (Carmen Ejogo) don't hold as much weight or attention. On the other hand, the way King interacts with others in the movement, like the father of a young protester killed by Selma police, show King's pastoral nature and bring deep humanity to the story. Those moments, when human consequences converge with the top view of change-making are when "Selma" shines most. The film just needs more of them. DuVernay also seems like a director best suited with that kind of material. The actors carry the brunt of conveying all the dialogue-heavy gamesmanship scenes for her, but she does best with moments like in the beginning when Oprah's Annie Cooper goes to the courthouse and tries registering to vote. That scene is a mere microcosm of what's discussed in the film, but it stands out because we can relate to it and feel for the character. The analytical side and the emotional side of "Selma" seem a bit at odds with each other through most of the film, but when they come together, they make for the kind of cinematic moments you want from a prestige picture like this. "Selma" is also pretty good when one side clearly overtakes the other, but admittedly it makes for a less cohesive finished product. Nevertheless, the film honors the pivotal piece of history it portrays and the key figure at its center. ~Steven CThanks for reading! Visit Movie Muse Reviews for more

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Miguel Neto

Selma tells the biopic of Martin Luther King in the historic marches held by him and peaceful demonstrators in 1965 between the city of Selma , inside the Alabama, to the state capital , Montgomery , seeking equal voting rights for the African community American , most unfortunately was another film that criticizes and much of the public liked , but I do not like the cast at least sends fine , David Oyelowo was snubbed by the academy , too deserved a nomination for the best actor Oscar, the cast has Tom Wilikinson , Carmen Ejogo , Giovanni Ribisi and etc., most are properly , either this evil in this film , the script is good, more is lost to mind some thing, the direction of Ava Duvernay is good in much of the film , Selma is an OK movie , I expected more, disappointed me a bit , has a good cast , and excellent performance of David Oyelowo . Note 5.8

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Selma is a fantastic movie with a very well developed storyline and a stellar cast. It's a powerful, engaging story as we follow the life of historical icon Martin Luther King Jr. as he leads the march from Selma to Montgomery, tracing this man's braveness, courage and sheer dedication to give his race the freedom they deserve. I was, however, disappointed that the film did not contain King's world famous "I Have A Dream" speech, I get that the events are set afterwards, but it would have been a great way to open the movie, and not getting David Oyelowo to deliver it was a huge missed opportunity. The cast is all around terrific, such as Tom Willinson, Carmen Ejogo and Tim Roth, but the majority of praise must go to Oyelowo, chronicling the emotion and passion of this man to perfection, he is completely transformed, delivering a stunning, underrated performance. Uplifting, powerful and very engaging, Selma is certainly worth the watch for anyone looking for a good drama. Martin Luther King Jr. struggles to fight for equal voting rights for the African American race. Best Performance: David Oyelowo

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