See What Critics Thought of Denzel Washington’s Fences Film

News   See What Critics Thought of Denzel Washington’s Fences Film
Currently in limited release, the movie version of August Wilson’s Pulitzer winner will open across the U.S. Christmas Day.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis Paramount Pictures

The long-awaited film version of August Wilson's Tony- and Pulitzer-winning drama Fences, starring Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, and several other cast members of the acclaimed 2010 Broadway revival, opened in a limited engagement in New York City and Los Angeles December 15.

The movie is scheduled for a full opening across the U.S. December 25, making it eligible for 2017 Academy Awards consideration. The film has already been nominated for several Golden Globe Awards.

Fences, which won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, is the story of Troy Maxson, a Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues finally admitted black players. He tries to be a good husband and father, but his lost dream of glory eats at him and causes him to make a decision that tears his family apart.

Although Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner had been announced to adapt the script, a spokesperson for Paramount told that the film is using the script created by Wilson himself before his death in 2005.

Two-time Oscar winner Washington and Davis play the lead roles of Troy and Rose Maxson, performances that won them Tony Awards in 2010. Mykelti Williamson plays the role of Gabriel, and Russell Hornsby again plays Lyons in the film.

Critics have begun filing their reviews of the film. will update this list as more are posted:

A.V. Club (Ignatiy Vishnevetsky) (Pete Hammond)

The Hollywood Reporter (Todd McCarthy)

The New York Times (A.O. Scott)

Rolling Stone (Peter Travers)

USA Today (Brian Truitt)

Variety (Owen Gleiberman)

The Wrap (Meriah Doty)

Watch a trailer:

Washington also directs. He plays the role created on Broadway by James Earl Jones. Washington has a separate deal with HBO to bring the rest of Wilson's “Century Cycle” or “Pittsburgh Cycle” plays to the small screen. The Fences project reportedly is not included, and was produced for Paramount by Washington and Scott Rudin.

Also in the film: Jovan Adepo (The Leftovers) as Washington's son Cory and Saniyya Sidney (Roots, Hidden Figures) as daughter Raynell.

(Updated December 19, 2016)


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