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595 Ratings


Directed by Denzel Washington
United States, 2016


An African American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life.

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Fences Directed by Denzel Washington

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

2017 | 3 nominations including: Best Motion Picture of the Year

2017 | Winner: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Village Voice Film Poll

2016 | 3 nominations including: Best Actor

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2016 | 2 nominations including: Best Lead Actor

American Film Institute Awards

2017 | Winner: Movie of the Year

It took the intensely emotional and claustrophobic charge of August Wilson’s play — which Washington had already done onstage — and carried it over intact to the screen.
October 11, 2018
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Denzel Washington directs and stars in this film adaptation of August Wilson’s play, opening it up to real locations in Pittsburgh without marring its essential qualities as a stage drama. His performance and direction are generous and sensitive, allowing plenty of room for the actors in smaller parts (Mykelti Williamson, Russell Hornsby) to dig into their characters.
February 24, 2017
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It’s hard to feel ill will towards a movie that gives a showcase to Davis in her prime… And then of course there’s Washington, who gives his line readings real cadence and swing, the very aspects that are absent from the film itself. His Troy enjoys himself immensely in spinning his yarns – one hopes that Denzel Washington, the director, will someday evince the same sense of pleasure in his filmmaking.
February 03, 2017

What are people saying?

  • chanandre's rating of the film Fences

    [Netflix] Hounds at the gates. Literature to theater to film to literature again. Hounds of hell. Severed heads. Cheatin' to man up. Womanlessness as lesson. Skipping memorials. "Goodbye garden". taking a swing at mr. death. building that fence to avoid 'Destroy Everything You Touch". Denzel is on the all-time best team of acting players there ever was. Rivals with Manchester By the Sea altho this pain is spread out.

  • Gia de Almeida's rating of the film Fences

    The performances on this are out of this world but this movie would have benefited immensely from giving us the opportunity to know these characters through other mediums (dunno, flashbacks or something) other than dialogue and monologue. It lends the idea that you're watching the play on the big screen. It's incredibly moving but mostly because of the performances and, above all, the source material.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Fences

    A team of exceptional actors stage a tribute to one of America's great playwrights. Stage-to-screen adaptations are usually dicey, rarely taking advantage of half of cinema's potential for visual storytelling, and this is no exception. Maybe because its goal is homage, it inspires more reverence for the talent of August Wilson than investment in the story. But damn if it doesn't have some power.

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film Fences

    An acting masterclass through-and-through where Viola and Denzel are exceptional. The cinematography, editing and mise-en-scène is functional, and Denzel barely changes a word from Wilson's 80s play about 50s America dissecting the lives of suburban working-to-middle class African-American milieus. Like Miller's 'Death of a Salesman', we are left inspecting The American Dream in the context of inbetweeners.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Fences

    Powerhouse performances from Washington and Davis elevate this adaptation of the August Wilson play but fail to shrug off the theatrical nature of its design where one can check off each act as it goes by. However performances of this magnitude are a delight to witness.

  • Steve Pulaski's rating of the film Fences

    Everything I could've asked for an adaptation of August Wilson's incendiary, exceptionally written play of an average black family that successfully touches on so many problems the larger black community faces. Performances across the board are phenomenal, including Mykelti Williamson in a challenging role that I don't think people are praising enough. Yet another fantastic, human drama in 2016.

  • Catarina C Gomes's rating of the film Fences

    "Sometimes when he had me in his arms he cut me". This movie really resonated with me and I believe it's due to the fact that you can identify with everyone. We are all fathers, sons and lovers.

  • André Vieira's rating of the film Fences

    Welcome to Denzel's show. I'm glad he left an empty space for Viola because she sure makes her presence felt. Sit back and enjoy this sad and powerful ride filled with memorable performances.

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