Fences

Drama • PG-13 • Directed by: Denzel Washington • 139 minutes

Some people build fences to keep people out - and other people build fences to keep people in. Academy Award winner® Denzel Washington and Academy Award nominee® Viola Davis deliver the year’s most powerful performances in the film adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Fences. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, the film takes a passionate look at former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Washington) as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. Washington’s directorial triumph pulses with the universal truths of love, forgiveness, and happiness despite what lies beyond your own fence.

Viewer reviews

An actor's movie
★★★★
If you like good theatrical acting, this is the movie for you. This is a universal story of every family or ethnic group who has ever struggled for their existence and to find their way through limitations imposed outside their control or became self-imposed. However, for those who like entertainment for a brief respite from reality, this movie is not for youl. — EConrad

Waste of a Life
★★★★
Though I love the cast in this movie, it is racist and cliched, and a total waste of what little time we have on this planet. I feel like I need a shower. I also feel like I should get my $5 back. This film sucked! — windowsnomo

Relates Most To African Americans
★★★★★
The ones who give it poor reviews are whites, and that's because Denzel used alot of anecdoting and slain that would make caucasians upset. So be it. For African Americans, especially for this successful African American who saw his father run out at the age of 13, hits home. This is exactly what happened during Antwone Fisher 15 years ago; and out of all the movies I've seen over the years, onyl two have made me cry. This and Antwone. Breathtaking performances and idealistic to say the least. — RicanInThailand

Good acting
★★★★
Tl;dr: don't watch it's boring and a waste of time 2 hours of a mentally sick brother,a fraud son, a kid who could have been a great footbal player (but he can't because his dad won't let him), a friend who wants to help but the main carachter wont listen, and a selfish, unloving man who only cars about himself and his wants, who sees his family as an obligation and not love, no positives at all DONT WATCH — Legomaker101

WOW
★★★★★
The actor's performances were beyond anything I have seen in a long time. The film was more than just moving; it was the depiction of the life of a family-flawed and heroic- that was deeply affecting because it touched what is profoundly real about all our struggles to survive and try to get it right. Highly reccommended. Films this well done don't come along very often. — rowan2

The Play on Film
★★★★
Denzel and Viola Davis put on an acting clinic. The rest if the cast is decent but not on their level. It's very much like the play and less like a standard movie drama. — Dan Hart Design

I broke down at the end
★★★★★
I have my reasons.. Don't judge me! Well played in what it was meant to deliver! — iam_calvinwayne

not my kind of movie
★★★★★
I'm guessing the rotten tomatoes people like this type of movie. It's not my cup of tea. I guess the acting is fantastic...but the story behind the movie wasn't my kind of movie. He definitely did a great job of acting...but I found myself skipping through the movie just to get through the movie. It just seemed like a real-life kind of movie...angry father who's chance in life missed him...son who hates his dad...it just wasn't a feel good movie. — Fly Fishing for Bonefish !

Conversational
★★★★★
No action or thriller here. A conversational movie where real actors play real people. The amount of lines these actors and actresses had to memorize....amazing! Emotional and beautiful. — Daisylillymom

Fences kept Troy from being more....
★★★★★
thats what this movie is all about. The fence was in his mind. He couldn't let go of the past--- or stop himself from blaming others for his failures. He was a hard worker but not a good person. He felt his place in life was in stone and he couldn't be any more than he was. He had no faith anyone else in his circle could be more. He never changed and let his past define him. He was never free until he died. The acting was phenomonal. The story insightful. I tought it was fabulous and had a good lesson. Denzel and Viola were exceptional. — ATLLAW

A little on the fence but still score Denzel Washington with another stellar performance
★★★★★
Kinda hard to believe Denzel Washington didn't win another Oscar award but if I can recall someone did! Viola Davis!!! Are the Academy Awards still racist? This movie is not for those who get easily depressed. Good Fences make great movies! — 16 HORSES

Must See!
★★★★★
Wonderfully written and perfectly performed by Denzel and Viola. — dfelici1

Outstanding film, amazing performances!!
★★★★★
This movie was soo good. Wanted to go out, buy another ticket, and watch it all over again!! — Bloorain

Great Movie
★★★★★
I read the play back when I was in high school and loved it, so when I saw Denzel and Viola creating this to be seen on film I said to my self I had to see it. And I love the movie, the emotion, the struggle of life was all to real. I don't get the bad reviews by some people who can't get the reason why the N word was used a lot , well maybe those people are not too smart to recognize the time of when this movie takes place but that doesn't change my mind that this was a great movie to watch. If you don't like it then fine everypne has their opinion but it certainly wasn't a bad movie. — Romello Styles

Good, not great, but good
★★★★
I enjoyed the story. Man struggles to be bigger and better than life allows. At 20 I would have walked out, at 30 to 40, maybe gave it an okay. Now, I know where the guy is coming from. A coming of age film for those of us coming into .... well, later ages. — LOMG77

Hype
★★★★★
The hype was better than the movie. Would like to have $5 of my money back. — GAR''BAGE

Tremendous
★★★★★
Denzel does it again ! Fantastic movie , Viola Davis is beyond phenomenal. Great movie , life , love , and family! I can't say enough good things about it! Acting doesn't get any better than this . — Memoe25

Waste of Money and Time
★★★★
Worse movie I have ever seen! Disappointing Denzel Washington character of All time! I hated this movie, and I cannot stress enough how it took every ounce of my being to even sit through until the end. If You are still doubting me; do Yourself a huge favor and wait for it to be available for rental so You don't waste as much Money as I did. — BamaGirlGing

It all Happens in the Backyard
★★★★
Cheaply made. Details failing: Bottle varies from hand to hand as to liquid volume; plants disappear from outside shelf. Where was the eye for detail? Acting was great. But the detail distractions ruin any thought it might be an award winner. Don't buy. — Jchalups

Fences
★★★★★
Amazing — NiñoTKD

hmmmmmm
★★★★
nice littlr play that transitioned well to the screen....personally i grew up at this time and in a similar neighborhood. Wonderfully acted; but not oscar material for Best Picture......just a neighborhood opinion! And yes! Auntie Helen's house was that neat and that clean! — artistcaper

Wow what a story!!!
★★★★★
Wow Denzel and Viola were fantastic! So many struggles, emotions, twists, etc., this movie brings them all together nicely, and wraps it all into a powerful story. These are the types of movies I want to watch, please keep making them! — Realblog

Excellent
★★★★★
Great movie worth the buy — Mindcraft33

Surprisingly great, exceeded expectations
★★★★★
This movie, although sad but it portrays life in many family's but shows there achievements as well. Excellent acting skills shown by all artists. This film will be listed in the National archives without a doubt. — Lear23

You learn something from this movie
★★★★★
The last review gave this movie a 1 because the person wanted it to be 'positive'. I wholeheartedly disagree with that perspective. This movie was a great story about life. Life is not perfect. People are not perfect. You make choices and you must accept the consequences and move forward. Forgiveness and compassion are important lessons to learn & they are often difficult. This movie had incredible acting (you can't get any better than Denzel & Viola is amazing). It's a real, honest, raw story and a beautiful one at that. — mac.10515

not what I expected........
★★★★★
but in a good way. Really enjoyed this movie, and on Oscar night, I am strongly pulling for Denzel and Viola.... their acting was brilliant ! — csz0614

Great movie if you want to get angry
★★★★
Why didn't I get up and leave? Unfounded hope. Nothing but the cover picture hinted that this was a positive movie, not even the commercials. I just assumed because that's what usually happens: a change of character or a great reveal. I continued to watch this movie hoping that the main character, Troy, would change directions and apologize to his family for his behavior, or explain to his son he saw great potential and wanted him to do good, or tell his wife truthfully he had never done anything wrong (but had considered it) and fully intended to spend the rest of his life being a loving husband and doting father. It never happened. Troy Maxim went through the whole movie refusing to become a better person, refusing to try anything new, refusing to hear anybody out, refusing to admit when he'd done wrong, refusing to stop doing things that hurt other people, refusing to do anything fun and upbeat. He was stuck in a rut and became the rut for others. He was the kind of person you can't believe exists but they somehow do. I went into the theater looking forward to a happy ending, sat through it looking forward to my husband and I switching movies, and left at the end looking forward to a drive home listening to an upbeat comedian on Pandora. If you're looking for a movie that inspires you to do great things or shows you the power of love... this is not that movie. Maybe try Hidden Figures. This is the movie you watch when you want to bolster your bad mood so you don't forgive someone's wrongdoings. This is a great movie if you want to get angry. — Remnant1018

Amazing
★★★★★
This movie was amazing definitely recommend it and Viola Davis is just an amazing actress — Rjbranch

Amazing Acting
★★★★★
While the acting was amazing, I am probably just not smart enough to have gotten this movie. I think I'm the only person in the world who is not smart enough to get it because the reviews are stellar :). — whippoorwill

Deceiving
★★★★★
I went to watch this movie thinking that it was going to be like another Coach Boone. I got up and left instead 40 minutes in due to nothing significant occurring. Sure you could say that I didn't give it a chance, I would agree partially. But as I sat there watching the movie I realized my ears started to hurt from all talking that Denzel Washington's character produced. Within the first 15 minutes there had been easily five heavy sexual references that were not necessary nor part of the plot. I can't figure out how rotten tomatoes gave this movie a 94%, I guess that just shows us what society deems as appropriate talk. I think also upon racism in the movie and racism to modern day. Repeatedly throughout the beginning Denzel Washington's character states the N word stating how the white man is racist and that he is not, but he is just as racist if not more racist I find. People wonder why racism is still around, well one of the reasons is because of movies like this when people see what occurred in the past they have feelings rekindled around anger and hatred, now why would we want to rekindled these things we should be moving on from racism but when movies come out portraying racism then we give it a stamp of approval. Too many times do we bring things back from the past when we really we should be drawing on the future. We already know what this world can be like with hatred and anger, it's not a great place. — Michael.d24

Wow
★★★★★
Slow movie with a lot of dialogue. Everyones performance was great and I was so engaged with everyone. This movie depicts what an African American family would be like in the 50's and I highly praise Denzel as a director. Watch it! — Neil Smoove

Great Movie!
★★★★★
Saw Fences in movie theater. Excellent movie. Must-see movie! Already pre-ordered. — D. Bartee

Amazing
★★★★★
I went to see this last night and all I can say is that it is a must see. It reminded me of Death of a Salesmen, another great play and movie. The acting is spot on, of course with Washington and Davis. For being Christmas night, the theater was packed. There wasn't anything I would change. I think this film desrves all of its accolades and all of the awards. It also reminded me of A Raisin in the Sun. It's about race, socioeconomic status, love, ambition, and the relationship between parent and child. The cinematography is breathtaking. The plot is spellbinding. I can't say enough good things about it. Go watch it. — Brin21

Amazing, but not for everyone.
★★★★★
Denzel Washington provides an emotional, well written, and realistic script that makes you feel like you are right there with Denzel and Viola Davis. Fences will have you feeling happy, sad, and at sometimes, wanting to talk to some of the characters in the film while watching. If you love a good, well written, Drama, then this movie is for you. But, if you like fast moving or action-packed films, well then this isn't for you. Fences puts you into the shoes of a struggling, African American family in the mid 50's, but when the film ends you ultimately start thinking, "What was the plot?". Denzel makes an amazingly real film that has your heart racing and that plays with our emotions but, ultimately (when you think about it) had no plot. I will give Denzel Washington's Fences 5 stars for delivering an emotional and real story. — Noah the Broah

I pre ordered this when will it be available to view
★★★★★
Heard it's very good so I pre ordered it. — Byjennings

Fences
★★★★★
History is often written by the victor .. For me to give a review about a movie that hasn't been out for 24 hrs is a Forest But just from the previews I know that this movie has presents, passion and delivery to capture the true story of the second most forgotten story of the lost people of America _The American black people _Second to the American Indian. This movie is powerful Beyond reproach Chief Andrew Jackson USN(ret) — 0070papadrew