Fences

In Brief: Doesn’t open until Christmas day. See it. No mending needed for these fences.

Fences doesn’t open until Christmas Day. It’s a movie gift worth waiting for.

The film is unique because it looks like a play. That’s because it’s written by August Wilson who won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony award in 1987 and is just now getting around to putting it on film. Fences is also directed by Denzel Washington who also stars with Viola Davis (Suicide Squad).

They are Troy and Rose Maxson, a black couple with two kids striving to get ahead in the 1950s. Troy is a very intelligent but bitter man whose best days have passed him by. To compensate for his frustration, he intimidates his family.

Fences is a brilliant piece of work. Few actors can top Washington and Davis who both deservedly picked up Golden Globe nominations and more nominations are likely on the way. Washington’s role — in particular — is deep and dark. His stream-of-consciousness monologues are woven throughout Wilson’s script. He easily bounces between likable and despicable.

Davis is his anchor and is the film’s anchor. All that is light and good resides in her character. And like Washington, Davis could sit on a chair and stare at the camera for a whole movie and be 10-times better than about anyone else acting today. She’s that good and so is he.

The acting alone makes this one a must-see.

Director: Denzel Washington

Stars: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson

Rated PG-13 for mature themes and language. A heavy plot and equally heavy acting gets Fences a 5 on the Average Joe Movie 0 to 5 scale.

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5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.

Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 25-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.

Got a movie suggestion or comment? Email him!

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