By the time Oscar winners Washington and Whitaker — as rival influences on an all-black debate team — collide on screen in The Great Debaters, any excitement around their scenes is deflated by the manufactured drama of this true-life historical lesson. Director Washington films the story of Wiley College’s 1935 debate champions like a clichéd sports movie — one that lacks complexity or suspense. EXTRAS Spirited interviews with surviving Wiley debaters; gushing from starstruck producer Oprah Winfrey: ”I hope that in my lifetime I get…to work with Forest as an actor.” C+
Genre: Drama; Starring: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Jermaine Williams; Director: Denzel Washington; Author: Robert Eisele; Release Date Limited: 12/25/2007; Runtime (in minutes): 123; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: MGM
Posted May 2 2008 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': What's happened to Agent May?
- 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' star on Ghost Rider's surprising move
- Damian Lewis in talks to play the villain in 'Ocean's 8'
- 'Chicago Fire' creator breaks down episode 100's big surprises
- 'Suicide Squad' Honest Trailer takes aim at the 'worst heroes ever'
- Joe Biden clarifies 2020 presidential bid comments
- 'This Is Us': Chris Sullivan on that Toby cliffhanger in the winter finale
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2016: See Photos From the Catwalk
- Books Gift Guide 2016: 31 Books For Your Wish List
- The 11 Most Prolific TV Holiday Movie Actors
- Go Behind the Scenes of EW's Chrissy Teigen Photoshoot
- The 'Office Christmas Party' Cast Decks the Halls With Merry Mayhem
- The Best Gifts For 'Gilmore Girls' Fans