Fences (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fences (2016)



Critic Consensus: From its reunited Broadway stars to its screenplay, the solidly crafted Fences finds its Pulitzer-winning source material fundamentally unchanged -- and still just as powerful.

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Movie Info

Denzel Washington directed and stars in this adaptation of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which centers on a black garbage collector named Troy Maxson in 1950s Pittsburgh. Bitter that baseball's color barrier was only broken after his own heyday in the Negro Leagues, Maxson is prone to taking out his frustrations on his loved ones. Both Washington and co-star Viola Davis won Tonys for their performances in the 2010 revival of the play. Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, and Mykelti Williamson round out the supporting cast.

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Christopher Mele
as Deputy Commissioner
Lesley Boone
as Evangelist Preacher
Jason Silvis
as Garbage Truck Driver
Theresa Cook
as Parade Participant
Dontez James
as Bike Rider
Malik Abdul Khaaliq
as Front Yard Neighbor
Tra'Waan Coles
as Towns person
Chris McCail
as Neighbor / Soldier
Kameron Peters
as Soldier / Towns Person
Joshua Tronoski
as Angelo the Italian Server
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News & Interviews for Fences

Critic Reviews for Fences

All Critics (260) | Top Critics (54)

Davis went big...debuting film actor Jovan Adepo shines...

March 31, 2020 | Full Review…

This is a portrait of a doomed marriage that allows its stars to explode.

February 10, 2017 | Full Review…

Fences is the most classical piece of drama in the best picture line-up for this year's Oscars, with outstanding performances by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.

February 9, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Denzel Washington is a class act, and he has given us a classy piece of work.

February 9, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Fences is a filmed play that never seems anything else: a yatter of life of death, directed by Denzel Washington from August Wilson's Pulitzer-winning 1983 play.

February 9, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Washington is customarily magnetic, but this is Davis' film.

February 9, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fences


What really elevates Fences is the acting. This is a richly written ensemble pieces that heavily relies on powerful performances. Denzel and Viola are reprising their roles from the 2010 Broadway revival. [Incidentally, the original 1987 cast featured James Earl Jones and Mary Alice in those parts.] Needless to say, Washington and Davis know their characters inside and out. Denzel is extremely good and Viola is extraordinary. A woman so fully formed that I was even more drawn to trying to understand this individual. She fascinated me. It may be Troy's story in that every part exists to reflect his personality. However, I found myself sympathizing with her plight a lot more than her husband's. She seizes attention whenever she is on screen. The studio may have marketed her achievement as a supporting role to secure an Oscar nomination (and possible win), but she is no doubt equally important in this context. It's her authentic portrayal, as well as the subdued work of Stephen McKinley Henderson as Troy's friend Jim, that I will remember long after having seen the film. fastfilmreviews.com

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer


Like a long filmed play, Fences at least relies on some outstanding performances that compensate for the film's lack of visual inventiveness. Full review on filmotrope. com

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Had I seen the stage version I may have enjoyed this script. However, it's move to the big screen is one which didn't work for me. Instead of enjoying this masterpiece, you're trying to climb the 'Fences' to escape it's clutches.

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

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