The Public - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Public Reviews

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April 30, 2019
Estevez gets points for effort and the assembly of actors but the finished product is a TV movie of the week.
Full Review | Original Score: C
May 10, 2019
The Public is overstuffed, but it's earnest and it tries to contribute to an important conversation. That nobility of purpose makes it worth watching.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
April 26, 2019
The film is low key, a joyless affair, a dreary version of what must have been a galvanising experience, weighed down by unnecessary subplots.
August 2, 2019
It's clear [Emilio] Estevez is well-meaning but ultimately, The Public is a movie that lacks any genuine depth.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
April 5, 2019
An admirable but unsubstantial piece of social commentary that packs little punch.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
February 19, 2019
The Public now comes across as heavy-handed fiction, which creates an emotional disconnection with the very real plight of homelessness...removing politics from the argument, The Public is a reasonably decent comedy/drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
February 21, 2020
The Public presents a heartening story of triumph of good over evil, but sadly lacks the gravitas one would usually expect from these types of stories.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
April 8, 2019
Though actor, writer, and director Emilio Estevez might again be "on the wrong side of the law for all the right reasons," right reasons alone don't make for good art.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 31, 2019
The film is a clunky, overwritten attempt to pack as many tortured subplots and pre-chewed sociological insights as can possibly fit into a two-hour runtime.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
February 19, 2020
Credit to Estevez for making this but it's quite thin, offers no real solutions and has tired characterisations.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
April 25, 2019
Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Wright, Christian Slater and Gabrielle Union all look like they'd rather be somewhere else.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
April 4, 2019
He should have let his central conceit do the talking...It is a brazen instance of white saviorism.
April 4, 2019
The somewhat overwritten picture moves at a swift pace, and cinematographer Juan Miguel Azpiroz makes the most of the built-in vanishing points of library stacks, but The Public's thesis is unclear.
April 9, 2019
With a little more refinement, "The Public" might have been the kind of memorable movie it clearly aspires to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 5, 2019
Its presentation of real, painful issues is too simplistic and its approach too preachy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 4, 2019
...even though "The Public" ultimately doesn't come together as a dramatic piece, particularly in the hammy climax, it does take some impressive chances.
April 4, 2019
The Brat Pack alum cares 'til it hurts, but he ignores the golden rule of social justice storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
April 2, 2019
A clunky and at times ridiculous affair, taking a situation that might reasonably happen and turning it into something melodramatic and ultimately unbelievable.
April 5, 2019
A film that has both a good idea and good intentions going for it and absolutely nothing else.
April 12, 2019
Estevez might be a passable actor but is not a passable director.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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