Reviews for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom ( ) 720p

IMDB: 7.2 / 10


The opening scene depicts five characters over-talking each other at the rate of knots and talking nonsense to boot. The film is based on a play and - sadly - has the feel of a play. The story is dull. Snoozefest.

Very, very boring except for 'Ma'

Some guys arguing in a basement. And it goes on and on and on till you hit the forward button. It is more like a really boring 'educational' theaterplay aimed at 'white people'. Why not just make a movie? The scenes wirh Ma Rainey are quite wonderful, filled with tension and power. But those scenes are also too occupied with being a lament of afroamerican experience in the past. Actually the first scene of the movie made me look forward to seeing it. Ma Rainey in a steaming hot rural party tent. People waiting in long lines in the dark southern night to get in. That is 'movie'! Not the forlorn and uninteresting bickering between the band members. Don't tell it. Show it!

All soup water, no meat, potatoes, or carrots.

Great acting but no story; I was ready for the ending after thirty minutes-just a lot of mundane situations and conversations that are forgettable. I Will not repeat this movie.

The Trailer is Great. The Film is Not

Where was the musical story of Ma Rainey? Don't look here. After a brief exciting open to this film you are ready to be taken on this journey to discover this legendary title woman and her music. Yet, the journey ends or really never begins.

Talent can save this misleading title and trailer. It's a shame. It could have been an enlightening, entertaining joy ride!

Unfortunately really boring

Incredible cast but that's it.It was a play and this just seems like they didn't do much to change it.If you expecting the story of Ma Rainey you won't get it - more just a snap shot of one incident. The sound abs voice when viola lip synced was not great and just didn't match. Maybe I had too high expectations because of the cast abs director. There were so good moments and it's a snap shot of time and history that ultimately hasn't really moved on a lot. But this as a film - meh

A Play Put On Film

I didn't really know much about this movie going in so i was surprised to find out that it was based on a play but after watching it you can see that fact from a mile off.

The film is soaked in play-like monologues and limited sets and the framing. It works so well. It is such a dialogue heavy movie that it could run the risk of being a little bit slow but it is just that well acted and the dynamics and topics are so well thought out that you find time flying by while watching.

The characters are really 3 dimensional and you understand who they are. This is all backed up by the acting. For the most part everyone in this movie hits it out of the park. i really love Colman Domingo and he really shines in this film. He just has a charm that draws you to any character that he plays. Chadwick was really great too. His emotional scenes really sweep the rug out from under your feet and i really wasn't expecting him to be able to do that he was really great. And Viola Davis is just fantastic. I love how she just dives head first into her characters and just lives in them. It reads so well on screen. She just embodies the role even down to the way she walks is just done to perfection.

There isn't a whole lot of story because it is very character based but it does things to keep it fresh and i found it to be really shocking at times and took turns that you really wouldn't expect.

The costumes are also really well done. I would guess that they would get an Oscar nod because they are fantastic.

I would defiantly see this movie especially if you love character studies and want to feel like you looking though a window into a day in the life of these people.

An Intriguing Film To Watch

Viola Davis gives a memorable performance as the uncontrollable mother of blues Ma Rainey. The late Chadwick Boseman's final film and gives an excellent performance as a musician who locks horns with Ma Rainey. You can clearly see Boseman was in poor health throughout the movie. Bit of a slow burner but still an intriguing film.

Nothing but character...

The kind of movie that shows no other rules apply other than good storytelling. I didn't know it was based on a play and I hadn't read the log line, so when I sat down to watch it, I figured it must be about a couple of folks hitting the road, singing, making records, dancing, etc. That's not what it's about...

It's all about the band, the producer, the manager, and the whole situation. It's not a movie that will tell you you need to have a protagonist. Instead it focuses on people, some of them good, some of them bad, all of them with their own histories, their burdens, their joys, follies, and their pains.

I can see how the play won a Pulitzer and it was wonderfully translated to the screen. The screenwriter craftily broke with expectations during the beginning of the story, but that doesn't mean it isn't a driving force as a theme. You just don't know when you're gonna get it and when it's going to drive home.

If I knew any of 'm, the only thing I would be able to tell them is, "Great job."


August Wilson must be the greatest playwright in my lifetime. Kudos to screen playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Director George C. Wolfe. Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman deliver searing performances and all actors create 3 dimensional characters with breadth, depth and aplomb.The cinematography, editing, costumes, makeup, lighting, music and production design combine with the action to yield visual umami. I watched this film upon release December 18, 2020. Thanks to Netflix. It is the best movie I have seen this year and deserves your viewing.Viola Davis is believable as Ma Rainey and Bradford Marsalis's score serves the production very well. Davis and Boseman's performances are OFF THE CHARTS! Do not get on Ma Rainey's wrong side! In more than one scene Boseman's performance is over the top and his petition to God is the most incredible. In hindsight, one can understand his genuine impetus to fathom the depth and power of genuine and awful incredulity that was likely unbeknownst to his cast members and crew during prep and filming. I urge everyone to give this film a viewing or two. And to Netflix, more films based on the works of August Wilson and more productions by Denzel Washington such as this please.

Oscar for two actors

Two things dominate this film. viola davis and chadwick Boseman

Not the best film of 2020 but definitely the best performances.

Sadly sometimes it's not until an actor dies that they are truly appreciated for how good they were when they were alive and Chadwick Boseman is one such actor

This was his last ever performance and you can see how gaunt he is with cancer but that doesn't stop him giving everything and putting in a brilliant performance.

Talking of brilliant performances , Viola Davis is amazing as Ma Rainey in what I believe , to be her best role to date .You can definitely tell that this was originally a play . It's dialogue heavy and nearly entirely set in a recording studio yet it transfers pretty well to the big screen .Viola Davis is just stunning as she lays everything on the table as Ma Rainey . From her overweight, sweaty demeanour to the way she gulps down bottles of coke , she is a magnificent .You can tell she is influenced by Denzel Washington, who is a producer on this film. Even her mannerism are Washington esq.I'ts without doubt , in my opinion, the best acting performance of 2020.

If I had to criticise this film in any way it's just part where Levee does something to Toledo and it seems a little extreme and over the top for the character.

This is one example where all the performances are better than the whole of film itself.

Not that the film is in anyway bad . It's great .

I loved Ma!!! Rest in paradise Chadwick Boseman

I give it 7 stars because I LOVED MA! The movie actually made me do my research because I was not familiar with her but she was a strong amazing black women. She did not take any b.s from ANYBODY! Watching the movie i was actually taken back by how she did not take any b.s from anybody including white people which this was back in the 1920's so i could not believe how she was acting/talking to ppl. I loved it!!!! I hate the way the movie ended i was like, "wait that's it?!" I feel like they could have ended it better. I just really wanted to see more of it! Viola always does her thing she did a great job! And of course Chadwick was amazing! It was so sad watching it for me because i know this was his last movie before he passed away... R.I.P Chadwick. All the cast did a great job! It did have some slow moments, some sad moments but it definitely kept me watching! Check it out for yourself

Raving Review: Riveting Acting!!!

I will greatly miss Chadwick Boseman and the charisma and sheer electricity he brought to the screen! He was such a powerful actor and he really had me feeling him and his pain throughout this film. He does the best acting that I've ever seen, hands down! And I'm not just saying this due to the circumstances. Just watch the "where is your god!" scene to see what I mean! My heart was pounding and I really cared about his character because I could somewhat relate with him. He steals every scene!!! And that is no small feat considering Viola Davis! Colman Domingo and Glynn Turman do superbly as Cutler and Toledo respectively! My goodness this movie was one of the best I've ever seen! But hey, what can you expect from an August Wilson story, based on true events and people, AND produced by none other than Denzel Washington!? It's like poetry that Denzel kinda jumpstarted Chadwick's career and now he is the one who produced his final film! Thank you all, cast and crew, for your hard work and for such an immensely beautiful and touching piece of art! Thank you Chadwick Boseman for all of your hard work, energy, perseverance, and for being such an inspiration and role model! I shall miss you sir for you were the epitome of a true hero and a legend! Many salutes!


Story was boring

The acting was great bothe performances but the movie itself was boring. The writing was all over the place and I'm not sure why they chose the plot to center around that part of the story. Chad and Viola deserve Oscar's for their performances

Whew! More to this move than you think!

This movie was loaded with great acting for sure. But the messages throughout this movie from start to finish cannot be overlooked.

Drawn into another world and culture of music

Immediately, as a viewer, I was transported to another time, another world of music and race and tension of which I am unfamiliar. But I know good performances. This cast was outstanding; and I am going to just brush over Viola Davis and Chadwick Bozeman because I know they will be celebrated for their work in this project. But Colman Domingo, Glynn Truman and Michael Potts all deserve equal attention for being the seams that keep this performance masterpiece together.

Outstanding moment of history and music and class and culture very well recalled, presented and preserved. Besides the outstanding acting, there is an unsurpassed script; the dialogue is head-spinning! The cinematography and sets are superior by every measure. Can't wait to see it again after sampling some of Ma Rainey's music.

Pretty Good But Not Perfect

"This movie is pretty good but not perfect, i think this movie is not giving a hype in some of a scene so it causing a boring, but all of the perfomance is amazing, Viola Davis is amazing, Chadwick Boseman is giving his final awesome acting to the world, and don't expect that this movie is gonna be a happy musical 1920s blues story because the fact is this movie is very deep, talking about a white man treating black people in that era, racist, and all that stuff, the ending is really really unexpected, overall i'm still enjoy this, watch it but don't expect too much, i recommended"

Acting is as fine as a glass of wine

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is a film that starts with a simple presentation and goes on keeping that vibe. The movie feels like it just starts and ends on a whim. Both Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman delivered a performance as fine as wine. The acting will just make you connect to the movie before you can imagine. The screenplay could have been better. When it comes to the story this movie doesn't have anything special to offer. The whole arc is just circling one thing for one and a half hours straight. There are a few scenes that will make you feel bored and also make you wanna skip those scenes. Overall it's a film you can definitely enjoy on your weekend with no expectations on deck.

Breathtaking Performances From Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman

This movie is all about the performances and Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman absolutely delivered. While Viola Davis doesn''t have any huge and flashy scenes, she still manages to disappear into her character and deliver one of her best performances. Chadwick Boseman got a handful of powerful scenes to work with and he also performed them all brilliantly. You can tell he put his heart and soul into every word and I'm glad his performance is immortalized on screen so we can admire it forever.

Yes, this film feels more like a play in the same way that Fences did in 2016, but I don't think that matters because the performances are so incredible. This is definitely one of the best films of the year.

Stunning performances

This is a brilliantly acted screen adaptation of the Broadway play. Viola Davis is brillent, believable and captivating as Ma Rainey. She is simply one of the world's greatest actresses. Chadwick Boseman's performance is astounding and brings magic to his complex and tragic character. He was a great artist and this performance will stand out as one of his finest.