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Fences – Lives Up to its Award-winning Status!

Reviewed by on Jan 04, 2017
Rating: 5 Star Rating

Fences is the story about an African-American father struggling with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s. Read Benjamins movie review on Kidzworld!

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

Fences Video Review


Fences is an outstanding film driven by great performances from Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. This film took me on a rollercoaster of emotions that had me in a heap of tears by its finish.

Denzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose MaxsonDenzel Washington plays Troy Maxson and Viola Davis plays Rose MaxsonCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by August Wilson, Fences is set in Pittsburgh in the 1950s and follows Troy (Denzel Washington) and his wife Rose (Viola Davis). Troy works on a garbage truck and has failed to accomplish his dreams of becoming a baseball player. He thinks life was stacked up against him and takes it out on his family. His son Corey (Jovan Adepo) dreams of playing football, but Troy is holding him back. A secret that Troy is keeping threatens to ruin his relationship with his family. As the secret and its aftermath are slowly revealed, Fences takes you on an enthralling and emotional family journey.

Jovan Adepo plays CoryJovan Adepo plays CoryCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Denzel Washington is excellent as Troy Maxson, a man reminiscing about his failed baseball career and the cruel injustice he thinks he’s experienced in his life. Washington’s performance manages to make this character likable, but paints his character’s inner demons very well, too. Viola Davis’s performance is great. She adds so much aching, raw emotion to her performance. No other actors could have played these roles this well. They starred in these roles on Broadway in 2010 in a revival of this play and I am convinced this helped build the bond they show as husband and wife in the film.

Rose with son CoryRose with CoryCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

My favorite character is Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson), Troy’s brother and a veteran with a challenging injury. He’s a very bright and almost magical character who lights up the screen every time he’s on it. He helps balance the tense dramatic scenes in this film.

Fences movie reviewCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Denzel Washington also directs Fences. The way he shoots this film really resonates with me as an audience member. He brings the viewer in close to the characters during tense moments and draws you into the emotional core of the scene. One thing that I don’t like about how the film is constructed is that sometimes the transitions between scenes are sudden and occasionally confusing. It makes the pacing somewhat inconsistent. But overall, this film is extremely powerful and I definitely recommend bringing tissues.

Rose and Troy sharing a momentRose and Troy sharing a momentCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

I recommend this film for ages 12 to 18 because some adult themes could be difficult for children to process as well as the racially charged and vulgar language. I give Fences 5 out of 5 stars for its superb acting, captivating characters and drama. This film is in theaters now so be sure to check it out. 

Fences Movie Rating: 5

Fences Movie PosterFences Movie PosterCourtesy of Paramount Pictures
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