Movie Review: FENCES
Star Rating (out of five): *****
I can say with absolute certainty that FENCES is one of the most original films of 2016, even though it’s based off a play. Ironic, I know… Anyways, this film tells one hell of a story in a very unique way. Without spoiling anything, Denzel Washington’s directing debut doesn’t even come close to what you saw in the gripping teaser trailer. The actual movie is really very different and caught me way off guard, which felt both good and bad.
FENCES has a wonderfully insightful and intimate story. There’s a lot that it has to say and damn if it’s not said well. Based on his brilliant stage play, August Wilson’s screenplay fantastically culminates with Washington’s fearless direction to tell an epic tale. Speaking of the screenplay, the actors deliver their lines so well! Especially Denzel. Man, he powers through that dialogue. The performances are nuanced to perfection, Viola Davis’ emotional intensity it to die for. You can tell that Washington wanted to craft this movie with extreme care and caution. And boy, did he accomplish it!
As incredible as I found FENCES, it isn’t for everyone. The narrative requires a lot of patience but definitely rewards those who really pay attention. A lot of scenes can get tiresome for many, but I really enjoyed it. I’ll admit, there were a couple times when I got a little sleepy. Contrary to some critics though, I think Washington took a bold and admirable move in bringing this from the stage to the silver screen.
FENCES is a one-of-a-kind experience. It tells an intriguing tale in a very intimate and meticulous way that not everybody will appreciate. Even though my opinion might not help you all on this one – to me, this film is a must see, in more ways than one!
Movie Review by Sam Silber