7/10 For a film called “Fences” …not one damn sword fight in the entire film. No, but seriously, this is a tough film to review. On one hand, the script is amazing. This film is so dialogue heavy that the script really makes or breaks this film, more so than most films. The other standout aspect is the phenomenal acting. Viola Davis better start writing her acceptance speech for her Oscar now. If it wasn’t for Casey Affleck, Denzel would be getting his third Oscar but it looks like he will have to settle for a nomination, bar an upset. Regardless, they both put in great work. This is an original story with a fresh perspective. However, it isn’t a very enjoyable film which means the replay ability is extremely low for a film like this. Furthermore, this film’s biggest flaw is that it doesn’t need to be a film at all. It is adapted from a stage play and due to the minimal settings, that stage format is perfect for this subject material. I really don’t see how the story being told in the medium of cinema enhances the storytelling in any way. So although the quality is high, I would probably recommend the stage play over the film if you have access to it. Otherwise, this is a rental that you will probably only really need to see once. Great to have Denzel directing again though after such a long break.
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