7.5/10
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214 user 369 critic

Selma (2014)

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A chronicle of Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

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1,846 ( 238)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 57 wins & 88 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gunnar Jahn
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Girl #1
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Girl #2
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Girl #3
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Girl #4
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Girl #5 (as Nadej Bailey)
Elijah Oliver ...
Boy #1
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Clay Chappell ...
Registrar
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Lee White
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President's Secretary
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Storyline

The unforgettable true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay's "Selma" tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. Written by Miss W J Mcdermott

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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The gripping story of Martin Luther King Jr's historic struggle for equality. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

9 January 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Selma - La strada per la libertà  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$633,173 (USA) (2 January 2015)

Gross:

$52,066,000 (USA) (10 April 2015)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is still debate about whether Martin Luther King Jr. was right- or left-handed. See more »

Goofs

As the first march to Montgomery begins, an establishing shot shows a sign with an italicized Pepsi logo introduced in 1991. See more »

Quotes

Rev. Hosea Williams: [while making their first attempt at crossing the bridge, Reverend Williams looks towards the water and then at John Lewis] Can you swim?
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Crazy Credits

Martin Sheen is not listed in the credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Amy Schumer/The Weeknd (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Precious Lord Take My Hand
Written by Reverend Thomas A. Dorsey
Performed by Ledisi Young (as Ledisi)
Ledisi Young appears courtesy of The Verve Music Group
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Far more important than entertaining
20 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Some of the darkest and saddest pieces of our history often make for the most compelling and powerful films of the year. Such is the case with Selma which takes us back to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, showing us the tragic strife that the African American community was put through. Selma focuses specifically on the voting rights movement where Dr. King and his followers led an historical march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to peacefully protest Alabama's segregated voting rights in order to obtain equality across the voting board. It's a startlingly relevant film that explores a time in US history many would prefer to forget, and one that challenges us to look at our modern day society and draw some disturbing connections.

Admittedly it is a little bit sad that a film about civil rights can still have so much relevance in 2015, but such is the way of prejudice and bigotry in all of its ever changing forms. Selma does a fantastic job at making this fight as real and accessible as possible, highlighting this struggle on a personal level for King and his associates. These events were well before my time, but as far as I know this film paints a very realistic picture of the time, from the look of the sets, the costumes, and the emotions and tensions filling the air.

At the end of the day, though, it's the portrayal of Dr. King that drives this film home. David Oyelowo is a powerhouse that carries this film with a startlingly accurate representation of the reverend; one that is filled to the brim with passion and poise, while also breaking down the larger than life illusion that surrounds the man, and bringing him down to earth as the very real and very flawed human being he actually was. His controversial decisions are touched upon in the film, as well as his infidelities which truly bring him to the human level.

It's a damn good thing that Oyelowo can carry this film, too, as the emotional prowess of the story relies solely on him. Selma is packed with a great supporting cast with everyone from Tom Wilkinson to Tim Roth to rapper Common, but there is no denying that all these supporting players play second fiddle to Oyelowo. If Oyelowo is at a 10 as the lead of the film the rest of the cast sits at an 8 across the board with no one character getting a lot of attention as the focus consistently remains on King. I would have liked to see some more attention turned towards the supporting cast, but with a biopic on one of the most influential names in American history you almost have to expect this.

Selma highlights a grim portion of our history, one so grim that it needs to be immortalized in film so that we don't forget the troubled history we came from. This is an incredibly important film about an incredibly important man. It's not something you watch for entertainment value and not something you watch over and over again, but it is something you need to watch to gain some highly accurate perception of a crucial time in history it is imperative we never forget.


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