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Fences (2016)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 December 2016 (USA)
2:27 | Trailer

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A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.



(screenplay), (based upon his play "Fences")
65 ( 19)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 47 wins & 96 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Jim Bono (as Stephen McKinley Henderson)
Deputy Commissioner
Lesley Boone ...
Evangelist Preacher (as Leslie Boone)
Jason Silvis ...
Garbage Truck Driver


Troy Maxson makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but was deemed too old when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. Bitter over his missed opportunity, Troy creates further tension in his family when he squashes his son's chance to meet a college football recruiter. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 December 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barriere  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$129,462 (USA) (16 December 2016)


$57,535,687 (USA) (17 March 2017)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


August Wilson insisted that a film adaptation of the play, be directed by an African-American. See more »


In the kitchen, he asks for a cup of coffee. She pours it for him, then gives him milk. He pours the men milk in the coffee, then sets the blue cup on the corner of the table without taking a sip. He walks out of the kitchen and she looks out the window. The cup is nowhere in sight and she sits on the same corner where the cup was. See more »


[last lines]
Gabriel: That's how that go.
See more »


Edited into Hollywood Express: Episode #15.1 (2017) See more »


Jesus Be A Fence Around Me
Written by Sam Cooke
Performed by Viola Davis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Denzel's Long Etude
27 December 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First and foremost, this film is NOT about, "An African-American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life." It's about the late-in-life downward emotional, moral, and spiritual spiral of a self-centered, bitter, abusive, adulterous, and unapologetic African-American husband and father who from beginning to end, proudly spews his self indulgent negativity non-stop, and to the severe detriment of each member of his family.

If your criteria for rating/recommending this movie is solely based on how well it adapts the stage play to film, or on the intensity and skill of delivering long lines of dialog, then you may rate this movie high, as many others have and many others will. It does those things.

But what if your criteria for rating/recommending this movie, as 'unsophisticated' and politically incorrect as some may view it, is based on if it entertains you, if it lifts your spirit, if it inspires

  • if it makes you feel good as you're walking out of the theater? This

wordy dirge does absolutely NONE of those things (with the notable exception of the charming performance of his mentally-challenged brother who delivers the most poignant scene of the movie at the very end).

Although expertly delivered, the repetitive string of tediously self indulgent soliloquies were, cumulatively, very depressing. Thankfully the movie finally concludes, and with it comes a welcome conclusion to all the on-screen, and viewing, misery.

There's more than enough real-life misery waiting for us all outside the theater without having to pay to suffer though it on the inside.

P.S. The 'struggle' that our self-righteous protagonist speaks non- stop on and is attempting to portray, and that many viewers will BLINDLY champion, is mostly self-imposed: Choosing to be a strong-arm thief in his youth, he murders a man he is robbing. His choice sends him to prison which robs him of the youth his dream of playing baseball required.

As a result, his choice also robs his wife of a husband, and his oldest son of a father as he was growing up; and his angry bitterness robs his younger son of not only a positive role model as he was growing up, but of his opportunity of earning a football scholarship.

The film begins with him complaining that because of racial prejudice there are no black truck drivers. But when he asks for the job, he GETS it, becoming the first-ever-black-truck driver. But THEN he complains about being a driver! He finds a reason to complain about anything and everything! Wallowing and reveling in the all too common 'victim' mode, he finds fault everywhere, except within where it lies most: HIMSELF.

One has to wonder why the intelligently talented Denzel invested himself in and associated himself with such a self-pitying loser of an African-American role and story.

P.P.S. On a directorial level, the choice of suddenly ramping up a blues ballad to a series of pretty camera shots of the seasons changing was abrupt, disjointed, amateurish, and . . . WEIRD!

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