5.6/10
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19 user 1 critic

Good Fences (2003)

Good Fences is about an upwardly mobile black family for whom the American dream becomes a nightmare. Set in the 1970s, Tom Spader is an attorney who is determined to end what he has dubbed... See full summary »

Director:

Ernest R. Dickerson (as Ernest Dickerson)

Writers:

Erika Ellis (novel), Trey Ellis (teleplay)
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2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Danny Glover ... Tom Spader
Whoopi Goldberg ... Mabel Spader
Zachary Simmons Glover Zachary Simmons Glover ... Tommy-Two (age 17)
Mo'Nique ... Ruth Crisp
Ryan Michelle Bathe ... Stormy (age 17)
Ashley Archer Ashley Archer ... Stormy (age 13)
Marie V. Cruz Marie V. Cruz ... Mrs. Suziharo (as Marie Cruz)
Vincent McCurdy-Clark Vincent McCurdy-Clark ... Tommy-Two (age 12)
Marlyne Barrett ... Tina (as Marlyne Afflack)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alexandra Amini ... Governor's Wife (as Alex Amini)
Barbara Barnes-Hopkins Barbara Barnes-Hopkins ... Mabel's Mother
Matthew G. Brown ... Tom Spader (as Matthew Brown)
Sandra Caldwell Sandra Caldwell ... Sylvia Falcon
Dustin Cass Dustin Cass ... Tom - age 10
Munro Chambers ... Billy
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Storyline

Good Fences is about an upwardly mobile black family for whom the American dream becomes a nightmare. Set in the 1970s, Tom Spader is an attorney who is determined to end what he has dubbed "the colored man's losing streak." When his winning of a high-profile case thrusts him into the limelight, he decides to moves his wife and their two kids out of their mixed lower-middle-class town and into the posh enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut. Written by Patrick Spreng

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In Greenwich, no one can hear you scream.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, some language and violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 February 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Au-delà des barrières See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second time Goldberg and Glover play husband and wife. The first in 80's film The Color Purple. See more »

Goofs

In one of the scenes where the family is gathered in front of the TV, the daughter, Stormy, is seen reading a magazine. On both the cover and the back cover of the magazine there is a clearly recognizable picture of supermodel Claudia Schiffer (active from 1988 on). The scene was supposed to be taking place around the time of the first airing of the TV series "Roots" - 1977. See more »

Connections

Features Roots (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

Absolutely NOT a Comedy
30 July 2003 | by calspaceSee all my reviews

I like Danny Glover. I think Whoopi Goldberg is brilliant. I thought I'd love this movie, especially since the wrapper specifically says that "the laughs don't stop in this hilarious comedy." Wrong. This was painful.

We've seen aliens meet the neighbors in several forms and trailer trash meets the neighbors. When George Jefferson met Archie Bunker, it was hilarious. Surely the same story could be told in a wealthier community and be funny. This was just sad. Instead of being amused, you feel pain for Whoopi's family and pity for her unenlightened neighbors.

I didn't feel that Tom's (Danny Glover) actions at the end followed either from his history (revealed, I think, too late) or from his prejudice. The lighting on Tom's face, by the way, is about as subtle as the foreshadowing in the 19th century gothic. If you can see it, it doesn't work.

I've seen the racial conflicts of the 1950's-1970's done as drama (Mississippi Burning, In the Heat of the Night, A Patch of Blue) and I've seen it done as comedy (previously mentioned All in the Family, certain episodes of MASH, and any other quality show from the period). The fact that this wasn't funny has less to do with the topic than with the writing.


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