On the Basis of Sex (2018) Poster

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8/10
Brings on Flashbacks
theRetiree11 January 2019
My wife and I, both professionals about 15 years behind the real RBG, found this movie both fascinating and painful--almost as painful as the negative reviews that object to the Subject on the basis not of sex, but of politics. Too bad the knuckle-draggers can't get past their own biases to enjoy this very good and intellectually engaging movie. And yes, we did find it suspenceful. My wife, too got directed to the typing pool after four years of college and three of grad school, and I hope I was half as supportive as Marty. We thoroughly enjoyed this reminder that even today the arc of history doesn't bend itself, and that the only way to achieve your goals, especially (gasp) equality, is to keep pushing. And we thought the acting was first-rate, and loved the physical mismatch of the tiny Jones and towering Hammer.
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10/10
We loved it!
parons-5043220 January 2019
Hubby and I are Canadian seniors who just saw this movie and we both loved it. I was fighting back tears at the end and experienced a range of emotions throughout. RBG's indomitable spirit, hers and Marty's commitment to each other, and when she truly and passionately finds her voice - we found it truly inspirational! RBG is obviously a remarkable legal mind and the USA is lucky to have someone of her quality on their Supreme Court.

One thing though: I don't understand the reviews that slam the movie as being "political" all we saw was a lawyer sincerely trying to ensure everyone received the same treatment under the law.

Long may she serve!
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9/10
Unfair to compare to documentary
ljcesq26 December 2018
A documentary is a documentary and a movie inspired by real events is just that. Each stand alone. RBG is an outstanding documentary to which On the Basis of Sex should not be compared. Yes, the movie is old fashioned reminding one of the classic movies of the 40s. So what. The subject matter is still timely even more so in the climate we are now living in...unfortunately there are probably many who want to go back to the "great" pre-Ginsburg days.
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9/10
Wonderful Film!
imdb-5-mbrna11 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Disclaimer: I saw this movie not knowing anything about the main character's real-life persona except that she's a Supreme Court Justice, and that she's dealing with health issues in the late stages of her life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! I was drawn in and enjoyed the acting very much. The subject matter and characters felt very real, and to think it was even remotely based on a true story made this movie a home-run for me.
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2/10
Feeble, telemovie-style travesty of a potentially fascinating story
veardleyw20 February 2019
At the end of this movie there's a shot of the real character on whose experiences the movie is based : Ruth Bader Ginsberg (who is portrayed in the film by Felicity Jones). She looks scarily powerful and fascinating. In fact, in this one glimpse of the real Ruth, makes you realise that she has everything this movie hasn't got: intelligence and guts. It's a very cookie-cutter, cliche-strewn, by-the- numbers telemovie-style story of a young woman overcoming gender bias to finally triumph. She, as portrayed by Felicity Jones, who despite valiant attempts at feistiness, plays her as a drip. She's married to a drip, and there's so much cosy drippiness going on that I found myself constantly groaning. Ruth is pretty; hubby is handsome and caring; all Ruth's male antagonists aren't pretty; etc. I shan't go on. but I shall see the documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsberg
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4/10
Disappointment
zhaoyusee13 January 2019
I was so excited to see the movie but it was a true disappointment! She was emotional and angry for the first and half hours- The husband and her daughter are stars and need to calm her all the times- I think the documentary is much better than this. Anyway, it is a good story and the camera is good. Just not a good movie
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6/10
A battle and challenge for equality, the right to speak up and be heard.
blanbrn12 January 2019
The film "On the Basis of Sex" is one pretty good auto bio type picture of one legal hero Ruth Bader Ginsburg(Felicity Jones) as she's a flame and light who fought for equality and equal rights for women. The film does good to trace Ruth's humble start of going thru law school and raising a family all while trying to challenge and change the system as in her era it was a male dominated world and females took a backseat. I for one enjoyed the film for it's historical background as I enjoy pictures of history and bio type stories of political and well known figures. So give the film a see if you want to see how a woman fought for change with passion and be educated about the past of a legal legend.
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4/10
An average Good Wife episode padded out for 120 minutes
mattbeaver200223 February 2019
An average Good Wife episode padded out for 120 minutes
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2/10
Poor acting...a little behind the times
ryan-shipley28 December 2018
I don't know how much of this story is factual versus wishful thinking. But based on what I know about the history of this Supreme Court justice, much of RBG's background was sensationalized and little credit should be given as to the accuracy of this picture. This movie seeks to make a political message rather than document the life of a Supreme Court justice.
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1/10
Bland, poorly acted, glossy biopic
kyloqueen11 November 2018
So bad it's criminal given the subject matter and heroine. Oscar bait at its worst. Felicity and I should remark, Armie Hammer, are terribly miscast. Somehow the emphasis on her marriage reduced her strength also. RBG documentary did her justice. Watch that instead.
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4/10
"On the Basis of Sex" vs. "RBG": and the winner is...
paul-allaer9 January 2019
"On the Basis of Sex" is a bio-pic about the early years in Ruth Bader Ginsburg's career. As the movie opens, she is a first year student at Harvard Law. When her husband Martin, himself a second year student there, becomes gravely ill, she attends both her own and Martin's classes, and of course caring for him. A couple of years later, Martin is hired by a prominent New York law firm, and Ruth transfers to Columbia Law to finish her law degree. She graduates top of the class, yet not a single law firm in New York offers her a job... At this point we are less than 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from director Mimi Leder, best known for 2000's "Pay It Forward". Here she brings to the big screen the early years in Ruth Bader Ginsburg's career. Let be very clear: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an amazingly sharp lawyer who endured sex discrimination at every opportunity, to the point that she decided to do something about. AND THEN DID IT. Flash forward: June, 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of her stint on the US Supreme Court. In other words, this is such a remarkable woman. Sadly, "On the Basis of Sex" doesn't do justice to this outstanding woman and lawyer. In fact, "On the Basis of Sex' is done strictly by-the-numbers, without any dramatic tension and with an utter predictability that makes this almost into a snooze fest. (Some reviewers here apparently do not/cannot differentiate between this remarkable woman and what a good movie actually is or should be...) As it happens, in 2018 a documentary about Ruth Bader Ginsburg called "RBG" was released. "RBG" puts "On the Basis of Sex" to shame, frankly, and I am 99% certain that "RBG" will pick up an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary in the near future (and I am equally certain that "On the Basis of Sex" will not get any Oscar nominations). Playing the role of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Felicity Jones, bless her heart, tries the best she can with the material that she is given, but in the end she cannot overcome the movie's fatal flaw, namely a weak script. To be clear: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a shining light and role model for so many, and very deservedly so. But that doesn't make "On the Basis of Sex" a good movie... Bottom line: if you haven't seen either of "RBG" and "On the Basis of Sex", by all means chose "RBG". If you've seen "RBG" already, don't bother with "On the Basis of Sex".

"On the Basis of Sex" has seen a very limited release so far, but will expand nationally this coming weekend. It currently has been playing in one single theater here in Cincinnati. The Tuesday evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great (about 10-12 people). I had good hopes for this movie, but when I compare this to "RBG", there is no doubt which one is (by far) the better movie. Of course I encourage you to check out "On the Basis of Sex", be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion. And don't forget about "RBG"!

*UPDATE* 1/22/19 As I predicted, "RBG" received an Oscar nomination (for Best Documentary). "On the Basis of Sex" did not get any Oscar nominations. (While "RBG" is a strong contender, in the end I see the Oscar for Best Documentary going to "Free Solo".)
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1/10
Makes no sense.
Viking1313132 February 2019
Why would you make a movie about the second female SCOTUS Associate Justice, and not the First? May as well make it about the 59th or 281st.

Sandra Day O'Conner is the woman who actually blazed a trail for women in the field of law, and to the highest court in the land.

But, I suppose no one in Hollywood would want to do an honest film about a Conservative woman who battled her way to the top, and was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court, by a Conservative President Ronald Reagan.

It would just make it harder to sell the lie that conservatives are misogynists.
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Absolutely terrible
tracey-435-61933730 December 2018
What a missed opportunity! They had an amazing, once in a lifetime, real Story and they made a movie that was a piece of garbage!! She was miscast. Army Hammer is the worst actor of all time. The script was terrible!! And they MISSED the most important and impactful areas of her life. What a shame! One of the worst films of the year
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5/10
kinda dull
anniewitt12 January 2019
I didn't know much about Ruth Bader Ginsburg before I saw this movie and honestly this movie is pretty preachy.It's all very tasteful and subdued and sanitized and PC, but lacking in bite, heft, and grit. Felicity Jones is good, but her character is presented as more saint than human. It seems like something a high school class could watch to learn a bit more about her life, but it failed to engage me fully. I fell asleep in all honesty at one point.
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1/10
Overblown
joyceaudette7 January 2019
Nothing but a political statement of the times. Total artistic license.
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10/10
Inspirational & moving cinema
barrlloyd13 November 2018
Beautiful film about the career and life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, symbol of our time. A strong woman that never gave up. The cast is brilliant: Felicity Jones (perfect as Ruth Bader Ginsburg), Armie Hammer, as wonderful as Felicity like his loving husband. They have an unbelievable chemistry together in the film, and I can´t imagine another performers for the roles. The rest of the cast have great performances too: Kathy Bates, Sam Waterston, Justin Theroux, Cailee Spaeny... This is a necessary film in our days, and Ruth´s story inspire us. You have to see it.
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10/10
Such a fabulous movie about an amazing woman
prdm-5543613 January 2019
The people that are saying the movie was boring probably aren't interested in court cases as that was a big part of the movie. After all RGB is an attorney! The movie is about how she was one of the first that fought for gender equality & won. The entire theater was applauding. If you are a fan, than you definitely should go see it.... but bring some tissue - the very end of the movie will give you the feels.
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1/10
Ah! Why coudn't this be good?
mitchlb45221 December 2018
I really like RBG. She was my second favorite justice behind Kennedy... but wow. This was just so boring and obviously politically biased. Everything RBG does is apparently gold... also, was it just me or was Cathy Bates character very weird?
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2/10
Beautiful piece of fiction
mark-dawley25 January 2019
Wow, this was just a whitewash legacy piece for a woman who is an average justice.
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10/10
Forget the haters, it's a great docu-drama
fpnicolasfacebook31 December 2018
The same people praising a Walk The Line or other drama-geographic movies about mens have decided that RGB only deserves the documentary treatment but no her own larger than life movie about her critical fight for woman rights and equality. Forget about those haters: this movie like Walk the Line is a great mix of emotion, humor and reminder of how social justice is something still that need us to fight for it. Go enjoy this great optimistic movie perfect for the start of a new year.
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1/10
Boring
thatchermacdonald28 November 2018
The mistake here was making a movie about Chief Justice Ginsburg in the first place. This movie never could've lived up to expectations, and the writers too predictably tried to fantasize it. I'd be insulted if I was Ginsburg.
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1/10
Almost fell asleep more than once
jkonefall12 January 2019
Obvious political bias.. Getting tired of having politics shoved down our throats with main stream news.. Now this?
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10/10
Sweet and real
lajagonzo16 January 2019
Love it! It was warm , passionate and heart filled!
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10/10
Well worth going to see!
MikeChm15 January 2019
This movie was very well done. Good acting and a good story. Please ignore the obviously biased trolls. This is a very good movie.
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6/10
May it please the crowd, "On the Basis of Sex" feeds the RBG legend more than it peels back its layers
Movie_Muse_Reviews21 December 2018
Ruth Bader Ginsburg's catapulting from venerated Supreme Court Justice to cultural icon and patron saint of liberalism has unsurprisingly led to the release of two films about her in 2018, the documentary "RBG" and now the feature film "On the Basis of Sex." Both films mirror the public's fascination with the now-85-year-old and offer evidence that RBG warrants the obsessive adoration, but "On the Basis of Sex" feeds into the legend.

The film begins with Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) and her husband, Marty (Armie Hammer), in their newlywed law school days in which Ruth was one of nine women in her Harvard Law class of nearly 500, establishing context for the sex-based discrimination that she would fight in her career and the equal rights crusader she'd become. Yet Daniel Stiepleman's script incidentally positions the film as a career-spanning biopic this way, when in fact most of the film takes place close to 15 years later.

That's a surprise more than a flaw, as many of the film's best moments come out of a deep intellectual dive into the case of Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue and what Ruth, Marty and the ACLU's Mel Wulf (Justin Theroux) believed they had to say and do to convince three white male appellate judges to change the course of history. That's fascinating, but it's definitely not the advertised story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and how she became a Supreme Court Justice.

When the film's not awash in legalese, it's trying to portray Ruth in a way that lives up to the "hype." There are lots of "ooh" and "ahh" moments as a character says something really sexist and Ruth has the perfect response, a device that kills it in a crowded theater but plays more into the myth of Ginsburg than the humanity. Jones, an outstanding actor, is left with the responsibility of trying to ground this prophetic character with a script that's lacking subtlety. Fights with her teenage daughter, Jane (Cailee Spaeny), for example, happen instantly to blatantly serve the purpose of the story, or Jane behaves in this perfectly feminist way that convinces her mother to solider on, punctuated by the camera holding on Jones so she can convey a moment of epiphany. It's the stuff of lesser biopics to be sure.

Nevertheless, "On the Basis of Sex" conveys the key details of Ruth's story and the social importance of her work and Moritz case. (It also can't be given too hard a time for taking liberties; Stiepelman is Ginsburg's nephew and she reviewed his script for accuracy.) In particular, the film captures the importance of Ruth and Marty's relationship. Even though Hammer is far too dreamy to play a tax lawyer, the film is clear yet not over-the-top in conveying the equality of their partnership and the support they provided to each other. Jones and Hammer are terrific actors, but director Mimi Leder deserves some credit for facilitating their chemistry the right way.

The film also succeeds in communicating the scope of sex-based discrimination in the U.S. as recently as the early '70s and the amount of cases that Ruth examined as director of the ACLU's Women's Right Project. The Moritz case was the first of a series of strategic moves to slowly change the legal precedents in sex discrimination cases, and the seriousness of changing minds and ultimately engrained beliefs about gender is not lost on the film and factors into much of the conflict as Ruth, Mary and Mel strategize how to frame their appeal.

Buried within their hero's crusade is an unheralded performance from character actor Chris Mulkey as Charles Moritz, the bachelor denied tax breaks to take care of his sick, dependent mother because as a man the law did not consider him a caregiver. Every so often during the verbally superfluous court scene, Leder will peak back at Mulkey, whose eyes remind us that what matters here is not about when a man or woman should or shouldn't be allowed to do, but what a human should be entitled to to take care of another human who can't take care of themselves.

"On the Basis of Sex" needs more graceful moments like this to complement its big picture, high stakes, "history in the making" focus. But while it somewhat settles for raising up the legend of RBG (again), it deserves credit for shining a strong spotlight on what it took to tip the scales of equal rights for women closer to justice and the woman who -- in supporting partnership with her husband -- dared to make the first push.

~Steven C

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