7.5/10
84,536
270 user 383 critic

Selma (2014)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Director:

Ava DuVernay

Writer:

Paul Webb
Reviews
Popularity
3,324 ( 226)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 59 wins & 89 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Oyelowo ... Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Carmen Ejogo ... Coretta Scott King
Jim France ... Gunnar Jahn
Trinity Simone Trinity Simone ... Girl #1
Mikeria Howard Mikeria Howard ... Girl #2
Jordan Rice ... Girl #3
Ebony Billups Ebony Billups ... Girl #4
Nadej K. Bailey ... Girl #5 (as Nadej Bailey)
Elijah Oliver Elijah Oliver ... Boy #1
Oprah Winfrey ... Annie Lee Cooper
Clay Chappell ... Registrar
Tom Wilkinson ... President Lyndon B. Johnson
Giovanni Ribisi ... Lee White
Haviland Stillwell ... President's Secretary
André Holland ... Andrew Young
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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

Taglines:

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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Martin Luther King Jr. estate had already licensed the film rights for his civil rights speeches to DreamWorks and Warner Brothers for a yet to be produced biopic. For this film, Ava DuVernay wrote new variations of those speeches. See more »

Goofs

MLK replaces a transparent plastic trash bag. In 1965, home garbage cans were lined with a paper shopping bag, if at all. See more »

Quotes

Col. Al Lingo: If the Lord Jesus and Elvis Presley came visiting and they said
[Referring to Sheriff Jim Clark]
Col. Al Lingo: "Jim, we need you to treat them
[racial epitaph removed]
Col. Al Lingo: nice." Jim Clark would be the shit out of the pair of them and throw them in jail.
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Crazy Credits

The initial credits are shown over stills from the film and from promotional materials. See more »


Soundtracks

House of the Rising Sun
Traditional, arranged by Duane Eddy
performed by Duane Eddy
Courtesy of Duane Eddy Productions
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User Reviews

 
Fueled by a gripping performance from Oyelowo.
20 January 2015 | by drawlifeSee all my reviews

Film critic Richard Roeper said it best. Selma is a film that provides a history lesson, but doesn't feel like a history lecture. Not one bit.

I foresee a bright future for the director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo. For DuVernay's second or third effort, it's quite an achievement what she manages to do with this film. For nearly fifteen years she's been working in studio marketing and publicity and her film speaks for itself. She directs the film with flare and keeps the film emotionally grounded. Even though at times you think you know whats coming, DuVernay keeps us at bay and also provides us with some neat surprises. Also give Paul Webb some credit with his sharp screenplay.

David Oyelowo truly embodies MLK. More often than not Selma tends to focus on something not many people tend to expect in a movie about MLK. The script showcases his doubts and insecurities. Oyelowo comes through with a deeply felt and compelling performance. He also nails Dr. King's speech patterns, voice, even his posture and shows that Dr. King has his flaws, but is a compassionate person. I find it hard that anyone will be able to take their eyes off him. What a performance. Shame that it was overlooked by the Academy.

Everyone in the cast brings their "A-game." I liked Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, but I wanted just a little more of her character, but she makes up the most of what she has. Oprah Winfrey is solid as Annie Lee Cooper. She has a very substantial role and has a nice subplot. Other particular standouts are Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Tim Roth as George Wallace.

Selma takes itself very seriously, there isn't much humor to be found, and any break from documenting its events are often downbeat character moments. However DuVernay's talent is in full blaze. This film is very heavy, but it always grabs your attention, often in the hands of Oyelowo's performance. The March 7th, "Bloody Sunday" sequence is brutal to watch, but DuVernay and cinematographer Bradford Young achieve and deliver quite an intense and impactful set piece. Literally, it hits you in the gut as we watch history forged in flesh and blood.

I am still shocked that this film received so little recognition by the Academy. Oyelowo and DuVernay should have been nominated at the very least. I believe you can blame that to Paramount Pictures as I heard that they did not deliver the screeners on time for the Academy voters. It's a pity.

By the time we arrive at the film's postscript, revealing the fates of several people chronicled by Selma, it's almost impossible not to be moved by their courage and sacrifice. Selma to me, is not just a biopic, but rather a film that celebrates a community action through the eyes of Martin Luther King Jr. This movie sadly, could not be more relevant right now.

9.3/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Selma See more »

Filming Locations:

Marietta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$571,450, 28 December 2014

Gross USA:

$52,076,908

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$66,787,908
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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