The Grade Book: “42”


Plot: The true story of Jackie Robinson making history by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. 

Director: Brian Helgeland.

Writer: Brian Helgeland.

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, and Christopher Meloni.

Genres: Biography, Drama, Sports.

Running Time: 2 hours and 8 minutes.

MPAA Rating: PG-13.




SUMMARY OF THOUGHTS: 42 is old-fashioned and inspirational, with two standout performances, but too often resorts to light, feel-good touches.



  • Gabriel Alcantara (Big Gabe):

Grade: A-

A really great biopic with really great performances and some really fine direction. It’s a bit old-fashioned, which works for me, and it’s a tad light but in the end it’s a real crowd-pleaser with heart.

  • Chad Gleason (MovieManCHAD):


Grade: A-

Good, old-fashioned filmmaking with an amazing story that just made me feel good to be alive. Harrison Ford deserves an Oscar Nomination!

  • James Michael Holtz (WeWatchedAMovie):

Grade: D+

The watered-down script didn’t have the guts to portray the true ugliness of its own subject matter. 42 is so busy trying to manufacture Oscar-worthy emotion out of every scene, it takes a true story and makes it feel false.

  • John Maffeo:

Grade: B

Do you enjoy the sport of baseball? Well, it doesn’t matter how you answer that simple question because this film is suitable for everyone! It teaches a lesson about a early moment in America’s history, specifically segregation, and it shows a powerful character arc fulfilled with great satisfaction. Definitely worth a watch!

  • Zachary S. Marsh:

Grade: A

Superb acting from Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford, a great story, and a deep and powerful message about racism and having the guts to do what you want to do makes this a fantastic depiction of Jackie Robinson in his early years of playing in white baseball.

  • Scott Menzel:

Grade: A-

I’m not a sports guy by any stretch of the imagination but there is just something magical about 42. It could be the great underdog story, it could be the acting, or it could be the historical perspective. All in all, I think its a combination of all three which make this film truly a winner. There is really no doubt in my mind that each year come Black History Month that 42 will be screened regularly in classrooms across the country. What an enjoyable film with all the right amounts of drama, comedy, and even some love story worked into the mix.

  • Kevin Morrison:

Grade: B+

A good movie about a great American hero. Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford are very well cast in a well-written script. It may play a little too safe for some, but it is a good movie.

  • Jake Peffer:

Grade: B+

A great inspirational sports movie that features excellent performances from Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman. A fitting tribute to the great Jackie Robinson.

  • Christian Ruvalcaba:

Grade: B

A nice drama about Jackie Robinson’s start in the big leagues. Chadswick Boseman portrays the famous baseball player with great emotion and passion while delivering a very important scene that almost made me tear up. Harrison Ford does a phenomenal job as well. Though it wasn’t everything I wanted and it played more on the lighter side, it still holds up as a good biopic for one of the greatest human beings to have ever lived.

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