The Great Debaters (Genius/Weinstein)
For his second film as director, Denzel Washington tackles a subject combining a referendum on race with heartwarming true-life melodrama: at all-black Wiley College, Texas in 1938, a winning debate team is molded by mentor, Professor Mel Tolson. Against all odds, the students make history by defeating the venerable Harvard debate team in a showdown for the ages. Thanks to his invaluable cinematographer Phillipe Rousselot and shrewd editor Hughes Winborne, Washington has made an inspiring drama that, while not winning awards for originality, succeeds at sending its tolerant message into the world. The debaters are enacted skillfully by Nate Parker, Jurnee Smolett and Denzel Whitaker.
EXTRAS: Deleted scenes; music videos; making-of featurettes; interviews.