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Still shot from the movie: The Great Debaters.

The Great Debaters

The Great Debaters is based on a true story of Mel Tolson (Denzel Washington), a Texas professor who encourages his African-American students to believe they can take on the world. In 1935, he puts together and coaches a debate team, hoping they can compete against Harvard University in an upcoming championship. Get the movie review and more. »


Overall: B+
Violence: C-
Sexual Content: C
Language: B
Drugs/Alcohol: C
Run Time: 126
Theater Release: 24 Dec 2007
Video Release: 11 Jan 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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How We Determine Our Grades

The Great Debaters is rated PG-13: for depiction of strong thematic material including violence and disturbing images, and for language and brief sexuality.

Director: Denzel Washington
Cast: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker.
Studio: 2007 Weinstein Company
Website: Official site for The Great Debaters.

Detailed Review

Helmed by Denzil Washington under the umbrella of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, The Great Debaters exposes a forgotten slice of African American history when a small black college became the… 
Read our complete review on this movie. »

Why Is The Great Debaters Rated PG-13?

This inspirational story of a small black college’s debate team during the 1930s provides a… 
Get complete content details for violence, sex, language and more. »

Talk It Over

The issue of learning how to fight using non-violent methods is one of the themes… 
Get complete discussion ideas and "Talk It Over" with your family. »

Video alternatives / Home Video Bonus Features

Denzel Washington also stars in Remember the Titans, another film about conquering racial prejudice.… 
Click for more movie ideas and info on bonus features. »

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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