Read the Reviews for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Starring Viola Davis

The Verdict   Read the Reviews for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Starring Viola Davis
 
The Netflix movie adaptation of August Wilson’s play also stars the late Chadwick Boseman.

The reviews are in for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the Netflix adaptation of August Wilson’s play about the famed blues singer of the 1920s. Tony and Oscar winner Viola Davis stars in the title role, with the late Chadwick Boseman as Ma Rainey’s trumpeter Levee.

Tony winner George C. Wolfe directs, with Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson penning the screenplay. The cast also includes Michael Potts as Slow Drag, Glynn Turman as Toledo, Tony nominee Colman Domingo as Cutler, and Tony nominee Jeremy Shamos as Ma’s manager Irvin, along with Jonny Coyne, Taylour Page, and Dusan Brown.

in <i>Ma Rainey&#39;s Black Bottom</i>
Viola Davis and cast in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom David Lee/Netflix

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom debuts on Netflix December 18.

In the meantime, check out the reviews below.

Associated Press (Jocelyn Novak)

A.V. Club (Shannon Miller)

BBC News (Caryn James)

Boston Globe (Ty Burr)

Chicago Sun-Times (Richard Roeper)

Chicago Tribune (Michael Phillips)

CNN (Brian Lowry)

Daily Telegraph (Robbie Collin)

Empire (Amon Warmann)

Entertainment Weekly (Leah Greenblatt)

The Guardian (Peter Bradshaw)

The Hollywood Reporter (David Rooney)

IndieWire (Eric Kohn)

The Los Angeles Times (Justin Chang)

NBC News Think (Aramide Tinubu)

New York Post (Johnny Oleksinski)

New York Stage Review (Melissa Rose Bernardo)

The New York Times (A.O. Scott)

The Observer (Oliver Jones)

RogerEbert.com (Odie Henderson)

Rolling Stone (K. Austin Collins)

Theatre News Online (Brian Lipton)

TimeOut (Kambole Campbell)

Variety (Peter Debruge)

The Washington Post (Ann Hornaday)

The Wrap (Alonso Duralde)

Playbill will continue to update this page as reviews come in.

The movie features costume design by Ann Roth, production design by Mark Ricker, editing by Andrew Mondshein, and cinematography by Tobias Schliessler.

Based on Wilson’s 1982 play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom explores the exploitation of Black musicians in 1920s Chicago while centering on the “Mother of the Blues” and her band members during a tense recording session.

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