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Always Outnumbered
Always Outnumbered
Actors: Laurence Fishburne, Daniel Williams, Bill Cobbs, Natalie Cole, Laurie Metcalf
Director: Michael Apted
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television
R     2002     1hr 44min

Sometimes life throws a curve ball, a fork in the road, or a wall between you and what you want. For Socrates Fortlow, life keeps getting in the way, but nothing stays in the way of a man with his mission. Socrates is goin...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Laurence Fishburne, Daniel Williams, Bill Cobbs, Natalie Cole, Laurie Metcalf
Director: Michael Apted
Creators: Laurence Fishburne, Anne-Marie Mackay, Helen McCusker, Jeanney Kim, Jeffrey Downer, Jonathon Ker, Walter Mosley
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/08/2002
Original Release Date: 03/21/1998
Theatrical Release Date: 03/21/1998
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

This movie just strikes a chord for me
Blue Wolf | Laguna Niguel, CA, USA | 10/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I can certainly see how people could overlook this underpublicized gem. I can even see how some people just wouldn't identify with this film. I can't imagine, however, how anyone that has had any kind of serious struggle in their lives wouldn't be moved by this film and it incredible writing, acting, production, and HUMAN values. Socrates Fortlow is a brilliant symbol for something very special. Socrates Fortlow is a man, a human being, unwilling to abandon decency, compassion, and integrity in face of a life of overwhelming hardship.

There is no doubt that much of Fortlow's tragic life is a byproduct of some of his own rash actions. There is also no doubt that the deck was and still is stacked against him. If anything, this movie reinforces my own personal belief that some people pay for their mistakes more than others. What really moves me about this movie and this characters, however, is Fortlow's unyielding quest to acknowledge his shortcomings, be his own man, and share his tremendous inner strength with others who may be a little short on what they need to make the right decisions themselves.

Through his outreach, Fortlow places himself on a path to redemption, even though he scarely seems aware of this himself. Fortlow doesn't reach out as pennance, he does it because he genuinely seems to feel and care about those around him. He is driven by the kind of empathy and compassion that only someone that has suffered deeply can have. His kind actions are instinctive, not planned, and it underscores, in giant terms, the profound decency of the man: the kind of decency I only wish we could find among the "blameless."

This is definitely one of my personal "top 10" movies and I can't see it being displaced anytime soon."
Show this One to Prisoners
Marianna S. Scheffer | Hilo, HI USA | 04/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Anyone who thinks this is a "slow" movie hasn't shown it to prisoners, the way I have. They love it. They identify with Socrates, understand his nobility. They see that Socrates can tell them something positive about themselves. Socrates knows his anger and how it has caused him to damage others in the past. The flashbacks to his crime are common among violent criminals and his warning never to harm again. Socrates has figured out how to take who he is as he is and make it work for himself and for all the people around him. He's a true hero and a role model for these "tough guys," the prisoners--a protector, never again a destroyer. The message I hope the prisoners pick up is about renunciation, retribution, and restitution. We correctional educators don't give up on these men but always have to believe they will find their way as Socrates eventually does.
This movie could only have been made by people who have been there and lived it. It is a gem."
Strong story
Bakari Chavanu | 10/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I really enjoyed the book and now I'm glad I finally saw the movie on video. It was also very good to see that it was produced by actor Larry Fishburn and the author Walter Mosley."Always Outnumbered" is such a compelling story. Mosely is not only trying to tell a very good story, he's also making strong social statements. He's trying to get us to understand the human condition and the need to have compassion for those who have made great mistakes in their life.Socrates, the protaganist in this story, seeks redemption--but not redemption for its own sake. He made a mistake and now he's trying to find a way to get his life back on path, but he's not about doing it for selfish reasons. He just wants people to treat eachother better. Even in his violent way confronting problems, he just wants himself and others to be better. In other words, he doesn't want himself or others to "always be outnumber, always outgunned."Lastly, I would like to say that production of this film is good. The narration by one of Socrate's friends helps to bring about continuity to the film. The director also using lots of panning shots and bright and dark lighting to convey social alienation of Los Angeles, particularly Watts, where Socrates lives.This is not a major motion picture, but it's just the type of HBO film that respects a good story."
Only slow if you're on speed...
Bakari Chavanu | 10/18/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"To the viewer who thought this movie was slow, I have to ask, "What do you expect from a drama??" I stumbled on to this movie and I found it very compelling and thought provoking...and all the things a drama should be. To Laurence Fishburn fans who want a "fast" movie that doesn't require you to think too much, go rent the Matrix. If you're looking for a well crafted, thinking movie that takes a real look at racism and life on the poor side of town, this is for you."