Ragtime (1981)

Milos Foreman's cinematic adaptation of E.L. Doctrow's sprawling pop-culture epic Ragtime follows a variety of characters whose lives intertwine during the earliest years of the 20th century. Brad Dourif plays the meek young brother… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: November 20, 1981
DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
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Critic Score: 88% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The great achievement of Ragtime is in its performances, especially Howard E. Rollins, Jr. and the changes he goes through in this story.

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Armond White
National Review

Trying to do the right Hollywood thing on Doctorow's story, Forman fell into the same traps that hobble contemporary films.

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Diego Galán
El Pais (Spain)

The main attraction of this movie is its ability to surprise the public. [Full Review in Spanish]

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Peter Canavese
Celluloid Dreams

Somewhat disjointed, and while it doesn't quite get its hands around the novel, still enjoyable with a great cast. (Blu-ray includes the 19-minutes longer director's cut with the 4K restoration of the original theatrical release).

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Larry Vitacco
Philadelphia Gay News

Forman's deft handling of Weller's teeming screenplay is a testament to his skill as a filmmaker.

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Emanuel Levy

Sporadically engaging, Milos Forman's chronicle of American society and culture in the beginning of the twentieth century is too sprawling and dramatically diffuse, though some of the acting is excellent.

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Matt Brunson
Film Frenzy

Although often episodic in nature, the picture manages to successfully link its various looks at a growing nation too giddy to address its mounting sins and scandals.

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Rick Chatenever
Santa Cruz Sentinel

A most enjoyable and sometimes splendid movie, which blends its artistic and social concerns with assurance, ingenuity and an unfaltering sense of rhythm.

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Steve Crum

Great to see very late Cagney in solid Milos Forman film.

More reviews for Ragtime

Flixster Audience Score: 77% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
It drags here and there but mostly a fine epic film
Alec Barniskis
Doctorow's novel is a tricky thing to adapt, especially with its deliberately elusive ideas about America. Inevitably a lot of materiel was cut or… More