Box art for Hotel Rwanda

Hotel Rwanda

  • Rated PG13
  • HD and SD formats available

drama


Oscar® nominee DON CHEADLE is "magnificent" (Roger Ebert) in this deeply moving true story about a five-star-hotel manager who used his wits and words to save more than 1,200 lives during the 1994 Rwandan conflict.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    90%
  • Audience Score
    94%

common sense

ON for kids age 15
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
0 out of 5
Violence
5 out of 5

Excellent but disturbing film is too intense for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie includes a realistic, though mostly non-graphic, depiction of genocide and compellingly portrays the sense of horror and insanity. Characters drink, smoke, and use some mild language.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about about the slaughter in Rwanda and how the role of the UN and other nations is determined. Families could also talk about the way that an ordinary man became capable of extraordinary courage. How do we know what we would do? How do we make sure we do the right thing?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    90%
    reviews counted: 28
    see all Hotel Rwanda reviews
  • Audience

    94%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: This is a solid film, but it is the truth that holds the power, not the direction.

- Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film, Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fresh: The great strength of Hotel Rwanda is that it's not about superhuman heroism but simply about human decency.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, January 7, 2005

Rotten: If Schindler's List] had never been made, Hotel Rwanda might seem better than it does, and probably better than it is.

- Bruce Newman, San Jose Mercury News, Thursday, January 6, 2005

Audience Reviews

4 stars

During the early nineties there was an infinite increase in genocide, very prevalent in Africa. The killing in Rwanda was based on a class system that had been in place for decades, and now that the power structure was switched, the tribal system emerged, lending to a million deaths in one year at the hands of a vast military. This film tells the condensed story of a hotel manager named Paul Rusesabagina, who lived the life of a middle class suburbanite while surrounded by soldiers and misplaced nationalism. Prompted by the assassination of Rwanda's president and the expedition of the UN Peacekeepers, Rusesabagina takes in 1,200 refugees and saves all their lives in the process. Rusesabagina starts out as a tolerant and possibly naive citizen, unbelieving of the errant violence of soldiers, or the collapse of his government. With his vast knowledge and Belgian education he outwits, cons, and pleads with generals and soldiers alike to spare his "guests" lives, all while saying it was in keeping with his occupation at the hotel. Pretending they are part of the luxurious clientele, and using his knowledge of the atrocities around his country, he often keeps his offenders at bay, takes in orphans, and saves his family. This has been compared to "Schindler's List" in terms of a savior taking in people to save them from certain death. That comparison seems apt since Rusesabagina starts the film as an affluent and privileged individual with a skewed, or incorrect, view of his surroundings, much like Schindler starting the film as a Nazi. Rusesabagina immediately softens to the refugees' plights and bribes everyone he can in order to save their lives. This film has also been criticized for not covering the entire genocide and instead focuses on a small contingent of people. Comparing again to "Schindler's List," it's evident that that film did cover more, including camps, the train, and the conditions that Jews lived under, and in this film we very often do not see violence, bloodshed, or hateful intolerance. For what the film covers, I think it appropriately shows the devastation done to its citizens, and though not as effective when it comes to bluntly showing death at every turn, there are bodies in the streets, corpses of children left and piled in unceremonious mounds. The film also appropriately covers the lack of intervention from the UN or the US during this time of tumult, and how horrific that truth was when it dawned on the survivors in the hotel. That especially lent a lot of realism to the story, and downplayed the heroism of outsiders, since they weren't there for the bulk of the travesty anyway. That in itself speaks about the genocide more than showing blood spurts from bullet wounds. Overall this film is still disturbing and moving as it shows the sacrifices and travesty of these horrific crimes against humanity.

- FrizzDrop, Tuesday, May 7, 2013

4 stars

During the early nineties there was an infinite increase in genocide, very prevalent in Africa. The killing in Rwanda was based on a class system that had been in place for decades, and now that the power structure was switched, the tribal system emerged, lending to a million deaths in one year at the hands of a vast military. This film tells the condensed story of a hotel manager named Paul Rusesabagina, who lived the life of a middle class suburbanite while surrounded by soldiers and misplaced nationalism. Prompted by the assassination of Rwanda's president and the expedition of the UN Peacekeepers, Rusesabagina takes in 1,200 refugees and saves all their lives in the process. Rusesabagina starts out as a tolerant and possibly naive citizen, unbelieving of the errant violence of soldiers, or the collapse of his government. With his vast knowledge and Belgian education he outwits, cons, and pleads with generals and soldiers alike to spare his "guests" lives, all while saying it was in keeping with his occupation at the hotel. Pretending they are part of the luxurious clientele, and using his knowledge of the atrocities around his country, he often keeps his offenders at bay, takes in orphans, and saves his family. This has been compared to "Schindler's List" in terms of a savior taking in people to save them from certain death. That comparison seems apt since Rusesabagina starts the film as an affluent and privileged individual with a skewed, or incorrect, view of his surroundings, much like Schindler starting the film as a Nazi. Rusesabagina immediately softens to the refugees' plights and bribes everyone he can in order to save their lives. This film has also been criticized for not covering the entire genocide and instead focuses on a small contingent of people. Comparing again to "Schindler's List," it's evident that that film did cover more, including camps, the train, and the conditions that Jews lived under, and in this film we very often do not see violence, bloodshed, or hateful intolerance. For what the film covers, I think it appropriately shows the devastation done to its citizens, and though not as effective when it comes to bluntly showing death at every turn, there are bodies in the streets, corpses of children left and piled in unceremonious mounds. The film also appropriately covers the lack of intervention from the UN or the US during this time of tumult, and how horrific that truth was when it dawned on the survivors in the hotel. That especially lent a lot of realism to the story, and downplayed the heroism of outsiders, since they weren't there for the bulk of the travesty anyway. That in itself speaks about the genocide more than showing blood spurts from bullet wounds. Overall this film is still disturbing and moving as it shows the sacrifices and travesty of these horrific crimes against humanity.

- FrizzDrop, Tuesday, May 7, 2013

4 stars

An excellent film, can't believe I didnt watch it sooner! Don Cheadle's finest work and probably one of the best dramas around, nothing quite hits you in the heart than a movie about struggle and survivial in the world's most dangerous and hopless continent... Africa. And it pretty much made things clear that the world cannot stand by too long while people are being massacared... and in the end, one million people were killed in Rwanda. Enter Paul Rusesabagina (Cheadle) , a Hutu, who is the manager of the Htel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda. When the Hutu President is killed after Tutsi rebels broke and agreement, the extremist Hutu army and milita ordered the death of all Tutsi rebels and their conspirators, leading to the death of millions. Paul's wife, being a Tutsi, is found by a small group of refugees and he manages to hide them inside his hotel which i guarded by UN peacekeepers. But the handful soon turn into hundreds, as the extremists begin to "cleanse" the land of the cockroaches, and the UN powerless to help, the Western World seeing no gain from sending any reinforcements. With the foriengers and UN gone, Paul uses bribes to keep the militia at bay while his employer Mr Tillens (Jean Reno) and General Oliver (Gary Busey) try to convince the superiors and nations to assist the Rwandans....and in the midst of all this, Paul is left to manage his four star hotel and its workers, care for his scared family and protect the hundreds of refugees under his care, risking his wealth and his life to save as many as he can. A really great piece of filmmaking, the drama never stops as Paul and the world surrounding him plunges into deeper levels of despair after the other, and at times hope is almost lost, and time has run out An excellent film.... Go watch it yourself, nothing more to be said here.

- kpn666, Sunday, August 30, 2009