Box art for Ray

Ray

  • Rated PG13
  • HD and SD formats available

drama


Jamie Foxx stars as the one-of-a-kind innovator of soul who overcame impossible odds to become a music legend. Ray is the triumphant and remarkable story of one of America's true musical geniuses, Ray Charles.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    81%
  • Audience Score
    87%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
0 out of 5

Excellent portrayal of extraordinary musician.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has very strong material for a PG-13; it's more like a PG-16. There are frequent sexual references and situations (non-explicit), as Charles has relationships with many, many women, even after he's married. One of the women becomes pregnant. Characters drink, smoke (constantly) and take drugs, including marijuana and heroin. A character OD's (off-camera), and there is a harrowing scene of detoxing after Charles decides to end his 20-year heroin habit. Characters use very strong language. A child is killed and another loses his sight. A strength of the movie is its frank coverage of the pre-Civil Rights era, where the "Chitlin' Circuit" was the (almost) all-black venues where black performers were booked. In one understated scene, it makes clear that no restaurants would allow black customers, so they had to make arrangements at the homes of black people along the way. In another scene, Charles refuses to perform in a facility that does not allow black customers and is sued by the promoter and banned from the state of Georgia as a result.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about what made Ray Charles strong and what made him weak. Should he have left Atlantic? How should he have treated Jeff after Joe told him what he did? Which of Aretha Robinson's advice to her son was the most important to him?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    81%
    reviews counted: 4
    see all Ray reviews
  • Audience

    87%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh:

- Devin Faraci, CHUD, Friday, February 27, 2009

Fresh: click to read full review Greek]

- Joseph Proimakis, Movies for the Masses, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh:

- Luke Buckmaster, In Film Australia, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Ever since his childhood, Ray Robinson (publicized as Ray Charles, of course, to avoid confusion with Sugar Ray Robinson) lived a tough life. He was only a mere child when he witnessed his brother drown in a bathtub, and for his whole life, he carried with him the grief of knowing he could have saved his brother. Less than a year later, Ray began suffering from blindness and was forced to find his way around using his other four senses, mainly his sense of touch. Early on in his adulthood, he was discovered to excel at both voice and the piano. His career rose exponentially, despite some controversy over him supposedly transforming gospel music used to praised the Lord into sacrilegious songs with sexual subtexts, with hits such as "I Got a Woman", "Hit the Road", and "Georgia on My Mind"-many of his songs we recognize today very well and don't even associate with him-but at the same time his outside life began to fall. Ray was dealing with segregation and drug addiction, a factor that basically collapsed the rest of his personal life, and would have destroyed his career quickly, had he not produced such hits to keep it alive. There are some discrepancies between the film interpretation RAY and the actual events, so I've heard, but I'd say these changes were made for the benefit of producing a story that flows. The film is a heavy character study, and it seems the extended version grants it even more depth, with over twenty-five extra minutes of flashbacks and musical footage that did not appear in the theatrical cut. It's not a necessary edit to the film, but I'd recommend it. The story here, extended or not, is about as fluent as most great stories, something difficult for a biographical film to achieve. This isn't THE IRON LADY. Ray's heroin addiction isn't presented for half the film, just as dementia was in that more recent film. Writers Taylor Hackford and James L. White want to make it very clear that there were many equally problematic situations that occurred during the performer's lifetime, spreading them out and transitioning between them evenly. It's a shame Ray Charles himself passed away only a few months before his biographical picture was released. For anyone who appreciates soul music-or at least its king-as much as I do, the film is essential. It isn't perfect, nor is it set up any different than the ideal biopic, but it's otherwise stunning. read the uncut review at themoviefreakblog.com

- spielberg00, Wednesday, July 18, 2012

4 stars

Ever since his childhood, Ray Robinson (publicized as Ray Charles, of course, to avoid confusion with Sugar Ray Robinson) lived a tough life. He was only a mere child when he witnessed his brother drown in a bathtub, and for his whole life, he carried with him the grief of knowing he could have saved his brother. Less than a year later, Ray began suffering from blindness and was forced to find his way around using his other four senses, mainly his sense of touch. Early on in his adulthood, he was discovered to excel at both voice and the piano. His career rose exponentially, despite some controversy over him supposedly transforming gospel music used to praised the Lord into sacrilegious songs with sexual subtexts, with hits such as "I Got a Woman", "Hit the Road", and "Georgia on My Mind"-many of his songs we recognize today very well and don't even associate with him-but at the same time his outside life began to fall. Ray was dealing with segregation and drug addiction, a factor that basically collapsed the rest of his personal life, and would have destroyed his career quickly, had he not produced such hits to keep it alive. There are some discrepancies between the film interpretation RAY and the actual events, so I've heard, but I'd say these changes were made for the benefit of producing a story that flows. The film is a heavy character study, and it seems the extended version grants it even more depth, with over twenty-five extra minutes of flashbacks and musical footage that did not appear in the theatrical cut. It's not a necessary edit to the film, but I'd recommend it. The story here, extended or not, is about as fluent as most great stories, something difficult for a biographical film to achieve. This isn't THE IRON LADY. Ray's heroin addiction isn't presented for half the film, just as dementia was in that more recent film. Writers Taylor Hackford and James L. White want to make it very clear that there were many equally problematic situations that occurred during the performer's lifetime, spreading them out and transitioning between them evenly. It's a shame Ray Charles himself passed away only a few months before his biographical picture was released. For anyone who appreciates soul music-or at least its king-as much as I do, the film is essential. It isn't perfect, nor is it set up any different than the ideal biopic, but it's otherwise stunning. read the uncut review at themoviefreakblog.com

- spielberg00, Wednesday, July 18, 2012

4 stars

Ever since his childhood, Ray Robinson (publicized as Ray Charles, of course, to avoid confusion with Sugar Ray Robinson) lived a tough life. He was only a mere child when he witnessed his brother drown in a bathtub, and for his whole life, he carried with him the grief of knowing he could have saved his brother. Less than a year later, Ray began suffering from blindness and was forced to find his way around using his other four senses, mainly his sense of touch. Early on in his adulthood, he was discovered to excel at both voice and the piano. His career rose exponentially, despite some controversy over him supposedly transforming gospel music used to praised the Lord into sacrilegious songs with sexual subtexts, with hits such as "I Got a Woman", "Hit the Road", and "Georgia on My Mind"-many of his songs we recognize today very well and don't even associate with him-but at the same time his outside life began to fall. Ray was dealing with segregation and drug addiction, a factor that basically collapsed the rest of his personal life, and would have destroyed his career quickly, had he not produced such hits to keep it alive. There are some discrepancies between the film interpretation RAY and the actual events, so I've heard, but I'd say these changes were made for the benefit of producing a story that flows. The film is a heavy character study, and it seems the extended version grants it even more depth, with over twenty-five extra minutes of flashbacks and musical footage that did not appear in the theatrical cut. It's not a necessary edit to the film, but I'd recommend it. The story here, extended or not, is about as fluent as most great stories, something difficult for a biographical film to achieve. This isn't THE IRON LADY. Ray's heroin addiction isn't presented for half the film, just as dementia was in that more recent film. Writers Taylor Hackford and James L. White want to make it very clear that there were many equally problematic situations that occurred during the performer's lifetime, spreading them out and transitioning between them evenly. It's a shame Ray Charles himself passed away only a few months before his biographical picture was released. For anyone who appreciates soul music-or at least its king-as much as I do, the film is essential. It isn't perfect, nor is it set up any different than the ideal biopic, but it's otherwise stunning. read the uncut review at themoviefreakblog.com

- spielberg00, Wednesday, July 18, 2012