100

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
Boseman is watchful, winning and confident, but never saintly. Yet he keeps Robinson’s moral spine aligned with his skill and self-respect, showing how he needed all of those to succeed.
Full Review
83

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Helgeland works in what I think of as a conservative — or maybe it's just really, really basic — neoclassical Hollywood style, spelling everything out, letting the story unfold in a plainspoken and deliberate fashion, with a big, wide, open pictorial camera eye. It's like the latter-day Clint Eastwood style, applied to material that's as traditional as can be.
Full Review
75

Film.com

By Laremy Legel
A kind and decent film, but doesn't add to Robinson's legacy.
Full Review
75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
42 doesn't shirk from showing how daunting it was for Robinson to turn the other cheek, as Ford's Rickey tells him he must do, in the face of the insults and hostility.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
A superior sports movie, dealing honestly with a great American story.
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

42 is competent, occasionally rousing and historically respectful — but it rarely rises above standard, old-fashioned biography fare. It’s a mostly unexceptional film about an exceptional man.
Full Review
65

NPR

By Bob Mondello
A profile in real-life courage that would be stronger as a movie if it weren't quite so intent on underlining teachable moments.
Full Review
63

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Given Helgeland's rep as a screenwriter (including an Oscar for 1997's L.A. Confidential), it rankles that 42 settles for the official story. The private Robinson, who died of a heart attack at 53 in 1972, stays private. We stay on the outside looking in. Let it be.
Full Review
63

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
The ambitious new biopic about Robinson, is better written and produced than those children’s books, but it isn’t any deeper, and that’s a disappointment.
Full Review
63

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
It takes a particularly ham-fisted filmmaker to transform a fascinating and historically significant story into something as formulaic as 42.
Full Review
62 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.