On the Waterfront 1954

Critics score:
98 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Indisputably one of the great American films, its power undiminished. Read more

A.H. Weiler, New York Times: An uncommonly powerful, exciting and imaginative use of the screen by gifted professionals. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: So when does it hit you that you're in the presence of movie greatness? Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: It's hard to deny that Marlon Brando's performance as a dock worker and ex-fighter who finally decides to rat on his gangster brother (Rod Steiger) is pretty terrific. Read more

Kate Cameron, New York Daily News: Kazan over-emphasized the last sequence in the film, but on the whole, his fine direction shows in the strength and power of the dramatic action on the screen. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: One of the best acted efforts to come out of Hollywood during the 1950s. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: It is still possible to feel the power of the film and of Brando and Kazan, who changed American movie acting forever. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: You miss this, you're buyin' a one-way ticket to Palookaville. Read more

TIME Magazine: On the Waterfront has a script that is a work of love and shows it. Read more

Geoff Andrew, Time Out: It's pretty electrifying. Read more

Variety Staff, Variety: Under Elia Kazan's direction, Marlon Brando puts on a spectacular show, giving a fascinating, multi-faceted performance as the uneducated dock walloper and former pug, who is basically a softie with a special affection for his rooftop covey of pigeons. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: It is thanks to Brando that this posthumous Popular Front classic is a heart-clutcher from beginning to end. Read more