7.7/10
128,718
446 user 195 critic

Ray (2004)

Clip
2:15 | Clip

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director:

Taylor Hackford

Writers:

Taylor Hackford (story), James L. White (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,258 ( 944)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 52 wins & 54 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Biography | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two documentary filmmakers chronicle their time in Sonagchi, Calcutta and the relationships they developed with children of prostitutes who work the city's notorious red light district.

Directors: Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman
Stars: Kochi, Avijit Halder, Shanti Das
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970s.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: James McAvoy, Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson
Sideways (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen
Capote (2005)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.

Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener
Walk the Line (2005)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

Director: James Mangold
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin
The Queen (2006)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell
Syriana (2005)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A politically charged epic about the state of the oil industry in the hands of those personally involved in and affected by it.

Director: Stephen Gaghan
Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Amanda Peet
Milk I (2008)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch
Documentary | News
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush
Man on Wire (2008)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".

Director: James Marsh
Stars: Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau
The Aviator (2004)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A law firm brings in its "fixer" to remedy the situation after a lawyer has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multibillion-dollar class action suit.

Director: Tony Gilroy
Stars: George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie Foxx ... Ray Charles
Kerry Washington ... Della Bea Robinson
Regina King ... Margie Hendricks
Clifton Powell ... Jeff Brown
Harry Lennix ... Joe Adams
Bokeem Woodbine ... Fathead Newman
Aunjanue Ellis ... Mary Ann Fisher
Sharon Warren ... Aretha Robinson
C.J. Sanders ... Young Ray Robinson
Curtis Armstrong ... Ahmet Ertegun
Richard Schiff ... Jerry Wexler
Larenz Tate ... Quincy Jones
Terrence Howard ... Gossie McGee (as Terrence Dashon Howard)
David Krumholtz ... Milt Shaw
Wendell Pierce ... Wilbur Brassfield
Edit

Storyline

The story of Ray Charles, music legend. Told in his adult live with flashbacks to his youth we see his humble origins in Florida, his turbulent childhood which included losing his brother and then his sight, his rise as pianist in a touring band, his writing his own songs and running his own band and then stardom. Also includes his addiction to drugs and its affect on his working life and family life. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The extraordinary life story of Ray Charles. A man who fought harder and went farther than anyone thought possible. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for depiction of drug addiction, sexuality and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,039,730, 31 October 2004

Gross USA:

$75,331,600

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$123,971,376
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Upon winning the Academy Award in 2005, Jamie Foxx became the first actor to win the Best Actor Academy Award for a performance in a music/musical film since Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady (1964), as well as the first actor to win the award for a music/musical biography film based on a life of a musical legend since James Cagney for Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). See more »

Goofs

About halfway through the movie Ray scrounges around on the floor trying to pick up some tablets that fell out of a canister. The floor has round rubber tiling of a type not available until 1975. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aretha Robinson: Always remember your promise to me. Never let nobody or nothing turn you into no cripple.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Producers wish to thank David "Fathead" Newman (Who still performs internationally and enjoys a healthy drug-free lifestyle) See more »

Alternate Versions

Universal Pictures Oscar Edition contains Extended Cut of the film. See more »


Soundtracks

Hit the Road Jack
Written by Percy Mayfield
Performed by Ray Charles and Carmen Carter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Jamie IS Ray
19 December 2004 | by flickershowsSee all my reviews

If someone had nudged me about 15 minutes into 'Ray' and asked what I thought of Jamie Foxx in the title role, it would have been time for a blank stare. After all, what is this (fictitious) person talking' about? That wasn't Jamie Foxx up on the big screen. That was Ray Charles. This is one of the best performances by anybody in recent years. Like the soundtrack, Jamie as Ray is flat-out brilliant.

The blind Genius of Soul (who took a revolutionary step of mixing gospel with R&B) died during production. The movie about his troubled life is good, not great. Taylor Hackford's direction and James L. White's script follow the well-worn biopic outline. Super-talented youngster battles adversity, achieves greatness while also self-destructing, then picks himself up out of the gutter for a happy ending. The film shows Charles' flaws (heroin abuse, chronic womanizing, persistent bastard-fathering) even as it sucks you in with his beautiful music.

Kerry Washington and Regina King play the main women in Ray's life, one his long-suffering wife and the other his longtime mistress. Both actresses match Foxx stride for stride. What takes him to a different level, though, is his deep understanding and uncanny impersonation of the great musician. The entire cast is effective, especially Sharon Warren as his headstrong mother and Curtis Armstrong as a music exec. Hackford's stars are likely to be rewarded with trophies and---better yet---more starring roles.

I was not a Ray Charles aficionado before 'Ray'. Apparently, the film has left out a lot (as do all biopics), but this picture functions as both an old-fashioned crowd pleaser AND a dark investigation of a brilliant/troubled man. For those who whine that Foxx doesn't actually sing (as if that somehow diminishes his performance), take a hike. No mere actor can sing like Mr. Charles anyway. You can't have everything. What the talented star does in this picture is about as close to "everything" as we'll probably see for a while.


112 of 128 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 446 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed