Will Smith's new film, based on the true story of "Whipped Peter," an enslaved man who joins the Union army during the Civil War, was met with mixed reviews Friday ahead of its theatrical release.

This image released by Apple TV+ shows Will Smith in a scene from ″Emancipation.″

Will Smith is shown in a scene from "Emancipation"

Associated Press

The New York Times said that it was a necessary corrective to the big-screen fictions about the American slave trade.

The film feels flimsy when it strays from the swamps, rendering politics of the time as almost secondary to the visual spectacle of a harrowing escape, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

It seems reluctant to entertain at times when it leans in to being an adventure-style survival saga.

The Los Angeles Times said the film fell short of the history that inspired it.

The Associated Press said that Emancipation is a parable of Black resistance and spiritual perseverance and that it is different from recent big-screen treatments of slavery.

The story of 'Whipped Peter' and the impact he had on the culture of war and American slavery live on to this day, but there was a time when I contemplated walking out of Emancipation.

PLAY Forbes Business Biden’s First State Dinner Serves Up Lobster—And Controversy Qatar Reviews Deaths Of Migrant Workers, But Huge Questions Remain This Week In XR: Sony Intros Smartphone Mo Cap, Mocopi, Acquires Beyond Sports Anticipating A Russian Attack, The Ukrainian Army Trained Its Tank Crews To Fight Like Artillery How A Rock Star, A Physician-Legislator, And An Evangelical Senator Bonded To Help End The Global AIDS Pandemic: A Backstory 1/1 Skip Ad Continue watching after the ad Loading PodsVisit Advertiser websiteGO TO PAGE Biden’s First State Dinner Serves Up Lobster—And Controversy

A majority. That is what Emancipation is rated for on the site.


The film will only be in theaters for a week before it is released on Apple TV+. It is projected that Violent Night will make up to $12 million, but it will fall behind Black Panther at the box office.

Key Background

Smith was banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years after he hit Chris Rock. According to reports, Apple considered postponing the release of the film because of the incident. The movie will try to contend for major film awards because of its seriousness and December premiere. Smith hopes that his actions won't affect how audiences receive Emancipation or the other cast and crew who worked on the project

Will Smith is going to pen a new film because of the Oscars scandal.

Will Smith is set to release his movie in December.

Will Smith spoke out for the first time on the Oscars incident.