Director Terry George and his co-writer, Keir Pearson, tell the true story of Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), a Rwandan hotel manager whose quick thinking, courage and instinctive heroism saved more than 1,200 people from certain death in that African country’s tribal genocide of the 1990s. Comparisons with Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List
are unavoidable, and the film suffers by them; this is not the masterpiece that Spielberg’s movie was. Even so, George has a powerful story to tell, and he avoids direct violence and overt melodrama, letting events speak for themselves. Most of all, he has a powerful anchor in Cheadle’s towering performance. Long one of the best actors in movies, Cheadle commands the film as a man who instinctively does the right thing, all too aware that one false move can be fatal.