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  • .........from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, Colombia...and ORLANDO, FL

    "The brain is a miracle!" Says Dr. Ben Carson upon being asked why he wanted to be a brain surgeon during his screening interview as an applicant for internship at prestigious John Hopkins Hospital. That Carson would become eventually, perhaps, the best and most renowned Pediatric Neurosurgeon in the world is even a bigger miracle! These words are easy to identify with because "What the human mind can conceive and believe, it can ACHIEVE!"-Dr. Napoleon Hill.

    Every time I sit down to write a review, my goal is to find some aspect of the film that inspires me, and then manage to express that in a way that will, in turn, serve to inspire you! In the case of GIFTED HANDS, there is a lot of inspiration at its core! Dr. Carson's particular well-spring of inspiration is his faith in God.

    Unfortunately, there are always a few people who seem to find this religious source anathema to their continued existence on this planet! Why is that? I consider myself a spiritual person, but not really religious, in the traditional sense. Yet, I find this attitude just as baffling as those who cannot countenance a story line where inspiration is NOT faith-based. Inspiration is inspiration, no matter who, where, how, when or why!

    GIFTED HANDS deserves KUDOS for several things it doesn't do: Despite being about an African-American trailblazer starting out in the 60's and 70's, there is only one brief scene where Carson is dissed simply for being "different". Certainly, there must have been a number of times in his life where he encountered racism, but one scene was enough to underscore this. (One of the BEST scenes in the film, BTW)

    Cuba Gooding, Jr. was excellent (but not great) in the title role. Two Constructive Critiques: Even with his wrinkles digitally air-brushed out, at 41, Gooding was too old to play a 19 year-old college Freshman. Also, as is usually the case with TV productions, some aspects were slightly below par, causing me to rate this 9* as opposed to 10*


    Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
  • To summarize this story in a nutshell, it's about an amazing neurologist named Ben Carson, who started off with nothing. He was dumb and unimaginative with a very low self esteem. As he goes through the years some things get worse with relationships and such, as others get better, like knowledge, but he grows up to be this neurologist, the best in the world and his jobs range from checking over babies to stopping daily seizures. The movie goes through all his good times and his bad times from start to finish.

    I know it doesn't sound that interesting, but it really is. It seems slow at some parts, but all the characters put out wonderful dramatic performances. I almost cried there at the end. The writers put a lot of time into this with some excellent dialog here and there. The director did a good job too. It's not superb quality, but everything about this movie was great. Something else to keep in mind is that this is based on a true story and it's a book. I haven't read the book, but I've heard it's wonderful. If you've read it and you're scared the movie will suck, don't worry, it doesn't.

    I guess that's about all there is to say about this movie. Once again, good job TNT. But if I were you, I would've sent it to the cinemas first.
  • spursnsaddles8 February 2009
    We just finished watching Gifted Hands and can't believe this was a made-for-TV movie and not for theatrical release. It is one of the better biographical movies we have ever seen.

    Inspiring storyline - beautifully acted. What a wonderful message for young people that they can do anything they set their mind and heart to.

    This is better than many of the movies you will pay to see.

    Just sent out and email to friends and family to make sure they don't miss it.

    Watch with Kleenex handy. Kudo's TNT...
  • The Ben Carson Story never set out to a major film: this is obviously a film that appealed to Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr and he plays it very straight, and underacts, without underplaying.

    As I am deeply fascinated by all things neurological this was a really easy film for me to get into - but even if you have no real interest, the human side of this will really sideswipe you.

    It is incredibly and really frustratingly slow in places, but bear with me - the surgeries are amazing and very moving.

    Overall I'm giving this a 9, not for the production writing filming or direction which are at best 6 or 7 at most, but because films like this deserve to be made, should be made, and should be what we want to be made...

    Good, Moving, and Inspirational...
  • froglady9930 April 2010
    I grew up hearing about some of Ben Carson's amazing surgeries and remember reading about him when I was a teenager, probably, so I was excited when I heard about this movie. I just watched it for the first time, and it's one of the best movies I've ever seen. I can't believe it was a made-for-TV movie! This movie tells the story of how Ben Carson went from being a kid who was a failure in school and had a very low self-esteem to a famous, gifted surgeon. It tells some about his family life and about two of his famous surgeries. This movie kept me glued to it all the way through--it was like a good book you can't put down!
  • Tremendous movie of taking what's thought impossible and showing how to try and then do it. Of how Ben Carson went from believing he was stupid to understanding we can do miracles. How that belief put him on a path few get to have as he impacts lives. I'm watching it the second time around on it's TNT premiere tonight and give it 10 stars for transformative potential, excitement, drama, character development, subject and actors. Thank you for this movie! I called my friends & told them to watch. Cuba Gooding is so good as lead character that I forget he is acting:-) The mother character keeps people on their toes as she hides her secrets. Others are also excellent. I laughed, cried, was awed and at times sat on the edge of my seat not knowing what came next. Am touched throughout this movie as I wonder if spirit trumps all. Everyone should watch this!
  • I am so pleased that we randomly chose to watch Gifted Hands on Sat. Feb. 7. This is a well done movie, a beautiful story about an amazing man. After sharing about the movie with our dear friends, whose child had sustained a brain injury as an unborn, we were amazed to discover that this is the Dr who performed surgery on their child shortly after the twins from Germany. Thank you for the opportunity to get to know about this wonderful man. This was our first choice for afternoon viewing because of Cuba Gooding, Jr portraying the doctor. He usually does an excellent job in wholesome movies and this was not a disappointment in any way.
  • Now this is what i call a true drama, a masterpiece performed by Thomas Carter and Cuba Gooding Jr. The story begins with biography of Ben Carson which was made quit interesting and fascinating. Young boy (Ben Carson) was between two chooses to admit a false fact that he is dumber than other kids in school or to be encouraged by his mother and start new saga in his personal life. When he begun reading books and understood that the new things he read can be used in life he was like in paradise and on the toped place on podium. Mom (Kimberly Elise) really supported her sons in all ways and dramatically wanted them to be more the she was in her life, when husband died she was prostrated but life for her and little Carsons was still going on. Ben Carson had to face another big problem in his life - a flush of anger which was eliminated from his life by the help of church and God. Ben Carson in his youth had a potential of choosing lots of different professions from the musician to the tops of physics or chemistry, but amazed by the fact that human mind can do so amazing thinks he chose a neurology . The movie was made quite dramatic and in high quality of acting, i've just missed one detail , when Candy Carson lost their Babbie twins i've missed some more drama from Ben Carson, it was like a non - matter fact in his life,despite the fact this movie was one of the best drama's i've seen in 2009. Applause goes to John Pielmeier, Thomas Carter, Cuba Gooding Jr.. 10/10. P.S sorry Sorry for some grammatical mistakes in this comment but it was wrote from heart :).
  • As usual, Cuba Gooding was fantastic in this drama! He's as good in comedies also! No one else comes to mind for playing Dr Ben Carson with the passion he projects throughout the movie. This is a man's man. Torn between his loyalty to his skills as a surgeon and a lack of faith in himself made this film all the more realistic! Cuba and Elise give performances that are amazing to watch! Comments to another forum express their objections to the way the race relations play in the movie while at the school..."but" it can't get any realer than that. I've seen it with my own eyes while attending colleges & this film really puts it down. Very emotional & inspiring film. Thanks to everyone involved for bringing us this fantastic true story!
  • A movie about life, about the decisions you have to make from childhood to became something in your life. I recommend this movie to all, one of the best movies ever. It's not boring at all and Cuba Gooding Jr. make the character so real even if he doesn't look like an neurosurgeon or even a doctor. His mother and her education made a explosive turning in Ben life and like he said " I pray everyday " helped to reach his goal to became an doctor and not any doctor an devoted and respected neurosurgeon.

    Dr. Ben Carson was and is one of the best neurosurgeons alive.

    Because he is black teach us that God see no color when he think about us and with His help we can achieve everything we want in life.
  • killaloth5 September 2009
    A good friend of mine advised me to watch this movie, so I did after he pushed me a lot.

    It's a fascinating story to watch and while watching the tension increased and it kept me sitting at the edge of my seat till the end. And the fact that this movie is based on a true story, makes it even more fascinating.

    The acting in this movie has been done wonderfully, as expected from Cuba Gooding Jr.

    Normally I don't watch these kind of movies, but I'm glad I watched this movie. As for anyone else who doubts about this movie, don't. Just watch it, it will be worth it!
  • spheckma9 September 2012
    Dr. Ben Carson is a 'real life' doctor who overcame many, many hardships and disadvantages to reach the level of Neuro-surgeon at John Hopkins Hospital where he still practices. The primary actor, Cuba Gooding Jr. as Dr. Carson and Kimberly Elise as the single mother of two boys are played extremely well. As they grow up in not the best of circumstances she is their constant motivator even thought, at first, she is illiterate. As a youngster and teen he is constantly pushed by her to succeed and in the end succeed and succeed he does, to the top of his field while his brother goes on to become and engineer. The story is brilliantly told and realistically shot, well directed and as the actors ages advance we see the portrayed by the next actor in a realistic manner. All in all a great movie to watch and in the end as about as rewarding to have seen as it gets.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is the story of Dr. Ben Carson. A black man raised by a single mother in difficult circumstances, Carson went on to be a world renowned neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

    There are so many obstacles that Carson had to overcome, not the least of which was racial discrimination, that there is just too much to cover in one ninety minute movie. We rush through Carson's being labeled as the dumbest kid in the class, to his sudden rise as one of the smartest, then on to Yale, marriage, his internship, and his ultimate successes as a neurosurgeon. There is enough material in any one of those phases in his life for a full length feature.

    How Carson got from being the at the bottom of his class to brilliant would have been most interesting, but we are asked simply to accept that it happened because his mother limited his TV viewing and asked him to read books. We are given no detail on how Carson developed his appreciation of classical music at a young age. There is minimal background on his wife, except for a brief scene hinting that she is a musician. How Carson met his future wife and how that relationship evolved would have been interesting. His mother's depression is treated in a most cursory manner: she is not depressed, she is depressed, she has a brief stay in a psychiatric hospital, she is not depressed. We get almost no information about Carson's experiences in medical school. For most of this movie we could have gotten as much by simply having read a brief biography.

    Gooding is fine as Dr. Carson, as is Kimberly Elise as his mother. The kids who play Carson as a youth are not so good--they come across as reading from a script. The filming is less than inventive. In one scene Carson says he feels like a faucet that has run dry and the image of a slowly dripping faucet is shown.

    A lot of the scenes don't ring true and I was left wondering if anything even remotely close to them ever occurred in real life. The attempted stabbing seemed particularly hard to believe. When Carson was given a scholastic award in junior high, a teacher kept him on stage after the award while she berated the white kids in the class for not performing as well as a fatherless black kid, saying that they should be ashamed of themselves. I don't know, but that seemed over the top in a Michigan public school, even for the early 1960s. Carson's mother got a job as the maid for a professor who had thousands of books in his library and he winds up trying to teach her to read? Not likely. And so on.

    The swelling music frequently alerts us as to when we should be inspired.

    The message of "you can be anything you want to be" is a theme. But, not everyone can be a neurosurgeon. For example, Carson was endowed with a strong sense of three dimensional perception as well as having the required highly developed hand-eye coordination. And he has the stamina and mental disposition to handle the rigors of the job. In some ways these inspiring movies can backfire, since achievement at the level of a Dr. Carson is reserved for only a few and comparing oneself with someone like him can be discouraging.

    The final surgery scene, where Carson separates the Rausch twins who were born joined at the head, is exceedingly realistic. There is only a limited time that Carson has to perform this operation and the scene is played like one of those "you have an hour to save the world" dramas, complete with a clock counting down the minutes. And we know the operation will be successful, otherwise why would so much screen time be devoted to it?

    The story of Dr. Carson and his extraordinary achievements deserves a more complete and compelling telling than what is given in this movie. A similar story, that of Vivien Thomas, a black man who rose from being a janitor to being a surgeon (also at Johns Hopkins coincidentally), is told in the much more engrossing, "Something the Lord Made."
  • This is the life story of Dr. Ben Carson, chief of pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins University and considered the world's best pediatric surgeon. The story begins with Dr. Carson being asked to consider operating on the two sons of a German couple who are joined at the abdomen and skull. No one has ever performed this surgery successfully with both children surviving. The film then flashes back to the childhood of Dr. Carson. He was raised by an illiterate but very loving and determined single mother who married at the age of 13 and was divorced soon after when she discovered her husband was married at the same time to another woman with another family. She was determined that her two sons would not turn out the same way she did. It is an amazing story of this mother and her love and determination. Ben, not realizing he needed glasses, consistently performed way below the other students in class until his mother used all their savings to get him a pair. That, along with her firm hand in making the two boys read two books a week from the library (along with written reports) as well as limiting TV watching to two programs a week turned Ben into the student of the year in 8th grade. Even that, however, was tainted, as a teacher at the award ceremony berated the other students for letting a boy of color with serious disadvantages and a single mother outperform them. The story continues with his achievements and struggles through high school and his scholarship years at Yale and on to his residency at Johns Hopkins. The story then takes us back to the conclusion of the decision whether or not to operate on the German twins. It is an incredible story of someone who not had the 'gifted hands' needed to be a great surgeon but also the determination, humility and faith to make a life of great service to his fellow humans against great odds. The acting is outstanding. I would encourage everyone and every family to make this a 'must watch'. I would also highly recommend SOMETHING THE LORD MADE, another story about a great African-American surgeon, Dr. Vivian Thomas, who was born 30 years too early to be able to have the same opportunities as Dr. Carson, but nevertheless made a great contribution to medicine that is still being used today.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Story of Ben Carson head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. The film stars Cuba Gooding Jr., in his best performance in a long time, as Carson . It's a performance that doesn't make you question his Oscar win for Jerry McGuire all those years ago. The story is structured around Carson 's attempt to separate Siamese Twins who are joined at the head. Carson is hesitant to do so since anytime a similar operation had been tried one or both of the children had died. As the doctor tries to find out a way of saving both children the story flashes back to events in his life to show us how he got to where he is today. Its an uplifting story and if the film occasionally plays like a movie of the week you really don't mind since the performances are so strong that everything is smoothed over. I really liked this movie a great deal and was completely blindsided by it, I really didn't think I was going to like it. Worth a look.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When you look over the roles that Cuba Gooding Jr. has had over the years, seeing the diversity in the characters, you realize what a gifted actor he is. He shows it clearly in this role, as Ben Carson, gifted surgeon from very humble beginnings.

    The movie opens with a difficult case where Dr Carson is contemplating the separation of German conjoined twins, sharing a cranium and parts of their brains. His big hurdle is figuring out a way to keep them from bleeding to death during the surgery. From that we are treated to a long flashback of his life from a young student, through his teen years, and medical school.

    Ben Carson was not a "natural." He had developed spotty study habits and was distracted by hours of TV after school. As a result he was borderline failing in all his classes. But the awakening came when his mother insisted that he and his brother spend less time watching TV and more time reading books from the library.

    Ben Carson became a success from his mother's motivation, and from his own motivation to became a doctor. As the movie draws to its conclusion we are again taken to the beginning, the difficult case of the conjoined twins. He pioneered a procedure which proved to be successful.

    A bonus in the DVD extras include the real Ben Carson, who today is not that much older than the actor who plays him in this movie.
  • mhenbor28 August 2020
    Great performance of Cooba, great job of set. An incredible history of superation and sucess.
  • ben_m_jones9 December 2009
    I found this movie deeply moving. As a person of faith, I was impressed by the positive depiction of religion in helping Ben Carson and his mother to strive to overcome negative influences in their lives.

    In response to ctomvelu-1 who commented on "evil racist whites (what other kind could there be in a story like this?", I would like to point out that the psychiatrist who helps Ben's mother overcome depression, the science teacher who shows Ben another world in a microscope, the admissions counselor who is impressed by Ben's interest in classical music are positive white role models, just to name a few. The black teenage gang member is also depicted as the kind that holds fellow blacks back by berating those who strive for excellence for trying to be white. More people of all races should see this movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As I write this, the prior most recent posting about this movie is from December 2014, well before Ben Carson made his announcement to run for the Presidency. To my mind, there's no finer human being on the planet than Carson, a soft spoken individual who strikes a chord with people when he speaks, especially with the common sense approach he takes to issues that plague current society. It will be interesting to see how far he goes in his quest and what tangible impact he makes on the political scene.

    Reading some of the other reviews here, there are those who doubt that the Ben Carson story presented here is actually true. One needs to pick up the book upon which the movie is based, and read the Ben Carson story first hand. His is a remarkable journey proving that if someone like him, growing up in impoverished circumstances with little hope of a future, can actually rise above those surroundings to accomplish whatever he's determined to do. Much of the credit is due to a remarkable mother who believed in him and brother Curtis, setting them on a life long path of reading, learning and accomplishing things that others would think impossible.

    The events in the movie are all documented in "Gifted Hands" the book, and if anything, the book is more compelling than the film because one gets a sense of Carson's innate humanity in dealing with the circumstances and situations which forged his life. One reviewer on this board dismisses the knife incident as if contrived for the film, but this event was a seminal moment in Carson's life that made him realize that a singular instance of thoughtlessness could doom one's life forever. Through the power of prayer and applying his own determined initiative, Ben Carson has become a role model that parents of any race can direct their own children to emulate.
  • Cuba Gooding plays Dr Ben Carson.

    It starts off with young Ben a black child living with his mother and brother Curtis. Ben is not doing well in school and is being made fun of.

    His mother keeps telling him he has to study and watch less TV. She has a strong faith in God will not accept excuses. She is hardworking and encourages the kids to read and use their brain.

    Ben's mother asks him to read some of the things in the cabinet where boxes are. He says he cannot see that far away. She discovers he is having trouble reading because he cannot see and probably needs glasses.

    She explains to him some excuse about her not see without her glasses but she never told her kids she cannot read. This and other things cause her to get depressed and she seeks help.

    This story shows the hardship of a black single mom raising two boys. It shows the Ben being made fun of and at times put down because he is smart and also because he black.

    Ben has little faith in himself but the constant reassurance from his mom helps him succeed as a prominent a brain surgeon.

    You may cry at times. Ben and his mother and the cast are real good actors. I think this is a wonderful movie. You can see it on YouTube it is in English but there are subtitles.

    Gifted Hands
  • This movie was an insult on so many levels. Hackneyed dialog, horrible direction, dull performances and a diabetic score that left me searching for the insulin.

    Let's just take the sequence where God taught Ben Carson chemistry. There's absolutely no set up for it. Ben gets transported to a dream sequence with some pointy bearded man at the chalkboard. Who is he? Is he God? Is he a teacher? We don't know because setting up who he is would have eaten up 10 seconds of endless surgery footage. Ascribing Carson's 97 on the test to God implies that Carson really didn't do any studying. New flash - God doesn't help you pass tests. Carson's mother is cured of her depression in two weeks? That's insulting. Carson gets the respect of a bully by winning a "yo mama" battle? The interview to get into Johns Hopkins left me seriously questioning the credibility of that institution. Incidents of interest get thrown away as soon as they happen. He tries to kill his mother with a hammer and his mother says she'll give him control of the finances....and.................there's no resolution. The movie skips from scene to scene with no flow whatsoever. None.

    Throughout it all, there's miserable dialog. While cleaning some professor's house you get the following: Professor: Mrs Carson? Mrs. Carson: Yes? Professor: It's the kitchen floor. Mrs. Carson: Yes? Professor: It sparkles!

    You get tons of "hard work ain't never hurt nobody"'s and the obligatory "he had to overcome racism, too, poor guy!" scene. It's all so sanitized and laughable that that it's hard to take seriously. You also get ooddles of soul music when Ben's on screen despite being told that Ben doesn't listen to that music. Did foosball actually help him become a surgeon? Apparently so!

    Don't get me wrong - I know this movie is complete and utter fiction but it's the dangerous fiction that passes itself off a true. The only good reason to watch this film is teach people how to identify the use of propaganda in cinema.
  • I don't believe a word of this self-serving 'documentary. Carson has demonstrated that he is a liar or living in a fantasy world of denial. His surgical prowess is in question since it been discovered that this 'miracle worker' has 5 malpractice suits in which he settled to cover up his incompetence. Ben Carson cares about one thing and that's Ben Carson.

    Every story and life achievement once fact checked, does not hold up to even minor scrutiny and are heavily embellish to the point is a good possibility he should be getting treatment for psychological abnormalities.

    A peek into his home reveals extreme narcissism and is an alter to Ben Carson.
  • philipforslin24 February 2019
    That kind of movie that changes your life. (At least for one day) Been home with a plaster on my foot for 6 weeks doing nothing. After I watched this movie I felt motivated to something good, so I cleaned my apartment. Making the world better for my GF when she gets home from a trip.
  • dennyrc4821 December 2014
    This, unlike so many documentaries, closely (honestly) follows reality. It is the story of the life of a black American, raised in a low income, single parent household. Dramatic, honest in the troubles the young Carson faced and caused, it is well acted and impressive.

    Even those of us who share a humble beginning with similar financial and emotional struggles, and who have been highly successful, feel humbled by the efforts, and rewards from the efforts of this incredible American.

    I would encourage a follow-up visit to you for Dr. Carson's comments at the National Press Club following publication of his book "One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future." It shows how closely the film follows this incredible American's life.

    Not a 10, but certainly a valuable, interesting movie.
  • ginjar12319 January 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie is about a young boy who lived with his single mother and his older brother. The movie begins in 1987, where Dr. Ben Carson goes to Germany to visit a couple who have conjoined twins. They are joined at the head and he is asked to separate the twins with out one of them dying. The movie then goes back to his childhood and shows the struggles he had as a child with his temper and having an uneducated mother. His mother spent time in a mental institution. Dr. Carson was willing to taking risk and at one point removed half of a patient's brain to stop them from having seizures.

    I would recommend this movie to people to see how to over some disadvantages and how having a mother who believes in you can help you go far in life.
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