Review: ‘The Underground Railroad’ Weaves an Epic Vision

In Barry Jenkins’s dreamlike adaptation of the Colson Whitehead novel, the railway is real and so is the pain.

By James Poniewozik

In Barry Jenkins’s transfixing adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad,” Martin (Damon Herriman), a white man smuggling Cora (Thuso Mbedu) as she escapes slavery, rouses her before dawn to witness something ghastly. Along the road they’re traveling, grimly called “The Freedom Trail,” the trees are hung with lynched corpses. “You need to see this,” he tells her.

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