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4.7 31
Director: Taylor Hackford

Cast: Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King


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Directed by Taylor Hackford, this biopic profiles the life of legendary musician Ray Charles. Despite humble beginnings and the loss of his eyesight due to glaucoma at the age of six, Charles, depicted by Jamie Foxx, would nonetheless become an icon in both the music industry and the civil rights era. While the film delves into his problems with drugs and women, the


Directed by Taylor Hackford, this biopic profiles the life of legendary musician Ray Charles. Despite humble beginnings and the loss of his eyesight due to glaucoma at the age of six, Charles, depicted by Jamie Foxx, would nonetheless become an icon in both the music industry and the civil rights era. While the film delves into his problems with drugs and women, the bulk of the story details his career; among the highlights of that career are 12 Grammy awards and 11 R&B chart-toppers, such as "Unchain My Heart," "Hit the Road, Jack," "Georgia," "Doin' the Mess Around," and "Hallelujah I Just Love Her So." Also among the cast are Larenz Tate as Quincy Jones, as well as Regina King, Kerry Washington, and Clifton Powell. Charles' son, Ray Charles Jr. helped produce the film. ~ Tracie Cooper

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
One of America’s best-loved musicians, the late Ray Charles deserved a big-screen biography that did justice to his incredible life and career -- and he got it, thanks to director Taylor Hackford and star Jamie Foxx. There’s rarely been a biopic that’s done a better job of capturing its subject’s essence, which is why Ray can be forgiven its occasional departures from the historical record. The film doesn’t simply present the hit songs and other professional triumphs, although those are extremely well represented; it delves into the psyche of Ray Charles Robinson, whose destiny was shaped by back-to-back childhood traumas: his brother’s accidental death by drowning, which Ray witnessed; and his sudden descent into blindness a few years later. Driven by his poor but proud mother to succeed despite his handicap, the boy gets an education and becomes a talented musician who eventually carves out an amazing career. Hackford faithfully illuminates scripter James L. White’s biographical narrative, which posits that Ray’s subsequent excesses, including heroin addiction and marital infidelity, sprang from the tremendous guilt he felt for not saving his brother’s life. The film also depicts the difficulty a black musician had in playing white towns during the latter days of the Jim Crow era, which Charles helped end by flexing his increasing cultural muscle. Hackford does not skimp, though, on depicting the spectacular successes that elevated Charles to iconic status, first as a rhythm-and-blues star and then as an innovator who fused R&B and gospel music into soul. The film ends in 1966, but it features many of the songs for which Charles was best known, including “What’d I Say” and “Georgia on My Mind.” Although he’s lip-syncing to the Charles vocal tracks, Foxx perfectly replicates the musician’s stage manner and body language: You’ll swear you’re watching the genuine article in action. Very nearly as good are Kerry Washington as Ray’s long-suffering wife, Della Bea; Regina King as his backup singer and lover Margie Hendricks; Clifton Powell as close friend and business associate Jeff Brown; Curtis Armstrong as record producer Ahmet Ertegun; and Larenz Tate as the young Quincy Jones. The movie doesn’t spare Ray by glossing over his most egregious failings, but it reaches an uplifting climax by showing his recovery from heroin addiction and, more important, his unburdening of the guilt he had long shouldered over his brother’s death. Extraordinarily moving and ultimately inspiring, Ray is among the very best films of this type Hollywood has ever turned out.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Taylor Hackford's Ray is at heart little more than a run-of-the mill biopic that hits all the familiar story points for that genre. What keeps this film from becoming totally pedestrian is the fierce, commanding performance of Jamie Foxx. This is not an impersonation of Ray Charles, nor is it a vain attempt to bask in the glow of Charles the celebrity. Foxx finds difficult emotional places to go to, and his Ray Charles is often more interesting than the one Hackford seems to want to tell the audience about. One can believe that these amazing songs are coming from this man, and that may be the biggest compliment one can pay to the performance. That point also leads to the other aspect of the film that keeps it afloat: the superb music. The film was made with Charles' approval, and he allowed the filmmakers to use his original recordings. Had this been a play, a one-man show with the same music, it would make for a fascinating and memorable evening. As he always does, Hackford fills his film with convention after convention, and in doing so, undercuts the real and complicated issues apparent both in Foxx and in the music.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

14 deleted scenes; Ray remembered; Friends and fellow musicians remember Ray Charles.; Feature commentary with director Taylor Hackford; Cast and filmmakers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jamie Foxx Ray Charles
Kerry Washington Della Charles
Regina King Margie Hendrix
Clifton Powell Jeff Brown
Aunjanue Ellis Mary Ann Fisher
Curtis Armstrong Ahmet Ertegun
Harry J. Lennix Joe Adams
Terrence Howard Gossie McKee
Larenz Tate Quincy Jones
Bokeem Woodbine Fathead Newman
Sharen Warren Aretha Robinson
Richard Schiff Jerry Wexler
C.J. Sanders Young Ray
Wendell Pierce Wilbur Brassfield
Chris Thomas King Lowell Fulsom
David Krumholtz Milt Shaw
Warwick Davis Oberon
Patrick Bauchau Dr. Hacker
Robert Wisdom Jack Lauderdale
Denise Dowse Marlene
Thomas Jefferson Byrd Jimmy
Rick Gomez Tom Dowd
Kurt Fuller Sam Clark
Julian Bond Julian Bond
Kimberly Ardison Ethel McRae
Renee Wilson Pat Lyle
Willlie Metcalf Mr. Pitt
Mike Pniewski Bus Driver
Terrone Bell Young George Robinson
Richard A. Smith Til
Gary Grubbs Billy Ray
Carol Sutton Eula
Bill Breaux Cop #1
Alex Van Cop #2
Roland "Bob" Harris Jesse Stone
Tom Clark Alan Freed
Afemo Omilami Angry Husband
Elizabeth Omilami Angry Wife
Vernel Bagneris Dancin' Al
Fahnlohnee R. Harris Trudy Daniels
Michael Travis Stone Robert
Eric O'Neal Ray Charles, Jr. (5-6 Yrs.)
Tequan Richmond Ray Charles Jr. (9-10 Yrs.)
Matthew Benjamin Musician In Billy Ray's
John Swasey Customs Agent #1
James Huston Customs Agent #2
Marc Lynn Downbeat Reporter
Kyle-Scott Jackson King Bee
Todd J. Smith Student Reporter
Rutherford Cravens White Promoter
Darnell Williams Fast Girl
Jedda Jones Mercedes
Jeffrey Galpin Cop #3
Michael Arata Cop #4
Estella Denson Lady In Rain
Jeffrey Glapin Stunt Coordinator
Derrick Simmons Stunt Double "Ray Charles"
David Hash Stunt Double "Wilbur Brassfield"
Ralph Tresvant Sam Cooke

Technical Credits
Taylor Hackford Director,Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter
Stephen Altman Production Designer
Craig Armstrong Score Composer
Karen Baldwin Producer
Howard Baldwin Producer
Bob Beemer Sound Mixer
Stuart Benjamin Producer
Alise Benjamin Co-producer
Steve Cantamessa Sound/Sound Designer
Ray Charles Songwriter
Sharen Davis Costumes/Costume Designer
Pawel Edelman Cinematographer
Stephanie Girard Set Decoration/Design
Jerry Grandey Asst. Director
Paul Hirsch Editor
William J. Immerman Executive Producer
Jaime Rucker King Executive Producer
Nancy Klopper Casting
Molly Mikula Set Decoration/Design
Scott Millan Sound Mixer
Nick Morton Co-producer
Thomas J. Nordberg Editor
Greg Orloff Sound Mixer
Adele Plauche Set Decoration/Design
Scott Plauche Art Director
Ray Charles Robinson Co-producer
Curt Sobel Musical Direction/Supervision
James L. White Original Story,Screenwriter
Jimmy White Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Ray
1. Main Titles/Seattle Bound [6:28]
2. Talent Night [5:24]
3. Golden Goose [7:37]
4. To the Piano Born [3:38]
5. The Chitlin' Circuit [4:55]
6. Unnatural Death [6:36]
7. No Tears [5:21]
8. Messing Around [5:53]
9. Hummingbird [9:26]
10. The New Ray Charles [4:14]
11. Devil Music [5:00]
12. On the Road [3:02]
13. Double Life [6:53]
14. Cat Fight [7:31]
15. Junkie [3:51]
16. Improvising [4:00]
17. Disharmony [2:14]
18. Moving On [5:07]
19. M.O.R. [3:52]
20. Breaking the Rules [3:40]
21. Battling Jim Crow [6:05]
22. Busted [3:55]
23. Going Country [4:17]
24. State of the Art [6:33]
25. Broken Hearts [3:17]
26. Border Crossing [4:32]
27. Rehab [4:01]
28. Salvation/End Titles [3:55]


Customer Reviews

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Ray 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
goodgirl2 More than 1 year ago
All i can say is that Jamie Fox did a brillant role as the Ray Chales once i watched this movie i really got into it and the fact that i truly love Jamie Foxx he is one of the best male actors slash comedian he was really indeed Ray in the movie such a beautiful and golurous voice that he has this movie is worth the watching why? you ask all because of Jamie Foxx lov ya Jamie ! your the best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CarolBrown More than 1 year ago
This movie was great, it showed the real life of Ray Charles. I loved it. It really touch my heart to find out how bad he suffered and still stood strong. (R.I.P. Ray - You were the best and always will be the best)You made music what it is today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One thing I thought after watching the movie was, "Wow, Jamie Foxx is an amazing singer!" Finding later on that he had in fact been lipsyncing the whole time just goes to show how amazing Jamie Foxx is in this movie - everything he does, says, acts, and performs IS Ray Charles. Emotional scenes are blunt and unflinchingly painful, and in the end the whole movie is very, very rewarding.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The performance Jamie Foxx gives as Ray Charles is something that is rarely done in film - the character is so compelling that you forget that there is actually an actor portraying them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jamie Foxx delivers a power-house performance in Director Taylor Hackford's masterpiece biopic, 'Ray'. It was a phenomenal, monumental tribute to the late, great musician himself, Ray Charles. I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen for a minute! Foxx didn't just become Ray Charles...He WAS Ray Charles!!! There was lot about Ray Charles that I didn't know about. I didn't know that he was a big-time drug user, and I didn't know that he was quite a womanizing type while he was married. I saw this film in theaters, and I loved it. I want to purchase this movie on either DVD or VHS (Now that my twin brother Ed and I FINALLY purchased a DVD player!!!) In either case, 'Ray' is a definite must-have for our ever-growing film collection! No doubt, one of the best films of 2004! In addition, I also want to purchase the soundtrack on CD, because I'm an avid fan of Ray Charles's music!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jamie Foxx's performance culminated in his winning an Oscar. His portrayal of Ray Charles was uncanny. Sometimes you forget you're watching an actor. This is one of very few movies I'm compelled to own. You should too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie!!!! Iam a movie buff and this is a must have in my collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A story of triumph and one that will keep your mind churning well after the 2 hours and 33 minutes are gone..... well done i am 20 and got plenty out of this film
Guest More than 1 year ago
After seeing the movie, I got up, gave it back to my roommate and went to the video store and bought it! I have since watched it millions of times! I cannot see anyone other than Jamie Foxx winning the Oscar! The best performance from the ensemble cast of actors ever! Everyone in this movie deserves an OSCAR! You'd wish the movie never ended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was awesome. I hope and pray that Jamie Fox receives the Oscar and Ray will win for best picture. It was a touching, funny, emotional, entertaining movie. I learned things about Ray Charles life I never knew he has been through. He lived a roller coaster life and he survived. Jamie Fox played Ray Charles very well, I felt as if I was watching Ray Charles acting out his life. I watched the movie twice and I will buy it on DVD soon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jamie Foxx is remarkable as Ray Charles. I had to stop and remind myself that the man on the screen was NOT Ray Charles himself! Absolutely amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
all i can say is wow! the acting in this movie was brilliant! i can really see why ray charles picked jamie personally to play him in the movie. i wish he would've lived long enough to see the final result! the movie itself could've been a *little* better but i did learn alot about him. i truly enjoyed this film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
what a brilliant, miraculous film, from start to finish! jamie foxx is truly a revelation here, as are regina king, and a cast that's brilliant from start to finish. and oh, the music-it's one legend after another, with all the joy, and heartbreak in between. i've watched both the theatrical version, and the extended version-both leave you breathless! kudos to taylor hackford for making a 15 year dream come true, and to mca for giving us the definitive dvd of this new year! from picture quality, to awesome ac-3 digital sound, it is a triumph. this is one, my friends, you've got to own, watch it again and again, and cherish the excitement and it's brilliance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Foxx shines! Wonderful work by Jamie Foxx and he makes Ray's life a story to be told indeed. Heartbreaking at times, joyful at times and above all, an honest portrayal of the life of a man who added so much to American Music. Ray Charles overcame so much hardship and rose to icon status in my eyes and the eyes of others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ray is an outstanding movie. Jamie Foxx did a wonderful job.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Ray' was one of the best movie of 2004. Jamie Foxx showed deep emotions of how Ray Charles lived his life in the public and personally. To me, when watching this movie, you're absorbed into it. In my opinion, an Oscar winning picture.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jamie Foxx's portrayal of Ray Charles was as inspirational as it gets. Mr. Charles led a difficult life, messing with women and drugs, writing music and performing countless concerts, racial issues, and the disability of being blind. However, Mr. Charles took advantage of his disability and used it to trigger inspiration into incredible music. Ray Charles died while the movie was in production. He would be so proud of Jamie Foxx for his portrayal of him. Jamie Foxx's performance earned him an Oscar and for any fan of Ray Charles, put seeing "Ray" at the top of your to-do list.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is top-notch. Everything about it was great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jaime Foxx did an incredible job, I was extremely impressed by his portrayal of Ray Charles.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie could have been better but the acting saved it from being horrible. Jamie Fox was really good. He really got over his slump that started after the 3rd season of his television show. I would say that Ray himself would have liked it if he could see it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Ray' was a great movie. I will purchase it and watch it again. Jamie Fox did an outstanding job in his role as Ray Charles. And now the academy awards have been presented,we know how well it did. Super movie, super acting, don't miss this one. !!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would, before watching Ray, not hesitate to tell you I have never been a fan of Jamie Foxx. I never found his sitcom to be enlightening, nor have I ever chosen to watch many of his latest films, such as Collateral. After watching him creatively and intricately depict the exact model of how I envisioned Ray Charles in a way in which my imagination will forever be stimulated, I will forever give Jamie Foxx a chance. The vocals, wardrobe, imitation, music, posture and gait, facial expressions, and behaviorisms were so perfectly exhibited by Foxx in this film, that, throughout the entire film, I had totally forgotten it was not a documentary of his filmed appearances and such. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has ever given jazz, R&B, gospel, rock and roll, or country a chance. If you do not watch this movie to see a wonderfully portrayed history of one of America's most influential musicians, watch it to hear some of the finest music you will ever hear. And believe me, when you hear it (and there is a LOT in the movie), you will think to yourself, 'Wow!' and 'I didn't know that was Ray Charles's song.' My girlfriend and I have watched it 2 1/2 times already on rental, and I plan to purchase it ASAP. A+++
Anonymous More than 1 year ago