THE GREAT DEBATERS is completely putrid. Produced by Oprah and directed with the subtlety of sledgehammer by star Denzel Washington, the movie starts out OK but paints each character in such broad strokes that it's almost impossible to believe that this is based on a true story. Denzel's acting is good, as is Forest Whitaker, but the performance of Denzel Whitaker is enough to ruin the movie long before the script accomplishes the same thing. Take the first name of Denzel, the last name of Whitaker, and the face of Gary Coleman, and you've got an actor I hope I never see again.
Skip this one. It's heart is in the right place, but the script and direction are awful.
Wait for the Broadway musical version.