Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 37
  2. Negative: 13 out of 37
  1. 38
    Overthought, overwrought and thuddingly underwhelming, this high-profile misfire makes a congealed gumbo out of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer-winning 1946 novel and the Oscar-winning 1949 movie that followed it, sinking a classy cast in the goo.
  2. 38
    Lethally dull and self-important remake.
  3. Yet even the language, finally, becomes as inauthentic as the accents.
  4. 33
    The movie's more damnable problem is it irrelevance.
  5. Despite an A-list cast and director, it's astonishing how bad this movie is.
  6. 30
    I'd take almost any colorful-character shtick over the gloomy gravitas that settles over All the King's Men early on and never leaves.
  7. 30
    Nothing in the picture works. It is both overwrought and tedious, its complicated narrative bogging down in lyrical voiceover, long flashbacks and endless expository conversations between people speaking radically incompatible accents.
  8. The unfocused story is so bereft of any clear sense of period or location that the political melodrama sometimes seems to be taking place inside a cigar box.
  9. Kathy Baker, as Burden's elegantly sodden mother, shows the only sign of interpretive life in this stiff-jointed enterprise. She has about five minutes on screen; she's lucky that way.
  10. 25
    A handsome, sincere, well-meaning bore.
  11. Recalling the earthiness Broderick Crawford brought to the original, I couldn't help thinking Gandolfini should have been cast as Willie.
  12. 20
    Both the performance and the movie around it are virtually incomprehensible.
  13. What a botch. All the King's Men, a remake of Robert Rossen's classic 1949 film about the rise and fall of a Southern demagogue, has no center, no coherence, no soul and no shame.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 7 out of 22
  1. AlanN.
    Dec 10, 2007
    I agree with Dave W's comment that too many critics were "hung up" on the original 1940's movie. I haven't seen the original, nor read the book that inspired both pictures, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie in its own right. It's not "brain in the fridge" stuff, far from it and all the better for that fact. Sometimes a movie should demand something from the audience and if you take the time to immerse yourself in this one, you'll be rewarded with some fine acting performances and storytelling. Recommended. Full Review »
  2. ChadS.
    May 26, 2007
    All the King's Men is a phenomenal movie, end of story. It's not action packed or full of comedy, but it is a very serious and well done film, which is something most teens don't enjoy watching these days. It stars Sean Penn, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, and Kate Winslet, and all of them do an extremely good job, especially Sean Penn as Willie Starks, the mayor. The story is about one man's rise to being the mayor of Louisiana and giving the people what they need, new roads, bridges, schools etc... and not allowing the large companies to steal all their money. The plot and characters are well thought out, and its no wonder the book won the national Pulitzer prize. The directing is the best i have ever seen, and I've been watching a TON of movies lately, but this one beats them all. Everything about All the King's Men is good, however i can't say that many teenagers will like it since it isn't a horror movie, or action flick, or comedy, but if you are looking for a serious film then this is perfect for you. On a scale of one to ten, five being average, All the King's Men gets a 9.25. Full Review »
  3. SeanF.
    Jan 27, 2007
    This is one of the all time greatest movies I've seen. The only unfortunate thing is that it has ruined my opinion of critics for eternity. Some of the actors didn't pull off being Southerners very well, but that was the only flaw I observed watching this film. A great depiction of a populist's rise to power, and the inevitable coming together of the wealthy and powerful to stop him at any cost. Full Review »