All the King's Men

Metascore
37

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 37
  2. Negative: 13 out of 37
Watch On
  1. Zaillian (an Oscar winner for his "Schindler's List" screenplay) has given us an intricate, subtly rewarding narrative whose uncompromising nature and undeniable moral seriousness make it far from business as usual, even in the ever-decreasing world of quality Hollywood filmmaking.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    63
    We never see enough of the small compromises Willie Stark makes on the way up to fully grasp the tragedy of his fall. Some will undoubtedly find Penn's hamboned, spittle-lashing performance a bit much, but it's a pretty close to Warren's original conception.
  3. Some performances carry a picture, this one bench-presses it. Sean Penn's work here is so mesmerizing, so intense, so guaranteed to put him front and centre when Oscar reads out the nominees, as to almost obscure the multiple failings of the misguided movie around it.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    70
    You can, if you will, think of All the King's Men as a purely political parable, but that is to miss its blackest, bleakest meanings.
User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 7 out of 22
  1. AlanN.
    Dec 10, 2007
    8
    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, 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
    9
    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 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
    10
    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 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 »