Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. Why such a structurally scattered movie should hang together at all is a mystery. That it does more than that, that it works brilliantly, is a miracle, or at the very least the product of unquantifiable causes.
  2. It's a sideways view of a national trauma. The large cast includes standout performances from such unlikelies as Demi Moore, playing an alcoholic crooner, and Estevez himself, as her long-suffering husband. Everyone in this film is powerful.
  3. For all its unevenness, Bobby is a powerful, poignant movie and its ending -- played over a long excerpt of one of RFK's most compassionate speeches, voiced with none of the cliches of political rhetoric -- was, for me, the movie year's single most devastating sequence.
  4. The film's impact and poignancy are undeniable.
  5. 75
    Though Estevez's achievement doesn't quite live up to his ambitions -- the climax of Altman's "Nashville" (1975) evokes the same brutal loss of innocence to more shattering effect -- it still contains enough powerful moments to balance the weaker sections.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Warren
    Alll in all, however, Estevez has pulled together the best political drama, fiction or otherwise, in recent memory.
  7. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Emilio Estevez's Bobby is a passionate outcry for peace and justice in America that becomes deeply involving by the final climactic scene.
  8. 70
    Bobby, even if it suffers from a few silly scenes, gets more right than it does wrong.
  9. So keenly felt and so deeply imagined I couldn't help but be moved, even grateful for its bleeding-heart nostalgia.
  10. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    The movie isn't about Kennedy; rather, Kennedy is the sun around which all the other planets of the film revolve. And like some epic Louis B. Mayer picture from the Thirties, Bobby has a thousand stars in its galaxy, some of them great (Fishburne, RodrĂ­guez), some of them not (Wood, Hunt), and one of them brilliant (Hopkins).
  11. This is simply too vast a task for a filmmaker as inexperienced as Estevez. Compared with, say, Robert Altman's similar but far more complex "Nashville," Bobby mostly comes off as a Hollywood public service announcement: passionate, righteous and strikingly removed from reality.
  12. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Despite its flaws, its intriguing premise leaves us haunted by thoughts of "What if?"
  13. Whether or not Bobby Kennedy was the man his supporters believed him to be, the film makes a persuasive case that something important in America was silenced when he was gunned down.
  14. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    A remarkable ensemble in an uneven patchwork of loss, longing and the urgent necessity of a societal rethink.
  15. Despite the clunkiness, Estevez's commitment to his father's generation’s idealism (and its murder) commands respect.
  16. 60
    When you hear his (Robert Kennedy's) patient, meditative speeches, from which every note of demagoguery or pandering has been purged, you glimpse the film Mr. Estevez set out to make -- the one you may wish you were watching.
  17. Bobby coasts along on a dread, and sorrow, it doesn't earn.
  18. 58
    For all its flaws, though, Bobby is still moving. Not so much with its indifferent characters, but rather with the overall mood of a common hope crushed into shapeless grief. That painful historical moment is worth revisiting, as is the image of the man whose death occasioned it.
  19. Bobby has its heart in the right place (on its sleeve). But it doesn't have its screenplay anywhere - or at least, anywhere near the heft that its subject demands.
  20. 50
    The resulting finished project is a series of skits performed by famous people doing favors for a friend, and it works about as well as one might expect from such an endeavor.
  21. Fascinating, even when it's fascinatingly bad.
  22. 50
    Just when you think you've got a handle on the central characters in Bobby, yet more of them appear: The thing is a little like the stateroom scene in "A Night at the Opera."
  23. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    You don't have to have lived through the period to find this wrenching. And you don't have to doubt Estevez's sincerity to find it emotionally opportunistic.
  24. 50
    Estevez has made a vague gesture at a large, metaphoric structure without having the dramatic means to achieve it. His choreography of the panic and misery in the hotel after the shooting is impressive, and some of the actors do fine in their brief roles. But his script never rises above earnest banality, and we are constantly being taught little lessons in tolerance and humanity:
  25. 50
    The film has virtually nothing to say about the man, or about much of anything, really. It's a sketchbook trying to pass as a tapestry.
  26. 40
    The only character who emerges as more than an ideological mouthpiece, and nearly saves the movie, is the Ambassador's resident hairstylist, who masks her faded beauty with a thick coat of eye shadow and an overteased hairdo. I kept wondering who this deeply sad, earthy actress was, making so much out of so little, until I realized it was Sharon Stone in the most naked performance she's ever given without taking her clothes off.
  27. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    Bobby can be seen clearly for what it is--an "Airport" movie with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as the central calamity and an all-star cast deployed like multiple George Kennedys.
  28. 40
    It's an ambitious film drenched in sincerity and oozing with nostalgia that, despite the energy provided by its title icon via archival footage, falls flat dramatically in nearly every other way.
  29. Tests your patience to the breaking point -- maybe beyond.
  30. 25
    Estevez means well. But having your heart in the right place is no excuse for insipid ineptitude.
  31. 25
    One of the year's worst movies.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 47
  2. Negative: 13 out of 47
  1. Aug 24, 2014
    One of the most underrated films as of late, Emilio Estevez compiles a story told not by Robert Kennedy himself but rather an ensemble of complex and entertaining characters linked to the tragic event in 1968. Bobby is a unique presentation and incredibly poignant. Critics, reconsider! Full Review »
  2. Aug 14, 2010
    Historically magnificent and effectively poignant, Bobby recounts the assassination of Robert Kennedy. This film is driven solely by its band of complex characters. Most of them are likable and their development throughout the film is entertaining. Naturally, the actors who play them deserve a mention, too. The well-known ensemble, although frightfully overcrowded at first, break into their characters so well and succeeded in making Bobby feel natural. The only drawback I have is the snail-paced plot. That aside, well done, Estevez. Full Review »
  3. CS.
    Dec 4, 2007
    Decent film - some stories are less engaging than others - but all in all I enjoyed it. Great acting for the most part. And ignore the person below..the tripping scene was pretty realistic - always hard to portray the acid experience but not a bad attempt at all - and a very funny scene Full Review »