Buena Vista Pictures | Release Date: December 20, 1995 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Generally favorable reviews based on 22 Critics
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It's a superb, thoughtful drama that doesn't claim to be a documentary and shouldn't be judged as such. [22 Dec 1995, p.B]
Anthony Hopkins is a great actor and he gives a resourceful, inventive, compelling performance that holds our attention over three hours. It never convinces us that he is Nixon: he doesn't look much like him, and he misses entirely that incredible shiftiness in his public manner. But it somehow works. [20 Dec 1995, p.C1]
It's huge, brilliant, dark and cathartic, with a towering and complex performance by Anthony Hopkins that humanizes Nixon more than Nixon ever was able to humanize himself. [20 Dec 1995, p.33]
Stone does a masterly job of balancing two Nixons, the ruthless power-monger and the sadly vulnerable man, allowing each to flourish as a fully rounded screen figure. Yet here, as in many of his other movies, Stone pushes the envelope a little too far, allowing his own similarities to Nixon. [20 Dec 1995, p.14]
This three-hour opus, bearing only the eponymous title of Nixon, is an intriguing ramble through the social psychology of man and country alike. Indeed, the simple dialectics that both animated and marred Stone's earlier work are redeemed here precisely because they're invested in a single, complex personality - consequently, this film is more character-driven than any of its predecessors. [20 Dec 1995, p.C1]
Mr. Stone's compassion for his subject overwhelms his film's false moves. And the barrage of undramatized, undigested data gives way to a much tighter and more artful vision...the film starts snowballing its way to real dramatic power. [20 Dec 1995, p.C11]
Since Mr. Stone is a prisoner of his penchant for pop-psychologizing on a cosmic scale, his movie has the astounding effect of absolving President Nixon of personal guilt for his crimes and misdeeds without bothering to explain what he did wrong. [21 Dec 1995, p.A12]
Oliver Stone's Nixon humanizes a reviled but respected subject for over three hours - dynamically at times, but finally so solemnly that it becomes a grind-you-down dirge. The maker of Natural Born Killers actually concludes with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Shenandoah - without irony. [20 Dec 1995, p.1D]
Satisfying as it is to at last have Nixon as a Disney character, Hopkins's overheated, self-consciously self-conscious performance doesn't get the overall nuttiness of Nixon's unctuous rage, his iron-butt single-mindedness. [26 Dec 1995]