Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: James Adams
    Jan 11, 2013
    75
    The Ambassador may be an important, even necessary film; just don't expect to find it enjoyable.
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 3, 2012
    75
    At what point did I realize The Ambassador was an actual documentary, and not a fraud? Perhaps when I realized that everyone in the film was just as dishonest, venal and corrupt as they seemed - including the director.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Sep 20, 2012
    38
    A sociopolitical prankumentary in which the prank blows up in the filmmaker's face, exploding-cigar style.
  4. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Sep 6, 2012
    75
    There's a touch of whimsy to his misadventures, but the malfeasance he uncovers -- often using hidden cameras and microphones -- is anything but a joke.
  5. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Aug 30, 2012
    88
    Picture Graham Greene crossed with James Bond, with a splash of Sacha Baron Cohen, and you'll start to imagine the nervy talents of Mads Brügger, the fearless Danish filmmaker who has for a second time come up with a stunning, funny, and vital piece of guerilla cinema.
  6. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Aug 30, 2012
    70
    Part muckraking nonfiction film, part performance piece, it is a nervy documentary guaranteed, depending on who you are, to enlighten, disturb or offend. Which is what you might expect from a man who describes his work as "a strange mix of Borat and the Economist."
  7. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Aug 30, 2012
    60
    His outlandish story feels only half-told - though still twice as fascinating as most.
  8. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Aug 29, 2012
    67
    We bear witness, via Brügger's film, to the slow-motion train wreck that high-echelon, African graft becomes.
  9. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Aug 29, 2012
    75
    The film's tone and structure seem a little strained by the danger in which the filmmaker increasingly puts himself, and the indifference to human life exuded by some of those he meets. By the end, Brügger himself seems to be having trouble finding any of this funny.
  10. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 28, 2012
    70
    Mr. Brugger's portrait of shameless, routine collusion between exploitative foreigners and dysfunctional dictatorships is depressing and undeniable. Unless, that is, The Ambassador is even more of a hoax than it seems to be. This strikes me as plausible, since somebody having this much fun in such proximity to horror may not be completely trustworthy.
  11. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Aug 28, 2012
    80
    The Ambassador's wrap-up is vague and sudden, and necessarily so: In order for the movie to work, you need to wonder if maybe, at some point, Brügger stopped acting and really became the crooked international asshole he was supposedly just pretending to be. The magic of Brügger's performance is that it earns that suspension of disbelief.
  12. Reviewed by: Karsten Kastelan
    Aug 28, 2012
    80
    It may feel like 'Borat,' but Mads Brugger's documentary is a comical look at an unfunny place.
  13. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Aug 28, 2012
    70
    Brugger ensures it's a fairly entertaining excursion, especially when he starts to enjoy getting into character as the nefarious white man in Africa.
  14. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Aug 28, 2012
    50
    Bothing is pointedly outlandish in Mads Brügger's latest, a fact that represents its triumphs and burdens.
  15. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Aug 28, 2012
    60
    Within the first ten minutes, the movie proves the point that exploitation in Africa is rampant, but never goes any deeper than that; it's an undercover endeavor that never feels as if much is actually being uncovered.
  16. Reviewed by: Ray Greene
    Aug 28, 2012
    40
    A movie whose confusing narrative and at times intriguing parts are at war with each other, and never quite gel.
  17. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 28, 2012
    83
    The closest Brügger comes to explaining his style is an early statement on the duality of his mission to go "beyond all moral boundaries known to man while still being a respectable member of society." It's a goal enacted less with a coy wink than with a violent elbow jab to the ribs.

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