Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A chilling drama that explores and exposes the dark side of the American Dream, this film focuses on the prescient and tragic true story of Sam Bicke (Penn), a disillusioned "everyman" who, in 1974, was driven to plot the assassination of the 37th President of the United States. (ThinkFilm)
  • Director: Niels Mueller
  • Genre(s): Biography, Drama, History, Thriller, Crime
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 95 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. This is one of the rare movies to explore American materialism through the eyes of an all-too-ordinary person who isn't up to the challenges of everyday life.
  2. Director Niels Mueller's attempt to create a middle-class "Taxi Driver" (he tips his hand a bit smugly by respelling Byck's name to evoke Travis Bickle) has a creepy, meticulous exactitude.
  3. 80
    The movie re-creates Sam's miserable days with enough sympathy to come within hailing distance of such emblematic works of American disillusion as Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" and Saul Bellow's "Seize the Day."
  4. 67
    See it for the star. Penn makes a film that in many respects feels low scale and ordinary into something painfully human and real.
  5. 63
    This is another movie where politics trump the narrative.
  6. A slight movie and a major downer, is an acting showcase for Sean Penn. That's good, but not enough.
  7. It grinds on and on without mercy. You're in the cross hairs. There is no escape. Where is that Secret Service when you need it?

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. JeffM.
    Aug 17, 2006
    8
    Very interesting. Penn really makes you feel for this poor bastard, but still never makes him remotely likeable. Very high degree of Very interesting. Penn really makes you feel for this poor bastard, but still never makes him remotely likeable. Very high degree of difficulty on that one. Expand
  2. Myles#13
    Sep 8, 2006
    8
    Note to future viewers: if you don't like thinking during movies, do NOT rent 'Assassination'. Sean Penn's performance is Note to future viewers: if you don't like thinking during movies, do NOT rent 'Assassination'. Sean Penn's performance is meant to make the average person realize the often meaningless-ness of their existence. 'The Assassination of Richard Nixon' played like a modern day 'Death of a Salesman'... in both, the lead character becomes quite disillusioned with their meager existence, and takes drastic measures. Good movie! Expand

See all 12 User Reviews

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