The Dictator

Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 41
  2. Negative: 4 out of 41

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 15, 2012
    60
    By turns hysterical, heretical, guilty, innocent, silly, sophisticated, teasing and tedious.
  2. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    May 11, 2012
    60
    Outrageous, outlandish and overboard, The Dictator will satisfy Cohen's army of fans. But it never feels as funny, full-on or fresh as "Borat" and "Br√ľno."
  3. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    May 11, 2012
    60
    Formulaic, yet scrappy, and extremely funny in fits and starts, General Aladeen is the first of Cohen comic creations to get a better vehicle than it probably deserves.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    May 11, 2012
    60
    Typically, political correctness couldn't be farther from the filmmakers' mind, and yet, what the picture most sorely lacks is the sort of humanist appeal Chaplin delivered at the close of "The Great Dictator."
  5. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    May 15, 2012
    58
    The Dictator has a few laughs along its bumpy path, but not enough of them to indicate that Cohen has found a means to escape the shadows of his early career and forge a second act for himself.
  6. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    May 16, 2012
    50
    A climactic speech on the lessons Western democracy might learn from Middle Eastern despotism offers a few moments of pure brilliance. I'd say that speech is worth the price of admission if it didn't also illustrate exactly what the film is missing: barbs that aim for the comedic bull's-eye.
  7. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    May 16, 2012
    50
    For the most part, the movie's rhythms feel slightly off -- there are long stretches without a laugh -- and there is a mean-spirited air to the whole thing.
  8. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    May 15, 2012
    50
    Even in its manufactured boundary-pushing - a flash of full-frontal Baron Cohen, another scene set partially inside a birth canal - The Dictator never really risks anything.
  9. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    May 15, 2012
    50
    One of the cleverest moments in Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator comes during the first five seconds: a memorial dedication to Kim Jong Il. It's all downhill from there.
  10. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    May 14, 2012
    50
    You're left with an inert, politically neutral movie, a satire that can't bring itself to properly satirize anything.
  11. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    May 11, 2012
    50
    While Baron Cohen's lanky physical slapstick and verbal manglings are funny, the movie begins to feel like one of the later, worn-out Pink Panther movies.
  12. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    May 15, 2012
    42
    What's shocking this time is how tame Sacha Baron Cohen's newest wild man is, for all the kerfuffle the comedian can stir up on the ­promotional trail.
  13. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: David Denby
    May 26, 2012
    40
    The Dictator, like its predecessors, is short (eighty-three minutes), but it runs down fast, and the lewd jokes pile up. [28 May 2012, p. 76]
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    May 17, 2012
    40
    Sacha Baron Cohen's tosses off some sensationally funny stuff before descending into a rat-a-tat rhythm of random insult and ritual vulgarity.
  15. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 17, 2012
    40
    The conventional meet-cute love story at the center of The Dictator feels like a bizarre concession to some nonexistent demographic that prefers its sick black comedy with a side of humanist sentiment.
  16. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 15, 2012
    40
    That potential is mostly squandered in The Dictator, which gestures halfheartedly toward topicality and, with equal lack of conviction, toward pure, anarchic silliness.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 432 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 122
  2. Negative: 26 out of 122
  1. May 17, 2012
    3
    I saw this in the theater today, well the 30 opening minutes at least. they were bad enough for me to walk out. and i never walk out ofI saw this in the theater today, well the 30 opening minutes at least. they were bad enough for me to walk out. and i never walk out of movies. Loved Borat and thought Bruno was okay. But this is no good. The jokes were all either very simple or very stupid. Before this review gets too scathing i'm just gonna end here by saying: don't see it, or see it on video later. Full Review »
  2. May 23, 2012
    3
    A real missed opportunity... surprisingly jokeless. The best moment is his speech on the U.S. one day being a dictatorship and doing all theA real missed opportunity... surprisingly jokeless. The best moment is his speech on the U.S. one day being a dictatorship and doing all the things they are already doing... but that was the one joke the audience didn't seem to get. Sad. Full Review »
  3. May 20, 2012
    7
    Very funny and a good job by SBC/Aladeen. There were no truly dull parts of the movie. Always funny, no dull parts, an unpredictable ending.Very funny and a good job by SBC/Aladeen. There were no truly dull parts of the movie. Always funny, no dull parts, an unpredictable ending. The movie was a little too short though. Much better than Bruno, but worse than Borat. If you like a good comedy, see this movie. Full Review »