User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 408 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 408

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  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 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.
  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 the things they are already doing... but that was the one joke the audience didn't seem to get. Sad.
  3. May 19, 2012
    2
    A meandering, occasionally funny let down from a man who should have known better. I barely chuckled and felt as if my intelligence was being insulted at nearly every turn.
  4. May 16, 2012
    3
    All in all a very disappointing movie, too much hype with the trailer.... It's watchable but would not say I laughed my head off. will not recommend it. American pie and 21 jump street were of a different league of comedy compared to the dictator.
  5. May 18, 2012
    3
    I went into this movie expecting light entertainment, and got even less. A few giggles here and there, but for the most part, The Dictator was agonizing to watch.
  6. May 24, 2012
    0
    Not a funny movie. It takes a genius to write a movie about morons, unfortunately this is not one of those instances. This is a movie written by a moron and never lands a joke.
  7. May 17, 2012
    0
    Just terrible, I had to walk out after about 45 minutes because this is easily the worst movie I've seen in the past few years - and I've seen a lot of bad ones. In order to be a comedy the jokes need to be funny but all of the jokes in 'The Dictator' just fall flat. All hype, no substance - stay away at all costs.
  8. May 24, 2012
    2
    Disappointment soon led to anger. The laughs were few and cheap. The Dictator completely missed the nail by a long shot, only people from ages 12 -15 would find the film amusing.
  9. Aug 12, 2012
    3
    85% hacky. I love 'purposely stupid' as much anyone else, but these jokes missed the mark way too many times. The ratio has got to be at least one decent joke for every three flat-liners, and the whole first hour of this film belongs in the ICU. It picked up around the beginning of the third act, but by then I was only watching because I was planning this review. I'll put it like this,85% hacky. I love 'purposely stupid' as much anyone else, but these jokes missed the mark way too many times. The ratio has got to be at least one decent joke for every three flat-liners, and the whole first hour of this film belongs in the ICU. It picked up around the beginning of the third act, but by then I was only watching because I was planning this review. I'll put it like this, any adult who grew up watching 80s and 90s cartoons has actually heard most of these jokes or similar enough ones to know whats coming. If you have too much free time, sit down in front of this. Otherwise you can do better very easily. Expand
  10. Jun 5, 2012
    2
    I got dragged along to this movie with my girlfriend and her family - I wasn't going to see it otherwise as I feel Sacha Baren Cohen has been on a steady downward spiral since the Ali G days (which seem so long ago now) when he was actually smart, funny, and enjoyable to watch without cringing.

    The Dictator is a slapstick gross out film. Nothing more, nothing less. It was one of those
    I got dragged along to this movie with my girlfriend and her family - I wasn't going to see it otherwise as I feel Sacha Baren Cohen has been on a steady downward spiral since the Ali G days (which seem so long ago now) when he was actually smart, funny, and enjoyable to watch without cringing.

    The Dictator is a slapstick gross out film. Nothing more, nothing less. It was one of those films that you feel pressured to laugh at, specially in a movie theater filled with people (many who weren't too impressed with the film, as I heard very few laughs). I feel the move to a scripted comedy was a terrible idea, as EVERYTHING feels forced and pre-conceived. All the jokes rely on being politically incorrect and shocking to get laughs, but considering the fact that none of them are done 'well' at all makes this the films main failure. I love a bit of 'non PC' humour, and it can be done really well to great effect. But in 'The Dictator', EVERY joke is based on racism/sexism/misogynist attitudes that grow stale before they are even said.

    Gone are the days of Ali G, where SBC would use his characters as a vessel and tool to show truths from other people, in result showing their ignorance and stupidity. Now all that's left is a Z-grade comedy film that is best suited for 13 year old boys who aren't well accustomed with good humour, and get a good laugh from the political incorrectness. The only redeeming scene in the film is where, after ripping up a new constitution for democracy for his home country Wadiya, SBC goes on a rant saying that 'America should be run by a dictatorship', going on to mention all the 'perks' of a dictatorship, ultimately describing all the ways America has cheated and gone against its democratic constitution. This is a great scene, and if the film was based more on smart tongue in cheek humour like this then the film could have been a success. Unfortunately, it isn't, and it is not a good film in any form as a result.
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  11. Sep 8, 2012
    1
    Boy, did Sasha Baron Cohen ever miss the mark with 'The Dictator.' Like many others have said, I wanted to like this movie. I paused the DVD about 45 minutes in and debated slogging through the rest of it for the sake of finality. Who knows, maybe it would get better. But boy, it didn't. The majority of the jokes were anecdotal, like "Don't worry, I was the best _______ in Wadiya, I cameBoy, did Sasha Baron Cohen ever miss the mark with 'The Dictator.' Like many others have said, I wanted to like this movie. I paused the DVD about 45 minutes in and debated slogging through the rest of it for the sake of finality. Who knows, maybe it would get better. But boy, it didn't. The majority of the jokes were anecdotal, like "Don't worry, I was the best _______ in Wadiya, I came first place in the Wadiyan _______ competition!" And the other guy, the nuclear scientist guy would reply with "But you were its only competitor! You had everyone else killed or disappeared because you're the Wadiyan dictator and that's what you do you **** Let's do slightly different iterations of this joke about 50 more times throughout this film and hope it's still funny." The jokes were like Family Guy flashback gags without the cutaways. Well, there were some, but that of course doesn't excuse how horribly written and repetitive the jokes in this movie were. Another example would be Anna Faris's hippie co-op store-owner, that Aladeen would constantly make jokes about her not shaving her armpits. Seriously, he must've said that like twenty times, culminating in a scene where he licked the **** things. Again, like other reviewers said, I started getting angry towards the end of this film. Baron Cohen is so much better than this movie. 'Borat' was a lot more intelligent and politically inclined than 'The Dictator', and THAT movie had a naked wrestling scene for **** sake. If you're a Sasha Baron Cohen fan, skip this film. If you've never seen any of his work, don't watch this movie. Cohen is a lot better when he's messing with real people disguised as "Borat" or "Bruno", but now that those characters are so popular, and he himself is famous and recognizable, he can no longer make such movies. But hopefully 'The Dictator' isn't all that's left in his comedic repertoire.

    I rate this film 1 out of 10, and it gets rating of 1 simply for the fact that it's a movie.
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  12. Jun 2, 2012
    1
    Have never written a review here, actually signed up just to write this and I have been using Metacritic regularly for a few years now. I had enjoyed Borat, Bruno was poor enough, saw the trailers for this and thought it looked crap, then got bribed into watching it, but when I saw the middling metascore I Said I'd go in positive....simply awful film, I laughed once, at the end, at anHave never written a review here, actually signed up just to write this and I have been using Metacritic regularly for a few years now. I had enjoyed Borat, Bruno was poor enough, saw the trailers for this and thought it looked crap, then got bribed into watching it, but when I saw the middling metascore I Said I'd go in positive....simply awful film, I laughed once, at the end, at an outtake. Jokes and plot are aggravatingly transparent, acting is poor, characters are painfully stereotypical and although this should be expected in a film like this it just doesn't work anymore. Expand
  13. Jun 6, 2012
    2
    Aaah..Sacha completes the fall from 90% fabulous humor and 10% offensiveness with Ali G ten years ago, to vice versa with the Dictator. He's just not funny anymore.
  14. May 30, 2012
    0
    No redeeming quality whatsoever! I should have known better than to give a Cohen movie another shot. The only positive thing I can say about it is... It's his best movie yet. The bar is just set so low.
  15. Aug 9, 2013
    2
    Sacha Baron Cohen really tries to extend the shock factor to create comedy, but the method has worked thin and has made me lose interest in his next project.
  16. Jun 18, 2012
    3
    This was actually a horrible movie. The first 30 minutes were completely without a joke. Nothing funny at all in the first 30 minutes, oh yeah, and the rest of the movie. Loved Borat and Bruno, this movie sucks.
  17. Aug 18, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I rented the movie and saw the extended uncut version - I found it mildly entertaining although it just wasn't that funny - I did like the scene toward the end about the US "dictatorship" I think it would've been better without the whole love story sub-plot. About a year after 9-11 some friends and I came up with a concept for a terrorist comedy that made fun of everyone, terrorists, politicians, the media ect. and began writing the script - but we dropped it because we decided no one would ever produce it for fear of a fatwa being issued - maybe that same fear kept this film from being as funny as it could have been. Expand
  18. Aug 31, 2012
    4
    I thoroughly enjoyed Borat but this film is simply not funny. It's repeated unfunny jokes become annoying and the plot is predictable and annoying. I understand the film is supposed to have a thin plot but in this film it felt like it was getting in the way. Baren Cohen's humour may start to be wearing off after Borat.
  19. Jun 5, 2012
    4
    This effort brings to mind M. Night Shyamalan. The first effort was great but everything after became more and more dismal. Borat was fabulous, Bruno was pretty good but the Dictator, while there were a few amusing moments, is easily the worst of the three. Some parts are downright painfully not funny. In my sick twisted mind, I did find the 911 jokes to be the best of the show.
  20. Aug 8, 2012
    3
    Although The Dictator offers some funny Jocks but with a bad storyline and Script the movie is too hard to like . The Movie delivers delivers nothing lightened. The whole point of the movie is Useless . Sacha Baron Cohen was a bit flat in his role and others were horrible . Saw the Movie and trying to forget it and don't ever wanna see it again . Its a total wast of time .
  21. May 26, 2012
    4
    The Dictator is funny enough, but it really falls short of its potential, what with a great concept and a funny guy like Sacha Baron Cohen. But overall, a lot of the Dicator's jokes fall flat, and the plot of the movie is just to small and constricting. Then there is the terrible performance by Anna Faris. She has the same expression on her face the entire time, and her voice is moreThe Dictator is funny enough, but it really falls short of its potential, what with a great concept and a funny guy like Sacha Baron Cohen. But overall, a lot of the Dicator's jokes fall flat, and the plot of the movie is just to small and constricting. Then there is the terrible performance by Anna Faris. She has the same expression on her face the entire time, and her voice is more annoying than a Justin Bieber song. Overall, it's not that good, but it's not totally worthless. Expand
  22. Jun 12, 2012
    4
    It's Euro-Cup time now, so there is a famine in the cinemas, maybe one should not go to cinema twice a week these days (I have already watched PROMETHEUS 2012), the only possibilities are this one or SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (2012), so hectoring by the latter's horrid reviews, a satire comedy sounds like a more safe choice between these two.

    Deceiving by its trailer, and Instead of
    It's Euro-Cup time now, so there is a famine in the cinemas, maybe one should not go to cinema twice a week these days (I have already watched PROMETHEUS 2012), the only possibilities are this one or SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (2012), so hectoring by the latter's horrid reviews, a satire comedy sounds like a more safe choice between these two.

    Deceiving by its trailer, and Instead of being a political satire, the film is no more than a crass sketch comedy, with a plentiful supply of self-conscious jokes about masturbation, human excrement, racism, sexism, gay culture, terrorism, a mixed-bag of all the possible sought-after topics. But how is the effect?

    Though in my memories, I didn't perceive BORAT! (2006, a 5/10) as a deserving accomplishment, but by comparison, THE DICTATOR even has less virtue and has no difference with other annually cranked-out Hollywood trashy comedies, which more or less are able to generate some laughters but one would never give a second-thought after leaving the cinema, lest feel repellent even thinking about the source material or simply erase it from the memory. THE DICTATOR marked the third time Sacha Baron Cohen and director Larry Charles work in unison (after BORAT! and BRUNO 2009, which I skipped), but the pith of it is all in its trailer, I wonder, when will Hollywood ever deliver another comedy without meddling too much with filthiness, sometimes audience needs to be innovated instead of being pondered to. About the cast, I donâ
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  23. Jun 3, 2012
    3
    this movie was funny but it same as his other films his done in past the part in movie which was really funny but the nothing else that was making me laugh rest of flim i watch the bit in it i did laugh that bout it not entirely good movie but only thing which made it better was when ending credit pop up
  24. May 23, 2012
    4
    I dont think it's awful but then it definitely was forgettable. Humour was very expected for the most time and the plot never seems to make sense...which is okay for a comedy but it lacks everything a truly great comedy needs. There are a couple laugh out loud original moments but the dialogue and jokes are so repetitive and predictable I felt like I was watching a movie done by a highI dont think it's awful but then it definitely was forgettable. Humour was very expected for the most time and the plot never seems to make sense...which is okay for a comedy but it lacks everything a truly great comedy needs. There are a couple laugh out loud original moments but the dialogue and jokes are so repetitive and predictable I felt like I was watching a movie done by a high schooler.

    Wait til this one's on DVD and a friend buys it if you're unsure. It doesnt deserve the $10.00 I spent on it but if you're incredibly bored you'll find the few funny parts in this film enjoyable enough to justify a watch through.
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  25. May 25, 2012
    3
    Not a great movie. I kept hoping for something really bold and funny. But it's just predictably "shocking". YAWN. The physical gross-out stuff especially had me eye-rolling.
  26. Sep 18, 2012
    2
    Sasha Baron Cohen's worst **** movie ever. Funny only a small fraction of the time and WTF for the rest. I almost never stop a movie halfway, but this was pure stupidity.
  27. May 29, 2012
    3
    I left the theatre trying to recall the funny parts of the movie. There was one involving the nuclear scientist. (Not sure why he wanted to continue with the dictatorship, but that is beside the point). I couldnâ
  28. Jun 2, 2012
    1
    This is the most disgusting slapstick drained out comedy movie that one cannot sit thru completely. Its a total waste of time and money. I never walked out of any movies in my life time other than this disgusting crap. I don't know what the censor board is thinking when they agreed to release these kind. Movies
  29. Jun 21, 2012
    1
    If you want to know what it's like watching this movie, picture yourself at a sleezy comedy club watching the first act of the night bomb on stage--that uncomfortable silence/embarrassed for the performer feeling, yeah that's what this movie is...
  30. Aug 28, 2012
    4
    While it is understandably hard to recreate the success of Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen hits less of a note of focused political insight hidden within doses of raunchiness and more of a note of gross out, juvenile, broad, hit-and-miss jokes that recall a mix of Charlie Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator' and 'You Don't Mess with the Zohan'. While there are some admittedly funny bits (holding handsWhile it is understandably hard to recreate the success of Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen hits less of a note of focused political insight hidden within doses of raunchiness and more of a note of gross out, juvenile, broad, hit-and-miss jokes that recall a mix of Charlie Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator' and 'You Don't Mess with the Zohan'. While there are some admittedly funny bits (holding hands romantically inside of a pregnant woman giving birth, a terrorist misunderstanding in a helicopter, and a clever speech about democracies and dictatorships, for example), most of the film has an air of mean-spiritedness and when the jokes miss, they miss by a mile. While Sacha Baron Cohen seems more dedicated to craft than the average funny-man, 'The Dictator' winds up being just a comedic vehicle running on empty. Expand
  31. Jul 4, 2012
    4
    His first two movies were hilarious because no one knew who he was. Now that his face is out there, he cannot be that guy anymore. Making a real movie with all actors was a bad idea. There are for sure some funny parts to this but as a whole it just was not that good.
  32. Mar 1, 2014
    3
    Consistently offensive (to varying effectiveness), The Dictator is funny in spots, but is also filled with jokes that are too stupid to be funny. Now of course this was not trying to be a fantastic film or anything, but I do wish that the jokes were way more consistent. In addition, in terms of story, the romantic aspect added to this one did not actually add anything to the movie at allConsistently offensive (to varying effectiveness), The Dictator is funny in spots, but is also filled with jokes that are too stupid to be funny. Now of course this was not trying to be a fantastic film or anything, but I do wish that the jokes were way more consistent. In addition, in terms of story, the romantic aspect added to this one did not actually add anything to the movie at all and in fact subtracted from the movie. More dictatorship, less random, forced, and unnecessary romance. At the end of the day, this one is not a trainwreck like I feared it might be and could be a good movie to watch if you want a few good laughs and a hilarious speech on dictatorships, but sadly other than that, there is not much to see. As I said before, this one could have been a lot better if it had been a lot more consistent. Expand
  33. Sep 7, 2012
    1
    The only redeeming and watchable parts of The Dictator are Bobby Lee's small comedic role. I did have a few giggles at the very least three times. I'll give this some points for its crude and offensive humor which was the second and last thing I liked about it. What could have been a hilarious comedy failed at even being a simple movie. I did feel like I wasted an entire hour, it is SachaThe only redeeming and watchable parts of The Dictator are Bobby Lee's small comedic role. I did have a few giggles at the very least three times. I'll give this some points for its crude and offensive humor which was the second and last thing I liked about it. What could have been a hilarious comedy failed at even being a simple movie. I did feel like I wasted an entire hour, it is Sacha Baron Cohen's weakest performance. Not funny. Expand
  34. Nov 21, 2012
    4
    It has some funny moments and innovations and Sacha Baron Cohen is a really good actor here, but The Dictator is still a stupid film; a blockbuster just made to win money.
  35. Dec 5, 2012
    4
    Did I like it? Yes. Is it a great film? Hell no. It has some humorous moments, but overall the film isn't that funny. The best jokes are all in the trailer. Very short. Incredibly inconsistent.
  36. Nov 22, 2014
    4
    The Dictator is simply just wastes 83 minutes of your life. This film is nothing more than a money grab after the success of Borat and Bruno. Don't bother.
  37. Dec 10, 2014
    4
    Hey look everyone, it's Sacha Baron Cohen offensively portraying a minority that most people do not understand and over blowing the stereotype to make those ignorant people laugh.

    let's face it, while Sacha might have been bring up some intelligent dialogue about cultural indifference, most of that dialogue was spent in Borat, leaving this movie only partially funny.
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
  1. 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]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.