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58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 394 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: The film tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. It is inspired by the best selling novel "Zabibah and The King" by Saddam Hussein. (Paramount Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 41
  2. Negative: 4 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    May 15, 2012
    85
    The Dictator, for all its liberal leanings, doesn't let anyone off the hook, not even well-intentioned liberals. Cohen comes right out and says things that most of us, in polite conversation, wouldn't dare. He knows it's the impolite conversation that really gets things moving.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    May 11, 2012
    80
    Fans of the nasty Baron Cohen may regret his being borderline nice in The Dictator. But we should welcome his decision to stop being the best at something few others dare try and instead to inhabit a more familiar comedy style--just going denser, wilder, better. He pulls it off.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 16, 2012
    75
    Mixes its high and low comedy with surprising success.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    May 11, 2012
    63
    Cohen at his best is both brazen and sly. As is The 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: 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    May 14, 2012
    25
    Even amid the hit-and-miss broadsides and laugh-free longueurs that comprise most of The Dictator, Cohen's acute hypocrisy-detector keeps on ticking, if barely.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 114
  2. Negative: 26 out of 114
  1. May 20, 2012
    10
    Haha, all people beneath me are hating the movie... I liked it very much tough, just laughing, not the best plot ever, but i can live with that!! not every movie can be the green mile or something. and of course its stupid sometimes, but Sacha Baron Cohen's face makes a lot good. Expand
  2. Aug 15, 2012
    10
    Excellent movie! Sacha Baron Cohen is back with one of the best comedy movie ever! Simply perfect. I love Aladeen! Excellent movie! Sacha Baron Cohen is back with one of the best comedy movie ever! Simply perfect. I love Aladeen! Excellent movie! Sacha Baron Cohen is back with one of the best comedy movie ever! Simply perfect. I love Aladeen! Excellent movie! Sacha Baron Cohen is back with one of the best comedy movie ever! Simply perfect. I love Aladeen! Expand
  3. Jun 13, 2012
    9
    Put away your insecurities about stereotypes and politically incorrect insensitivity, slap on a sense of humor and go laugh freely and unrestrained for once in your life. With slapstick hilarity and an almost adorable quantity of ignorant prejudice, this film is on par with Talladega Nights in terms of sitcom and satire. For those overcompensating, insecure and in-denial closet cases that preferred Bruno and Borat (for certain parts found offensive to everyone else) more than his roles as Ali-G, or Julien from Madagascar, this films won't offer you much in the way of "certain" scenes, but for the rest of us The Dictator is both intelligent and political in its' dialogue and scenario. The level of maturity and complexity is well below average, which is pure genius since in this way it can be spoon-fed to the majority and still make an impact. Unfortunately, due to previous titles and their depictions it seems as though many movie goers are shying away from Sacha Baron Cohen's films and the ones left and still willing to pay the price of admission appear to be part of the "shockingly below average" category. If you are a normal, well-adjusted person that enjoys mainstream comedy, then The Dictator will not disappoint. Expand
  4. May 27, 2012
    7
    When I saw the trailer for this movie I was amused but I thought it would be bad. A lot of the good jokes seemed to be in the trailer, one person said once the dictator lost his beard the movie would lose its touch, and when my brother came home he said that he did not like it that much. I went to see it and let me tell you it was funny. The Dictator proves that everyone has different opinions some people get it and some people do not and I got most of it.

    The Dictator is about dictator Al-Addeen, I think thatâ
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  5. Sep 12, 2012
    5
    I get where and what Sasha was going for here-which is fairly original. So most of my score accounts for those things. However, the humor-or lack thereof- really made this movie predictable and unwatchable a 2nd time. The few chuckles I got from the movie would not have been worth a movie ticket or DVD for that matter. Expand
  6. 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 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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  7. 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. Expand

See all 114 User Reviews

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