User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 40
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 40
  3. Negative: 1 out of 40
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  1. TravisC.
    Mar 19, 2005
    10
    The film is endlessly mesmerizing. Anyone (like myself) not old enough to have lived through Vietnam will find this immensely telling. A true look at what it means to hold the future of the world in one hand, this film is unsettling yet amazing at the same time. If your thoughts aren't somehow provoked by this film, then you ought not to be a voting citizen!
  2. ShannonP.
    Jul 10, 2006
    10
    This should be required viewing in every college and high school history class touching on American history. Those who would so readily crown WW II era Americans as "the greatest generation" can contemplate the little discussed fire bombing and burning of dozens of Japanese cities and tens of thousands of civilian women and children. If, as McNamara argues, "proportionality" is a key This should be required viewing in every college and high school history class touching on American history. Those who would so readily crown WW II era Americans as "the greatest generation" can contemplate the little discussed fire bombing and burning of dozens of Japanese cities and tens of thousands of civilian women and children. If, as McNamara argues, "proportionality" is a key standard for judging war time behavior, then. Expand
  3. RichardG.
    May 12, 2004
    10
    Regardless of his subject, Morris is a genius of his form. Particularly interesting in this film are the recorded conversations (between Kennedy and McNamara, Johnson and McNamara, and others) that bring history to startling life. Who among us can really read narrative told through images, or fully understand the meanings created by editing images and juxtaposing them with sounds, words, Regardless of his subject, Morris is a genius of his form. Particularly interesting in this film are the recorded conversations (between Kennedy and McNamara, Johnson and McNamara, and others) that bring history to startling life. Who among us can really read narrative told through images, or fully understand the meanings created by editing images and juxtaposing them with sounds, words, and music? Interpreting Morris may prove to be as fascinating and frustrating and essentially bottomless as interviewing McNamara. Expand
  4. May 16, 2011
    10
    The best documentary ever made.

    The music is beautiful and haunting, The film is a fantastic send off to McNamara, a man who is certainly going to hell when he dies.
  5. JeffP.
    Mar 10, 2004
    9
    There is much to consider in this and it would lend itself to many viewings and much discussion. It makes me wonder about what is happening now with the war in Irag.
  6. OmarS.
    Apr 29, 2004
    9
    A thought provoking film both on a political and personal level. Macnamara makes a fascinating study of a man in the twilight of his life looking back with a human eye on the bellicose legacy that he was involved in, and trying to come to terms with its futility in his own mind.
  7. JasonT.
    May 31, 2004
    9
    It's great to know that a political documentary that ends up in semi-wide release can be this pointed and effective.
  8. J.RyanG.
    May 26, 2005
    9
    Required viewing for anyone who supported the Iraq War. Thanks to Errol Morris's trademark camera techniques, former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara stares right at you and lifts some heavy dirt off his soul. This is as engrossing and entertaining a film as any blockbuster, but it is something more--it is an invaluable history lesson.
  9. WillieG.
    May 22, 2006
    9
    Very well done, nearly every moment was gripping from start to finish. I'm not old enough to have experienced the periods of history covered in the film, yet this film hit home with me as a born & bred citizen. I would encourage and invite anyone to see this film at least once, particularly any fellow Americans old enough to comprehend the ultimate societal breakdown known as war.
  10. JeradS.
    Jan 1, 2004
    8
    Great film - eroll morris is the best documentary filmmaker working today.
  11. JusticeTrillin
    Jan 21, 2004
    8
    Donald Rumsfield, anyone? Errol calendar the Interratron for that man a couple of years from now! OK, affected as I am by the facts presented, the style, I am dismayed somewhat that Mr. Morris was not more interested in getting more answers. How much loss is too much? That aside, one can't watch this film and wonder if the archival footage and Philip Glass soundtrack paints a Donald Rumsfield, anyone? Errol calendar the Interratron for that man a couple of years from now! OK, affected as I am by the facts presented, the style, I am dismayed somewhat that Mr. Morris was not more interested in getting more answers. How much loss is too much? That aside, one can't watch this film and wonder if the archival footage and Philip Glass soundtrack paints a different picture than the raw interview footage does. This is a man with regrets but does not own up to them. Was that the director I was talking about or the subject? Watch it and then you decide. Documentary film has reached the masses in the last 12 months and this is another to be revered. Expand
  12. CliffL.
    Feb 17, 2004
    8
    He still doesn't fully understand what harm he caused. Who will be the McNamara of the Bush regime? Colin Powell?
  13. ROYD.
    Feb 17, 2004
    8
    A must see.but very self serving of all involved particularly Curtis lemay(bush?) read daniel elsbergs Secrets for a better look at what and particularly when they all knew about what happen in the gulg of tonken. when we we ever learn.
  14. BenjaminA.
    Jun 17, 2004
    8
    This was reallly good, but it wasn't better than Capturing the Friedmans.
  15. MattK.
    Dec 18, 2003
    8
    Thought provoking and excellent! will not sell a lot but see it i would suggest.
  16. JaysonB.
    Apr 8, 2005
    6
    Overrated, but interesting.
  17. May 25, 2013
    6
    This film really plays out as a biography of the life of Robert S McNamara, former secretary of defence for both Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Unlike many current politicians though he comes across as both honest and sincere, readily admitting that he made mistakes during his time in office.

    The main focus of the film is on WWII, Vietnam and the Cold War with some frightening
    This film really plays out as a biography of the life of Robert S McNamara, former secretary of defence for both Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Unlike many current politicians though he comes across as both honest and sincere, readily admitting that he made mistakes during his time in office.

    The main focus of the film is on WWII, Vietnam and the Cold War with some frightening insights into just how close seemingly reasonable people can come to nuclear war. McNamara discusses the role of himself and others in a frank manner communicating what he has learnt in his remarkable life.

    It would have been nice to hear from others involved in the eras discussed but overall The Fog of War is a fairly intriguing watch.
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Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Errol Morris may have been put on earth to make The Fog of War, a stunning portrait of Robert S. McNamara that closes a year of outstanding nonfiction movies on a high note.
  2. 88
    It will knock you for a loop like no other movie this year.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    100
    This is spellbinding reality cinema about duplicity and, worse, ignorance at the highest level.