Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
Watch On
  1. 50
    The Last King of Scotland joins the ranks of nightmarish innocents-abroad movies, from "Midnight Express" to "Hostel," where the disillusioned hero fights to return to civility.
  2. This veteran actor is always great, and it's just a little bit sad that he has to play a big, scary demon for us to sit up and finally take notice.
  3. Besides its title, the movie has retained the book's outline...But the film throws away the point of the book completely.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 59
  2. Negative: 2 out of 59
  1. EverrettU
    May 30, 2009
    10
    Highly rewarding drama with terrific performances.
  2. StephanieS.
    Mar 19, 2007
    2
    While Idi Amen degraded to the status of Dictator and maniacal murderer, this movie did little to establish the foundation for his rise to While Idi Amen degraded to the status of Dictator and maniacal murderer, this movie did little to establish the foundation for his rise to power. Many historically infamous individuals begin humbly and rise to rule, based upon their accurate sense of what their people desire. Idi Amen was such a person. He was a 9-time heavyweight boxing champion and sargeant in the British military, who won the support and sponsorship of the British leadership. Being an African, one can easily conclude that this support was based, to some degree, on an enormous charisma and aptitude. While his political career was rife with abuse and tyrrany, it would have been appropriate to show some of the character he had to exhibit in order to command such broad based support, both from his own people, as well as the British government. Instead, the movie brings us into the latter years of an administration and personality gone off track and tending towards the manic. This may well be true, but no dictator has ruled that has not first been given permission. In addition, the rise of the young Scottish docctor seems utterly inappropriate, given Idi Amen's proven ability to win the favor of nations and people. A person of his considerable and terrible ability would not have been as easily trusting as the Idi Amen characterized in the film. Quite honestly, he had too much personal capital at stake to entrust it to someone with so little wit or wisdom. It is believed his true mentor was a member of the British Secret Service...this makes sense. Finally, the films portrayal of the African woman was utterly disgusting. I absolutely do not believe that women oppressed as they are by their muslim traditions and/or tribal rituals, would be so easily bedded. If this is the case for the average African woman, how much more applicable to the wife of the President, a dictator, a murderer. For if she did not fear him for her own life, she would have certainly feared him for the life of her son. There is no way any reasonable mother would enter so lightly into a situation that had such daunting implications. That this film would ask us to accept such a scenario is a disgrace to every mother of African decent, down to Margaret Garner, who attempted to kill her own children vs. see them sold into slavery. This portryal is a betrayal of the truth. I am disappointed that in 2007, we still have little tolerance for the truth regarding people of color. We are not beasts with passions like unto animals in heat or enraged, but a complex, human creation...sometimes touching the heavens and othertimes at the very gates of hell, but nonetheless human like unto all. Full Review »
  3. May 4, 2015
    8
    Idi Amin was one of the worst people to ever walk the Earth but because he was the ruler of Uganda many people in North America knew nothingIdi Amin was one of the worst people to ever walk the Earth but because he was the ruler of Uganda many people in North America knew nothing about him. Big Forest Whitaker is the ideal man to play Amin and he really does resemble him in the film. Whitaker gets a well deserved Oscar winning performance in this film. The further the film goes the movie evil he becomes. James McAvoy also gets my attention in this movie. His performance is a great rival to Whitaker's and he shows a lot of potential which I don't think has reached fully yet. David Oyelowo had a strong performance as well but sadly he was underused. Some of the issues I had with this film where that sometimes McAvoy gets a bit too much of the attention. The character McAvoy is playing was fictional and sometimes he took time away from Amin who was the real man. Also I found the film very graphic so if you have a weak stomach I would sit this movie out. After I thought about it though the film does need to be disturbing so the audience can be aware of Amin's evil. Full Review »