Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Unlike Sean Penn's demagogue in "All the King's Men," you're able to forget that Whitaker is acting. He embodies the role. When clips of the real Amin are shown at the end, it's almost shocking to realize the extent to which Whitaker has become him.
  2. 100
    Of course no Western director can make a movie about Africa without being accused of colonialism himself, and some critics have faulted The Last King of Scotland for focusing on its white hero as black corpses pile up around him. But although the movie takes place on an international political stage, it's still a drama of individual allegiance.
  3. 91
    Jumping off from the brilliant novel by Giles Foden and changing a key character entirely, it dramatizes and wrings humor from the way a white Western renegade can view a self-made Third World despot like Amin as a superman blowing fresh air into a fetid atmosphere.
  4. The film is phenomenally well directed by Kevin Macdonald and edited by Justine Wright to bring out every bit of scary volatility in the most casual interactions.
  5. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    Forest Whitaker, uncorking the power that he usually holds in check, gives a chilling, bravura performance as Ugandan tyrant Idi Amin, whose bloody regime slaughtered more than 300,000 people. This intelligent, sometimes gruesome thriller is based on a novel by Giles Foden.
  6. 88
    The Last King of Scotland is a parable shocking in its truth, jolting in its lack of sentimentality, Shakespearean in its vision of the doctor's catastrophic flaw.
  7. Drawing on a documentary visual style he deftly employed in "One Day in September" and "Touching the Void," director Kevin Macdonald uses McAvoy's boyishness to treat Garrigan's apolitical foolishness as yet another damn mess in one African country's hell.
  8. Whitaker is terrifying in a way that we recognize not from old movies but from life.
  9. The movie is an extraordinary personal adventure that views everything through the eyes of its hero as it carries him from one apocalyptic situation to another.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 112 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 58
  2. Negative: 2 out of 58
  1. Aug 24, 2013
    8
    The movie presents enough of what is realistic to make this story seem interesting. Forest Whitaker is absorbed into the role, perhaps more intimidating than the real Idi Amin. He manages to make people overlook his teddy bear face to see the terror of Idi Amin and what he caused. Full Review »
  2. Aug 12, 2013
    8
    In the early 1970’s Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan headed to Uganda to help bring medical aid to poverty-stricken locals. He soon he finds himself hired as Idi Amin’s personal physician but quickly discovers the dictators’ charms hide his murderous regime.

    The first half of movie provides a meaty examination of Amin’s savagely violent regime. His false charm quickly gives way to his true nature and Forrest Whitaker gives an excellent portrayal of the dictator coming across as the eccentric and truly terrifying man that he was. Once Garrigan becomes aware of what is really going on in the country the movie becomes more of a thriller than character study as he attempts to escape with his life. Some of the scenes towards the movies end are perhaps a little Hollywood and not completely fitting with the movies original tone. They are however still undeniably exciting and with James McAvoy giving an assured performance throughout The Last King of Scotland is certainly an interesting and entertaining movie.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 28, 2013
    8
    Wow, this movie remembers you how people like Amin comes in different countries, but in the same way. The plot is about a guy, that actually didn't exist, it's because (I think) the director wanted to show the events from a different point of view, a "white" man working for the president. This film is really good, there are no regrets. Full Review »