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74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 130 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In an incredible twist of fate, a Scottish doctor (McAvoy) on a Ugandan medical mission becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world's most barbaric figures: Idi Amin (Whitaker). Impressed by Dr. Garrigan's brazen attitude in a moment of crisis, the newly self-appointed UgandanIn an incredible twist of fate, a Scottish doctor (McAvoy) on a Ugandan medical mission becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world's most barbaric figures: Idi Amin (Whitaker). Impressed by Dr. Garrigan's brazen attitude in a moment of crisis, the newly self-appointed Ugandan President Amin hand picks him as his personal physician and closest confidante. Though Garrigan is at first flattered and fascinated by his new position, he soon awakens to Amin's savagery - and his own complicity in it. Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his wrongs and escape Uganda alive. (Fox Searchlight Pictures) Collapse
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Great as Whitaker is in this juicy slab of Oscar bait, Macdonald's movie doesn't have much to offer beyond a pair of stunning performances, propulsive editing, fantastic scenery and the heartbeat rhythms of African music.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Forest Whitaker is astoundingly multifaceted and convincing as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. In the performance of his career, he fully inhabits the part of the barbaric and charismatic ruler.
  6. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    In the end, The Last King of Scotland is much better when it plays it cool and amusing than when it tries to ramp up outrage and indignation.
  7. Besides its title, the movie has retained the book's outline...But the film throws away the point of the book completely.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 59
  2. Negative: 2 out of 59
  1. StuartS.
    Oct 21, 2006
    10
    Whitaker will be nominated for an Acadamy Award for an incredible portrayal of Edi Amin. A lot of history you might not be totally familiar Whitaker will be nominated for an Acadamy Award for an incredible portrayal of Edi Amin. A lot of history you might not be totally familiar with and you will enjoy learning about. Not to be seen by those who are squeamish. Expand
  2. RalphM.
    Mar 10, 2007
    10
    I recommend this movie in a Double feature with Amazing Grace as a study of the paths that two different lives can take. This is the best I recommend this movie in a Double feature with Amazing Grace as a study of the paths that two different lives can take. This is the best movie I have seen in a very long time. Expand
  3. EverrettU
    May 30, 2009
    10
    Highly rewarding drama with terrific performances.
  4. BenA.
    Jan 16, 2007
    9
    Beautifully shot, utterly gripping. Forest Whitaker gives an outstanding performance as the psychotic Amin.
  5. 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 findsIn 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.
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  6. AlaM.
    Mar 2, 2007
    8
    It is a movie of historical and fictional interaction that had ben made in a very good way. It does not meet the original novel but touches It is a movie of historical and fictional interaction that had ben made in a very good way. It does not meet the original novel but touches the life and gives an idea about the great problems of the 3rd world , the brutal dictators. Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 59 User Reviews

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