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Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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5.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 92 Ratings

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  • Summary: Whether you love him or hate him, there is no question that George W. Bush is one of the most controversial public figures in recent memory. In an unprecedented undertaking, acclaimed director Oliver Stone is bringing the life of our 43rd President to the big screen as only he can. W. takes viewers through Bush’s eventful life -- his struggles and triumphs, how he found both his wife and his faith, and of course the critical days leading up to his decision to invade Iraq. (Lionsgate) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. 100
    W., a biography of President Bush, is fascinating. No other word for it.
  2. The pleasure of Mr. Stone's work has never been located in restraint but in excess, a commitment to extremes that can drown out the world or, as in this film, give it newly vivid, hilarious and horrible form.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    The performances are good (some scarily realistic), and the movie is enjoyable to watch. But as a probing analysis of the 43rd president, it falls short.
  4. The intrepid one is the outstanding Josh Brolin, who does such a phenomenal job in the title role that he carries every scene he's in to a place of subtlety and integrity far beyond what Stone needs to make his attention-grabbing noise.
  5. 50
    Superficial, uninformative, and inert, this two hour snoozefest isn't even inflammatory enough to stoke a righteous anti-Bush brushfire. W. does for recent history what Oliver Stone's epic "Alexander" did for ancient times.
  6. In spite of Josh Brolin's heroic efforts, W. is a skin-deep biopic that revels in its antic shallowness.
  7. 38
    The movie plays like a dunk-the-clown game at a carnival. Through intent or ineptitude, he sets up the Bush family and administrations as caricatures.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 38
  2. Negative: 17 out of 38
  1. Mar 13, 2014
    8
    With a fine performance of the man by Josh Brolin, "W." tells the story of George's harsh past and his struggles with the war, the economy, and his father. While it might not go in-depth as much as it should, it succeeds at the terms it sets for itself. Expand
  2. May 17, 2013
    7
    Kudos to Oliver Stone for taking on a man who was still President of the United States at the time of shooting this film, but even that aside, this is a truly compelling and often humorous telling of the pivotal moments in the life of George Dub-ya.
    W. chronicles the life of the controversial 43rd President up to the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, we see the lead up to the decision while also jumping back to his early fraternity days while he he attended Yale, his alcohol abuse and is often strained relationship with his father, former President George H.W Bush, a man who the film portrays as being very tolerant towards his son and his lifestyle choices, but isn't particularly favourable towards him running for Governor of Texas, instead trying to focus on his other son, Jeb's campaign.
    It often plays loosely with political satire and at times addresses itself in a far more serious and dramatic tone, and Josh Brolin delivers a fantastic and real portrayal of the President in question, his mannerisms, speech, body movement and even appearance are spot on.
    The film hits its stride in the private meetings between Bush and his Cabinet, where the heated discussions about the eventual invasion of Iraq between VP Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss) and Secretary of State Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright) being some the better and more intriguing scenes of the film.
    Whether the film holds true or not, it was interesting to see these thrilling encounters, encounters that Bush himself seemed to sit very much on the sidelines.
    The film does, however fast forward a bit too much throughout earlier days of his life, and perhaps not enough attention put on the political aspect of his career, it was a thoughtful and almost no-brainer to pick the pre-Iraq invasion as the setting of the film, but more could have been done to see the man inside the Oval office, with his stuttering, his mis-speaking and his infamous mannerisms given more time to breathe.
    Certainly not one of the best biopics to date, but Stone along with the charismatic and detailed capability of Josh Brolin's acting, has given the film much to talk about when the credits roll, it tries not to take sides, instead delivering and enjoyable and often informative look at the Texan who took the White House in all sorts of directions.
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