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The American President Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Watching The American President, I felt respect for the craft that went into it: the flawless re-creation of the physical world of the White House, the smart and accurate dialogue, the manipulation of the love story to tug our heartstrings.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    It comes across as painfully politically correct, offering trite sermons on various "hot-button" issues (gun control and the greenhouse effect). The narrative follows an unwavering by-the-numbers strategy with an ending that echoes the "cornball" of Al Pacino's climactic Scent of a Woman speech.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    In the end, the movie says that the President's private life matters, all right -- that Shepherd should get the girl and reestablish his leadership by giving in to the noble liberal he always was inside. Even for a modern Capra fable, that's a bit much to swallow.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    A super cast injects it with Teddy Roosevelt vitality. [17 Nov 1995, p.D1]

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Witty, wise, and idealized political romance.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sydney and Andrew (both unmarried) sleep together on their second date. Andrew's wife died of cancer, leaving him to raise his daughter alone, which may sadden teens who've lost a parent. There's some minimal cursing, and political rival Robert Rumson is quick to accuse Sydney of being a slut on national television. There's a lot of potential for mean-spirited digs in this film, and some of them are taken, but mostly it's an uplifting romantic comedy in which the president learns to stand up for what he believes in rather than sticking to what makes him popular.

  • Families can talk about the similarities between the behaviors of the characters in the movie and kids in high school: the mean-spirited gossip, the flirting, the struggle between being cool and having integrity. Has anyone in your family faced these challenges? How did you decide what to do? What would you have done if you were in Andrew's shoes, or in Sydney's?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Andrew faces some challenges, but in the end does what's right. Sydney is a great model of a powerful and compassionate woman.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Not an issue

  • sex false0

    Sex: In one scene Sydney is dressed only in a robe. She and Andrew have sex on the second date (nothing graphic is shown). Brief kissing, but nothing explicit.

  • language false3

    Language: "F--k" is said once, and "s--t" twice.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some drinking, but not to excess.