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The Dictator Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

Jihadists just want to have fun Read full review

3.0

Grae Drake Profile

Tyrant-tastic Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 3.0
    58

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Sacha Baron Cohen's tosses off some sensationally funny stuff before descending into a rat-a-tat rhythm of random insult and ritual vulgarity.

    Read Full Review

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    What's shocking this time is how tame Sacha Baron Cohen's newest wild man is, for all the kerfuffle the comedian can stir up on the ­promotional trail.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    After laughing at crudely funny scenes in The Dictator, there's a cringing sensation of guilt.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Cohen employs a comic range that ricochets between wicked political barbs and the lowest anatomical farce, to often funny and occasionally hilarious effect.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Dictator reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

More envelope-pushing humor from Borat comedian.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy The Dictator is extremely crass, politically incorrect, ridiculous, silly -- and quite funny. If you have a thick skin, you can't help but laugh at Cohen, who this time doesn't mine the humor found in punking unsuspecting people but instead gets guffaws by playing an extremely over-the-top dictator with campy relish. Expect tons of swearing (including "f--k" and derivations thereof, as well as many derogatory/racist terms) and sexual jokes/references, as well as topless women and a brief flash of full-frontal male nudity. As always, Baron Cohen doesn't shy away from stereotype-based humor that's likely to offend; instead, he embraces it.

  • Families can talk about deliberately offensive humor. Does Baron Cohen's brand of stereotype-driven, purposely offensive humor have a larger point, or is it just meant to shock viewers into laughter?
  • For all its jokes, does The Dictator have any underlying truths about politics and government?
  • How does The Dictator compare to Baron Cohen's other films? Which style do you prefer?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Believe it or not, there is a bit of a life lesson amid The Dictator's crude content, rampant stereotyping, and all-around wackiness -- basically, that you shouldn't write anyone off entirely, because in rare cases, there may be hope for even the people who seem the most extreme.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Zoey is kind and passionate about human rights and the environment. She's a curious love interest for a dictator, that's for sure, but she certainly has that proverbial heart of gold. Aladeen himself, on the other hand, is offensive, sexist, selfish, violent, and arrogant -- though he's also clearly intended to be a larger-than-life parody. And there's a ton of stereotyping/humor designed to mock specific groups; it's all intended for laughs, but it's guaranteed to offend some viewers.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Cartoonish violence with lots of talk (and gestures) about killing people, but no gore. Some scenes involve assassinations and include references to genocide. Aladeen brandishes weapons, and there's a scene in which instruments of torture are discussed at length for their effectiveness. Aladeen is ruthless and quick to order the death of those who have failed him, but not all of his orders are carried out.

  • sex false4

    Sex: Aladeen is randy, and so is The Dictator. One scene shows brief full-frontal male nudity; women are also shown topless, and scenes depict masturbation. Lots of references to/suggestions of one-night stands and various sex acts. An early scene shows Aladeen having sex with a famous actress in a prostitution-like exchange; she's very skimpily dressed.

  • language false4

    Language: Language includes frequent use of words including "s--t," "p---y," "f--k," "c--k," "d--k," and "a--hole," as well as tons of derogatory/racist terms.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Lamborghini, Exxon, BP, Rolex, Polaroid, and a few other brands/labels are name-dropped or shown.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: People drink champagne and other cocktails and liquor at parties. Some smoking shown.

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