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The Last King of Scotland Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

Incredible … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    74

    out of 100

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

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    An imaginative and original picture turns conventional as it ends.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The film as a whole measures up to Forest Whitaker's performance...one of the great performances of modern movie history.

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Last King of Scotland reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Brutal look at the consequences of absolute power. No kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is based on the real life of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and includes references to massacres, revenge killings, torture, and abuse. Some scenes depict such violence explicitly, including bloody bodies, shooting, knifing, and grisly torture. There are also some scenes of sexual activity, including a one-night liaison between the protagonist and an unknown woman and the protagonist's dangerous adulterous affair. Women appear in revealing or little clothing (some dancers are topless). Characters use foul language (especially "f--k") in anger. It's the 1970s, so characters also drink liquor and smoke cigarettes as emblems of class comfort.

  • Families can talk about the cycles of violence that afflict developing nations. How are these cycles supported by outsider money and exploitation of resources? Who's to blame for what happens in these cases? Families can also talk about the story of Amin, a former heavyweight boxer and British colonial army sergeant who declared himself president of Uganda following a military coup and ruled for eight years. What effect does having a fictional character tell his story have on the movie and what viewers take away from it?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Based on the real-life story of notoriously brutal dictator Idi Amin, the film implicates as well those non-Ugandans who made his rise to power possible, including the British and the CIA.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Violence is pervasive, including shooting and tank battles; characters are shot in close-up; discussion of assassinations; images of bloody body parts (one woman's body gruesomely appears briefly, cut into sections); the protagonist is tortured by being hung from the ceiling on hooks attached to his chest (gruesome again); a child suffers a frightening epileptic attack.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Sexual activity/naked body parts in two or three scenes; women perform sensuous dances during celebrations (some are topless); a pregnancy results from an adulterous affair.

  • language false5

    Language: Over 20 uses of "f--k," plus other profanity ("hell," etc.).

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: BMW, Holiday Inn.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Frequent drinking and some smoking (cigarettes and cigars).

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