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W. Review Critics


Dave White Profile

...a lose/lose situation... Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

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

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    In spite of Josh Brolin's heroic efforts, W. is a skin-deep biopic that revels in its antic shallowness.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    It's a gutsy movie but not necessarily a good one. Its greatest strength is that it wants to talk about what's on our minds right now and not wait for historians.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    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.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    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.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Tepid telling of 43rd president's rise to power.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that adults are more likely than kids to be interested in this high-profile film about the life of President George W. Bush. The movie spends half its time examining what appears to be a dysfunctional relationship between Bush and his father (an account that the people portrayed may not agree with) and the other half looking at a presidency that may have been too reliant on other types of dysfunctional relationships (it's not clear whether it's all fact-based). Bush's early struggles with alcoholism are examined -- there are tons of scenes of him drinking -- as is his search for a higher purpose. There's also a fair amount of swearing (including "f--k") and cigarette smoking.

  • Families can talk about the film's point of view on the younger Bush's presidency. What appears to have influenced his policies? How is this shown? What about the movie's focus on the father-son dynamic? How does director Oliver Stone portray that relationship's importance and influence over the presidency? Families can also discuss how accurate they think the film is. Why might filmmakers bend the truth when making a movie based on real life? Do you think Stone had a specific agenda in making this movie? If so, what was it?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The film shows the transformation of an aimless man into a president who hopes his father is finally proud of him. Lots of father-son drama makes for a dysfunctional relationship, but the love between the two is palpable, too. Laura and George's marriage is portrayed as supportive and loving. In stark contrast, Cabinet meetings appear contentious and even manipulative, and dogma often seems to trump reasoned decision-making.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A father and a son have loud fights, one of which almost turns physical. News footage of the Iraq war is shown, including explosions, bombings, bloodied victims, and bodies in the streets. A fair amount of discussion about war tactics.

  • sex false4

    Sex: A husband kisses his wife; earlier he's shown kissing a girlfriend. Reference to W. getting someone pregnant.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes "hell," "goddamn," "p---y," "bulls--t," "jacks--t," and, twice, "f--k."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Mostly labels for beer and hard liquor brands, including Johnny Walker and Svetyev vodka. Mentions of Yale and Harvard, and logos for TV shows.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of drinking at fraternities and bars in the years before W. went into AA. Lots of smoking, too, as was common during the time the movie takes place.