October 17th, 2008



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Still of Richard Dreyfuss, Josh Brolin, Toby Jones and Thandie Newton in W.Still of Richard Dreyfuss in W.James Cromwell at event of W.Still of Josh Brolin in W.Still of James Cromwell in W.Still of Oliver Stone and Stanley Weiser in W.

A chronicle on the life and presidency of George W. Bush.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 6.5/10 (27,915 voted)

Critic's Score: 56/100

Director: Oliver Stone

Stars: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioan Gruffudd

Oliver Stone's biographical take on the life of George W. Bush, one of the most controversial presidents in USA history, chronicling from his wild and carefree days in college, to his military service, to his governorship of Texas and role in the oil business, his 2000 candidacy for president, his first turbulent four years, and his 2004 re-election campaign.

Josh Brolin - George W. Bush
Colin Hanks - Speechwriter #1
Toby Jones - Karl Rove
Dennis Boutsikaris - Paul Wolfowitz
Jeffrey Wright - Colin Powell
Thandie Newton - Condoleezza Rice
Scott Glenn - Donald Rumsfeld
Richard Dreyfuss - Dick Cheney
Bruce McGill - George Tenet
Wes Chatham - Fraternity Enforcer
Jesse Bradford - Fraternity President
Sean Stone - Fraternity Pledge #1
Ben Mayer - Fraternity Pledge #2
James Cromwell - George H.W. Bush
Juan Gabriel Pareja - Oil Worker

Taglines: A life misunderestimated.


Official Website: Lions Gate Entertainment [United States] | Lionsgate Entertainment |

Release Date: 17 October 2008

Filming Locations: Millennium Studios- 300 Douglas Street, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $10,505,668 (USA) (19 October 2008) (2 Screens)

Gross: $29,434,429 (Worldwide) (29 March 2009)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The White House speechwriter named "Mike" played by Colin Hanks is based on two real speechwriters for George W. Bush, David Frum who wrote the "Axis of Evil" speech, and Michael Gerson who was Bush's chief speechwriter from 2001 to 2006.

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Due to his past history of alcohol abuse, President Bush quit drinking in 1986. Bush is seen drinking beer during his presidency, specifically during the "pretzel choking" scene and while watching baseball at the end of the film. He is actually drinking O'Doul's a non-alcoholic beer. However, when Bush Sr. is elected President in 1988, a perturbed W. is drinking "Near Beer."

Donald Rumsfeld: [about Saddam Hussein's WMDs] The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

User Review

A Fair And Balanced Portrait of a... Fairly Simple Man

Rating: 8/10

This is a very good movie, but not the classic it wants to be. It's funny and tragic, although not too informative if you've read a newspaper with any regularity over the last eight years. In short, there are no surprises.

Josh Brolin gives an excellent performance as W., and the supporting cast is generally superb, although Jeffrey Wright, Richard Dreyfuss, and James Cromwell particularly stand out. Thandie Newton is hysterically funny as Condie Rice, but it's an SNL-type parody, not an emotionally honest performance.

The film is obviously meticulously researched and carefully considered, which is why the sequences that are clearly either utter conjecture or merely political finger-pointing stand out by a mile.

Bush -- whom I personally despise for his offensive combination of idiocy and self-righteousness -- is treated with fairness and sensitivity. The effort here is obviously to fashion him as a tragic hero; a man who genuinely wants to do good but simply doesn't grasp how hard that is, especially when surrounded by the likes of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney (who is, very specifically, the villain of the piece, as he is in life). And it generally works. I found myself feeling bad for the poor guy.

However, while trying to make W. a sympathetic character, Stone pushes his theme -- "It Was All To Prove Himself To Daddy" way too far. He overplays his hand, including a mood-breaking dream sequence near the end. There simply has to be more to George W. Bush than that..... doesn't there? The film ultimately plays much, much better when Stone relies on actual transcripts and information gathered by experienced reporters, and those sequences, whether they are cabinet meetings, press conferences, or more personal moments, snap and zing.


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