Bob Roberts (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bob Roberts (1992)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In the tradition of This Is Spinal Tap, producer/ director/ star Tim Robbins' Bob Roberts is a satire disguised as a documentary. Robbins plays the titular Roberts, a wealthy, well-connected young man running for a senatorial seat in Pennsylvania. On the surface, Roberts is an ingratiating glad-hander, a sincere believer in the restoration of such intangibles as national pride, family values, etc. But the longer Roberts is followed about by documentary filmmaker Brian Murray, the more we become aware that the candidate is a textbook case of cynicism and contempt. Only Giancarlo Esposito, a reporter for an underground newspaper, is willing to dig beneath Roberts' veneer--a habit that leads to the film's ironic conclusion. Several well-known actors make cameo appearances as TV commentators, notably Tim Robbins' longtime partner Susan Sarandon. Bob Roberts started out as a Tim Robbins-directed short subject for the TV series Saturday Night Live, then was expanded into a $4 million feature. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Tim Robbins
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 17, 2000


Tim Robbins
as Bob Roberts
Giancarlo Esposito
as Bugs Raplin
Ray Wise
as Chet MacGregor
Rebecca Jenkins
as Delores Perrigrew
Brian Doyle-Murray
as Terry Manchester
Harry Lennix
as Franklin Dockett
John Ottavino
as Clark Anderson
Robert Stanton
as Bart Macklerooney
Gore Vidal
as Sen. Brickley Paiste
John Cusack
as `Cutting Edge' Host
James Spader
as News Anchor Chuck Ma...
Alan Rickman
as Lukas Hart, III
Helen Hunt
as Reporter Rose Pondel...
Peter Gallagher
as News Anchor Dan Rile...
Susan Sarandon
as News Anchor Tawna Ti...
Fred Ward
as News Anchor Chip Dal...
Brian Murray
as Terry Manchester
Shannon Holt
as Rita the Obsessive F...
Brent Hinkley
as Bif the Patriot
Pamela Reed
as News Anchor Carol Cr...
Tom Atkins
as Dr. Caleb Menck
Merrilee Dale
as Polly Roberts
Eva Amurri
as Child in Hosptial
Jim West
as Bus Driver
Lynne Thigpen
as Kelly Noble
Bingo O'Malley
as Robert Roberts Sr.
Kathleen Chalfant
as Constance Roberts
Ruth Lesko
as School Teacher
Kelly Willis
as Clarissa Flan
Anita Gillette
as The Mayor's Wife
Charles R. Altman
as Debate Moderator
Staci Marie Marcum
as Miss Philadelphia
Shira Piven
as Penn State Protester
Steve Pink
as Penn State Protester
Fisher Stevens
as Reporter Rock Bork
Gil Robbins
as Reverend Best
Angela Hall
as Choir Soloist
Jerry Hewitt
as Stunts #2
Terry Lee Robbins
as Organ Player
Bob Balaban
as Producer Michael Jan...
June Stein
as Carol, `Cutting Edg...
Allan F. Nicholls
as Director, `Cutting ...
Adam Simon
as Head Writer, `Cutti...
Ned Bellamy
as Uzi Kornhauser, `Cu...
Natalie Strong
as Kala Kornhauser, `C...
Robert Hegyes
as Reporter Ernesto Gal...
Larry John Meyers
as Police Spokesman
Pat Logan
as Policeman
Tom Tully
as Reporter
Jane Crawford
as Reporter
Gabrielle Robbins
as Singing Vigilante
Adele Robbins
as Vigilante
Brian Powell
as Vigilante
Paul Quinn
as Vigilante
Dean Robinson
as Vigilante
Jeffrey Foster
as Vigilante
Jeremy Piven
as Candle Seller
Lee Arenberg
as Religious Zealot
David Strathairn
as Bug's Attorney Mack ...
Ann Talman
as Reporter
Lamont Arnold
as Reporter
Hal O'Leary
as Senator Haydn
Don Brockett
as Chairman
Linda King
as DC Reporter
Susan Shaw
as Dancer
Kristin Altfather
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Jennifer Clippinger
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Lori Doycich
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Crystal Galipeau
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Tracey Generalovich
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Julie Harkness
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Nadine Isenegger
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Shari Jackson
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Stephanie Lang
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Erika Lingley
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Cheryl Mann
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Michelle Nagy
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Keri Nowe
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Elena Porco
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Joy Short
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Carolyn Sibray
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Jennifer Stetor
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Janine Willett
as Bob Roberts's Dancer
Don Hewitt Sr.
as Stunts #1
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News & Interviews for Bob Roberts

Critic Reviews for Bob Roberts

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (9)

This nose-thumbing mock documentary is so prescient, so astonishingly up-to-the-minute, it creates the eerie effect of having been ripped from tomorrow's headlines.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

A sometimes brilliant if overloaded pseudodocumentary satire.

Full Review… | July 8, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A sort of political This Is Spinal Tap, Bob Roberts is both a stimulating social satire and, for thinking people, a depressing commentary on the devolution of the American political system.

Full Review… | June 10, 2008
Top Critic

Bob Roberts is not merely a satirical fictional biopic, but a wry exploration of the relationship between political reality and manufactured image.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A very funny, sometimes prescient satire of American politics, and of the comparatively small, voting portion of the electorate that makes a Bob Roberts phenomenon possible.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Tim Robbins inaugurates the fall season with a slashingly funny political satire that ranks with the year's best films.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bob Roberts

I hate these boring political dramas that try to be slightly satirical, as if that's going to entertain people. Politics is so boring, and this movie doesn't do anything (except maybe adding Rickman as eye candy) to make the audience interested in it. It's not one of the worst movies out there, but I really didn't care for it.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

Bob Roberts is a hilarious political satire mockumentary, relating the events of a fictional senatorial campaign. Despite coming out in 1992, many of the issues it brings up are surprisingly timely (occurring in the midst of the Gulf War), it has a lot of interesting (if not unfamiliar) things to say on our political system. The film's politics are driven by liberal-cliches, but it's done in a smart way that mocks the overall system rather than one party, and does so with some poignant thoughts from the great Gore Vidal (who also stars in the film). By far the best things about the film is the unbelievable cast filled with cameos from the top actors of the 90s (James Spader, John Cusack, etc), but also a number of laugh out loud lines such as:
"Don't smoke crack. It's a ghetto drug."

"I could use a strong finisher myself sometimes "

Jeffrey Meyers
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

Still one of the finest political movies to come out of the U.S. Considering that Robbins has produced some stinkers since then, perhaps he ought to have stopped with the genre at this film.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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