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Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story (2008)

tomatometer

93

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 2

Boogie Man is a complex, absorbing study of the contradictory life and times of architect of modern smear politics.

88

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 2

Boogie Man is a complex, absorbing study of the contradictory life and times of architect of modern smear politics.

audience

79

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 395

My Rating

Movie Info

"Boogie Man" is a comprehensive look at Lee Atwater, the blues-playing rogue whose rambunctious rise from the South to Chairman of the GOP made him a household name. He mentored Karl Rove and George W. Bush and played a crucial role in the elections of Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He wrote the Republican Party's winning playbook which the McCain campaign is currently using.

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Stefan Forbes

May 4, 2010

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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (2)

Fascinating to a political junkie like me who wasn't aware of the game back then.

December 30, 2008 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Stefan Forbes has assembled a brilliantly complex portrait that shines an unnerving light on the man who painted the landscape of contemporary American politics.

November 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By the end of Forbes' brisk, economical portrait, Atwater has been revealed as a repugnant and pathetic soul--and a political visionary, among the first to fully understand and harness the raw power of voters' fears.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Conventional but absorbing.

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Stricken with brain cancer in 1990, Atwater renounced his Machiavellian ways, but as Forbes points out, his legacy lives on in his eager proteges Karl Rove and George W. Bush.

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Boogie Man is a fascinating portrait of an almost likable rogue.

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A morality tale about the sewer politics of the Republican Party since Reagan and very relevant to the 2008 elections.

November 12, 2008 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

A cinematic smear job against Atwater would be the easiest thing in the world, but Forbes is more interested in presenting a complex character study than a piece of liberal agitprop.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Both fascinating and upsetting, and makes you wish politics weren't so, well, political.

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Metromix.com
Metromix.com

Positively brims over with sour-grapes hearsay and character assassination. But you just know he deserved it, right?

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Lee Atwater is remembered as brilliant or shameful, effective or destructive, his life part American Dream, part horror movie.

October 27, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Boogie Man does not inspire pity for Atwater but sadness that a man of such talent wasted his life and learned his lesson too late.

October 24, 2008
Kansas City Star

electrifying

October 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

It's refreshing to see a political documentary that's not just boosterism or political propaganda. If anything, this is an argument for 'cleaner' campaigning.

October 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

It's good the film exposes his methods, especially with the final stretch of our current election cycle upon us.

October 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Audience Reviews for Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

It tells its story in a way you might expect, but it has a few fascinating moments where even Atwater's most ardent defenders of his political tactics in Republican campaigns still decry him as a vicious monster capable of anything. It might even be fair to say that they only liked him because he was on their side.
October 12, 2011
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

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