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Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 211
Fresh: 193
Rotten: 18

Critics Consensus: Jagshemash! Borat gets high-fives almost all-around for being offensive in the funniest possible way. Part satire, part shockumentary, Borat stars Sacha Baron Cohen as the gleefully sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic title character on a cross-country trek to learn more about our strange nation; along the way he dredges up the seamy underbelly of American prejudice and ignorance. Now the cat is out of the bag, what will Cohen do for an encore?

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 47
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: Jagshemash! Borat gets high-fives almost all-around for being offensive in the funniest possible way. Part satire, part shockumentary, Borat stars Sacha Baron Cohen as the gleefully sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic title character on a cross-country trek to learn more about our strange nation; along the way he dredges up the seamy underbelly of American prejudice and ignorance. Now the cat is out of the bag, what will Cohen do for an encore?

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 1,202,492

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Movie Info

Journalist Borat Sagdiyev leaves his native Kazakhstan to travel to America to make a documentary. As he zigzags across the nation, Borat meets real people in real situations with hysterical consequences. His backward behavior generates strong reactions around him, exposing prejudices and hypocrisies in American culture. In some cases, Borat's interview subjects embrace his outrageous views on race and sex by agreeing with him, while others attempt to offer a patriotic lesson in Western values.

Rating:
R (for pervasive strong crude and sexual content including graphic nudity, and language.)
Genre:
Comedy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Mar 6, 2007
Box Office:
$128.4M
Runtime:
20th Century Fox - Official Site


Cast



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Critic Reviews for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

All Critics (213) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (193) | Rotten (18) | DVD (34)

The backlash just proves how deep a nerve the faux Kazakh journalist has hit.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007
Newsweek
Top Critic

Borat is a serious work of social criticism. But it's also the funniest movie I've ever seen.

Full Review… | November 22, 2006
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

The theory of comedy here is that you can get away with almost anything if you manage to make your target audience feel superior to the human beings being mocked on the screen.

Full Review… | November 15, 2006
New York Observer
Top Critic

I did find this to be one of the more inventive, aggressively offensive and insanely tasteless comedies in many a year. And yeah, that's a thumbs-up.

Full Review… | November 13, 2006
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Borat is so gut-bustingly funny it should carry a health warning.

Full Review… | November 4, 2006
CNN.com
Top Critic

Cohen's genius lies in combining the chameleon-like virtuosity of Peter Sellers with the balls-out fearlessness of the Jackass crew.

Full Review… | November 3, 2006
AV Club
Top Critic

Borat... is a not only a very good comedy but is also an interesting sociological experiment as to how numerous individuals in the USA would respond to a man such as Borat, and often the reactions are interesting and vastly entertaining.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

Frequently uproarious and occasionally side-splitting -- but it's very hit-or-miss, prone to stretches of unnecessary crudeness and flat one-liners.

Full Review… | September 19, 2009
Film and Felt

Often functions hilariously as an exposé of squirming American tolerance shading into condescension toward the rest of the world

Full Review… | August 28, 2009
CinePassion

Borat is the rare comedy that operates without a safety net. Cohen and director Larry Charles' film provides constant laughter and surprises while daring the viewer to be rightfully offended.

Full Review… | July 10, 2009
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Although I knew it was dishonest, cynical, and the ultimate in cheap-shot humor, I laughed more at Borat than at any other film this year. So I guess the joke is on me.

Full Review… | April 23, 2009
Boston Phoenix

Borat's cultural learning is revealing, even if it doesn't adequately convey how it benefits glorious nation of Kazakhstan.

Full Review… | July 16, 2008
House Next Door

Borat is the funniest film imaginable right now.

Full Review… | May 18, 2008

The most impressive ingredient is Cohen, whose inflection and timing are dead-on as he negotiates a vague accent, a native language composed of gibberish and a sprinkling of Polish, and a way of making tired American jokes funny again.

March 6, 2008
Washington City Paper

America, you got punk'd and the result is horrifying. Borat paints a picture of the American landscape that would induce nightmares were you not laughing so hard.

Full Review… | February 28, 2008
BrandonFibbs.com

A rude punk-rock snapshot of an America that quails at two men kissing but cheers the notion of George W. Bush drinking the blood of 'every man, woman and child in Iraq.'

Full Review… | July 23, 2007
eFilmCritic.com

By the end, you're eager to wrap things up. Along the way, though, Borat is a helluva ride.

Full Review… | July 14, 2007
Big Picture Big Sound

Like great theatre, Borat holds up a mirror to its obliviously intolerant audience ... that serves as a shocking, but entertaining wake-up call.

Full Review… | July 10, 2007
DVD Review

Borat may be marked as a clownish, regressive foreigner, but as often as not in America he seems right at home.

Full Review… | July 2, 2007
Eye for Film

There is little that is subtle about the Borat film - it's a "make sex on your face" kind of experience, an onslaught of Jew, Gay, "foreign", Baptist and Texan jokes. It's also very, very funny.

Full Review… | June 21, 2007
Film Scouts

The genius of Borat is all in Sacha Baron Cohen's daring, edgy, unrestrained performance.

Full Review… | March 24, 2007

Not as good as the HBO show. Dumbed down by Larry Charles?

Full Review… | March 11, 2007
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Uma comédia não apenas engraçadíssima (algo cada vez mais raro), mas também inteligente e repleta de observações importantes sobre a Sociedade norte-americana contemporânea.

March 8, 2007
Cinema em Cena

... contrary to what the cynical profess, it is possible to cheat an honest man. It's certainly easier to fool the naive and the innocent than your average wised-up consumer of pop culture.

Full Review… | March 6, 2007
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

En se donnant lui-même carte blanche, Cohen conféra une étonnante crédibilité à un personnage qui, en soi, n'en a absolument aucune.

Full Review… | February 26, 2007

Audience Reviews for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

½

'Yagshemash!'

The second film in the Cohen trilogy based on his original character creations that we all saw within his Ali G show. Now even though these characters are all very clever creations and work well within the BBC comedy, the films varied. Myself I always thought Ali G was his best and funniest creation offering killer satirical comedy, but the movie of that character turned out to be quite poor and not overly funny surprisingly. 'Bruno', his third film and final original character was easily the next best character offering outrageously embarrassing homosexual tomfoolery, the film also lived up to that brilliantly.

Borat has always been somewhere in the middle for me, the character never really came across that funny on the Ali G show with the small sequences, I thought it slowed the show down. Of course his character is suppose to be simple, backwards, slow, dull, dated etc...that's part of the stinging gag that Eastern Europe is slightly primitive and centuries out of date (dare I say medieval? yes I dare). But working with this angle can also be risky as the jokes can be slow coming and childishly simple, Borat himself being on the same intelligence and life experience level as a child to a degree (when outside his native country).

So it did come as a surprise when this film actually turned out to be very very good, very amusing, highly awkward to watch at times and totally beat Cohen's first foray into the movies in 'Ali G Indahouse'. The main change to the programme here is the fact the plot is strung together around individual sequences showing Cohen making an ass of himself in dreadful cringe-inducing situations. Unlike Ali G where the film was spun into a proper full blown story with actual characters that you didn't care about whilst ruining the background myth of Ali G at the same time. This film merely introduces a sidekick who directs Borat as he goes across America making a documentary for the benefit of his homeland Kazakhstan...oh and searching for Pamela Anderson.

So just like the little sketches on the Ali G show we see Borat meeting various Americans, visiting various places of interest and generally showing himself up as the innocent wet behind the ears traveller who has no clue how to conduct himself in the modern western world. This film easily tops the TV show sketches for embarrassing moments, its like a car crash...you know the rest. Some of the things we see are just unbelievable, apart from much blatant racism against Jewish folk (Cohen's favourite), we meet a racist all American cowboy at a Texas rodeo who accuses Borat of looking like a terrorist down to his moustache. More racism in the South as Borat tries his hand at etiquette lessons (again) from some clearly well to do religious white folk, the funny twist being Borat's fat black hooker girlfriend turning up at the door. Full scale nudity of course, can't not have a bit of full scale public nudity (oh geez!), breaking stuff in a Confederate heritage museum (more obvious racial undertones) and finally assaulting Pamela Anderson in a Virgin Megastore (that shows the films age!).

Being America it is too easy for Cohen, the targets are so obvious and so simple to set up...racism, all American jingoism and homophobia are always gonna be his weapons of mass embarrassment. He sets his sights on these and hits them spot on, be it an old person, a young person, a famous/political person or even a crowd, Cohen can tease xenophobia or discrimination out of anyone with his naive questions and general approach.

While the film does feel more like an extended version of the TV sketches that was to be expected. It was also expected that whatever Cohen got up to here it would be bigger and bolder than ever before, that was certainly achieved. It starts off slow and ends kinda flat but unsurprisingly those are the sequences where Borat is a character within a films plot, its only when he ventures into the reality of everyday America that the film comes alive. Unfortunately the film is riddled with offensive moments which will and have upset many people which I can understand, unlike South Park the film isn't an animated cartoon so it feels more intense.

To a degree you could say that all the commotion surrounding the film only goes to prove it did what it set out to do, Cohen hit the nail on the head. Most will know of this character and Cohen's antics from TV, you know what to expect and get what you pay for, if you don't like this guys brand of humour then you know not to see this, it will offend. Although I do wonder how some of these people carry on their regular lives after being somewhat exposed in this film, that is if they are not actors of course, its actually very hard to tell in my opinion but I'm sure some may be. After the disappointing Ali G flick Cohen pulls it back and produces a great slice of wince-inducing shameful humiliation that will leave you with a sheepish grin plastered across your red face.

'Dziekuje'

More
phubbs1
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

½

It's crude, offensive, satirical and emphatic in the funniest of ways. Sacha Baron Cohen is brilliant as Borat. This mockumentary of a cross-country trip around America from the eyes of a joyous tourist explores the truthful and boasting culture of American society. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is a pushy film that is highlighted by the characterization of its main character and morality of the trek across a nation. 3.5/5

More
Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

½

He's just a character. Let's all give thanks.

Full review coming to themoviefreakblog.com on August 4, 2013.

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spielberg00
Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer

Disgusting. It isn't funny to be made to feel uncomfortable for other people for 83 minutes unless you have a serious personality flaw.

More
cchclaw
Christian C

Super Reviewer

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan Quotes


Borat Sagdiyev:
You will be my boyfriend.
– Submitted by Brendan C (13 months ago)
Borat Sagdiyev:
May George Bush drink the blood of every man woman and child in Iraq!
– Submitted by Andrew K (2 years ago)
Borat Sagdiyev:
Do your vagjin hang like sleeve of wizard?
– Submitted by Daniel S (2 years ago)
Borat Sagdiyev:
My name-a Borat!
– Submitted by Rachel A (2 years ago)
Borat Sagdiyev:
I want to buy a car with pussy magnet.
– Submitted by Rocky F (2 years ago)
Borat Sagdiyev:
This is Nathalia. [makes out] She's my sister.
– Submitted by Hasan R (2 years ago)

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