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Death of a President (2006)

tomatometer

37

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 100
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 63

In this unconvincing fictional documentary, the tense 30 minutes that lead into the title event is outweighed by the boring, melodramatic hour preceding it.

28

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 26

In this unconvincing fictional documentary, the tense 30 minutes that lead into the title event is outweighed by the boring, melodramatic hour preceding it.

audience

58

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 12,209

My Rating

Movie Info

The assassination of the most powerful leader in the free world is examined in this controversial mockumentary from British filmmaker Gabriel Range. On October 19, 2007, president George W. Bush is visiting Chicago when he impulsively stops to shake hands with supporters en route to a meeting, while a throng of protesters demonstrate nearby. Shots ring out, and Bush is fatally wounded. As America and its allies deal with the tragic loss of their leader, vice president Dick Cheney is sworn in as

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Simon Finch, Gabriel Range

Apr 3, 2007

$0.2M

Newmarket Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (104) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (63) | DVD (12)

What's missing is shapeliness, suspense, narrative cunning, visual flair -- in short, art. Are we really to believe that a network of the future would broadcast such a barbiturate?

October 30, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just as the ducks get lined up in a row and we're ready for the movie to reveal its true purpose -- Political satire? Paranoid dystopian fantasy? Apologia for the Bush administration? -- we suddenly realize it has none.

October 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Every thinking person should see Death of a President.

October 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Death of a President is thought-provoking, but as much for 'how'd they do that?' as for its ideas.

October 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even people who think George W. Bush is the worst American-made disaster since President James Buchanan will have no trouble recognizing Death of a President for the lousy thing it is.

October 27, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The fact of the Bush years far outdoes Range's dull fiction. The only thing that shook me was the idea of Cheney as president. Now that is the stuff of nightmares.

October 27, 2006
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Easily the year's most useless picture

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Despite the audacious title and premise, Range doesn't aim to shock, but to unnerve

July 2, 2009 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly
I.E. Weekly

Beyond the feigned controversy stirred up by neocon zealots, "Death of a President" is nothing more than a high concept political hypothesis film that signals the futility of presidential assassination.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

It is at least slick with technique -- or with a synthesis of techniques.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Without directly confronting the behaviors and attitudes associated with its theory, the movie leaves us with uncertainty, vacillation, and worst of all, emptiness.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

The talking head interviews and other elements make for an intelligent analysis of our reactions and prejudices about such a situation. A must see.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

...even the extras are unconvincing...

June 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

OK, so, it's got balls and technical skills, but is it anything more than a stunt? Yes, yes it is.

March 29, 2007 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

There is little of the fall of the Twin Towers trauma, but much of All the President's Men here. That this film's buzz has launched such vitriol and condemnation is not surprising. Range's film exposes wider audiences to some basic truths of our times.

March 27, 2007 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

Bush weepie takes all sides and none.

March 21, 2007 Full Review Source: WBAI Web Radio
WBAI Web Radio

It's hard to imagine anyone without a political agenda who can walk away from this serious, sober and impeccably respectful film and get agitated about it on its merits.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

As a piece of filmmaking, Death of a President is edgy and fresh, superbly realised and satisfying in its ambition to pass as a powerful documentary about an event that shook the world.

February 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

It's not art, it's not a serious discussion, it's not a film based in irony or metaphor -- Death of a President is merely a marketing ploy that's big on shock value and short on ideas.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Zertinet Movies
Zertinet Movies

So long as you think it's okay to depict a realistic-looking assassination of a sitting president via doctored news footage, then you're likely to enjoy this intriguing whodunit in which George Bush is blown away by one of his fed-up detractors.

December 29, 2006 Full Review Source: EURWeb
EURWeb

"Death of a President" is generally a sobering film that not only dares to think the unthinkable, but encourages its audience, no matter what their political leans, to stop and think as well.

November 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

The movie does highlight the ways that news and commercial images shape public perception.

November 25, 2006 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Despite being heavy-handed and pretentious, and never providing a satisfying conclusion, Gabriel Range's fake-umentary "Death of a President" is nevertheless brilliant in its conception and execution.

November 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Sympatico.ca

Accomplished and visually persuasive, but the movie's central conceit remains something of a stunt...

November 6, 2006
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

It is indeed ironic that a film that is often so good at making one suspend their disbelief still can't generate a true emotional response in the end. Despite its shortcomings, Death of a President is an interesting and provocative work that merits

November 2, 2006 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

[The director] has expertly interwoven real and simulated footage to make a film that looks convincing, but it amounts to little more than a clever editing exercise.

November 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Audience Reviews for Death of a President

Overall, it was just too much to be enjoyed. Arab suspect, war protesters... just too unimaginative. Now, the use of real footage of Bush and Chaney was interesting in my trying to figure out of that was just public domain material or what. How they used real people, that I am sure did not cooperate in the making of the movie, was the most interesting aspect of this movie.
November 6, 2010
Tomassgringo

Super Reviewer

Death of a President is a fake documentary, not a mockumentary, dealing with a President George W. Bush assassination situation. It has received multiple awards from various film festivals, but I fail to really see why. It can't be because of the highly political topic can it? Anyway, this film also has the R-rating. I assume this R-rating stems from the politics and racism because it sure isn't from the language and violence.Does this film feel like a documentary? Yes, it does. Many different elements come together to create a realistic TV special report. That also means the bore factor for most people will be high. Not even the George W. Bush assassination is enough to keep the interest level up, but yes this is probably the part of the film that most people will be waiting for. It doesn't happen in the beginning either, which is what many will believe. The film actually takes the time to explain the events that lead up to the assassination and then go on to tell the story of the investigation that follows. In that sense, the flow is nicely done.The acting is pretty believable, but other than the fact that you know this is a false documentary, there is still that little something that indicates that the interviewees are actors. Another good aspect of the film is that there are a few characters that speak Arabic. What would an assassination film be without terrorism right? Anyway, Hend Ayoub is the most believable actress in this entire picture.While Death of a President does have an interesting premise, unless you like politics and 90 minute CNN specials, this will not entertain you.
August 31, 2008
skactopus
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

This movie is SO interesting. The format is a dead-on copy of the contemporary historical documentary I've seen so much of, and the interviewees craft such intricate and nuanced characters. Underneath this brilliant examination of post 9/11 American culture lies a really engaging story. Bush himself is peripheral and his assassination is really just the backdrop for a much more personal narrative. This "documentary" is really something special.
March 23, 2008
MidnightMadwoman

Super Reviewer

Nice piece of speculative fiction, but it would have been better had the filmmakers actually had an agenda. As it is, it comes off as just a reflection of how corrupt the system is - as if we need reminding?
July 30, 2007
nuheart
Steve B.

Super Reviewer

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