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Frost/Nixon (2008)


Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 220
Fresh: 202
Rotten: 18

Critics Consensus: Frost/Nixon is weighty and eloquent; a cross between a boxing match and a ballet with Oscar worthy performances.

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 43
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: Frost/Nixon is weighty and eloquent; a cross between a boxing match and a ballet with Oscar worthy performances.


Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 108,523


Movie Info

Hollywood heavyweight Ron Howard adapts playwright Peter Morgan's West End hit for the silver screen with this feature focusing on the 1977 television interviews between journalist David Frost (Michael Sheen) and former president Richard Nixon (Frank Langella). At the time Nixon sat down with Frost to discuss the sordid details that ultimately derailed his presidency, it had been three years since the former commander in chief had been forced out of office. The Watergate scandal was still fresh … More

R (for some language)
Directed By:
Written By:
Peter Morgan
In Theaters:
Apr 21, 2009
Box Office:
Universal Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Frost/Nixon

All Critics (224) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (202) | Rotten (18) | DVD (13)

Nixon is infinitely more complex than George W. Bush, which is probably why this one slice of his life is more intriguing than "W," which covers decades.

Full Review… | February 8, 2009
Top Critic

The outcome isn't half as conflicted as you might imagine, though it's hard to argue that Howard brings anything new to Morgan's play.

Full Review… | January 23, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

All this makes for great entertainment on the big screen, though the real legacy of the Nixon interviews is more vexing than Morgan would have us understand.

Full Review… | December 25, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The result is involving, engrossing cinema -- more thrilling, in fact, than Howard's The Da Vinci Code -- filmmaking of a type rarely seen anymore and sorely missed.

Full Review… | December 16, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

This is the irony of Frost/Nixon: Though it chronicles the moment when (in theory) the 37th president of the United States was cut down to size, the movie's presentation of him is utterly larger than life.

Full Review… | December 12, 2008
The New Republic
Top Critic

Langella is not a natural Nixon; he has a voluptuary's face and a self-assurance the president only dreamed of. So he burrows into Nixon and comes out with a figure who is less a simulacrum than the definitive interpretation.

Full Review… | December 12, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Who would have thought in a year of epic hero/villain pairings, a British talk show host and a disgraced American president would have provided the most riveting?

Full Review… | October 21, 2014

As a historical document, it's a bit of a crock, and an overinflation of a relatively minor event. But as entertainment, it's cotton candy.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

Langella completely drives this film and he's amazing.

Full Review… | September 26, 2012
Lyles' Movie Files

David Frost wasn't Richard Nixon's foe so much as that camera's red light, which Ron Howard films as futuristic, robotic and destructive from Nixon's vantage point. What audiences deduce from one shot can imprint how an entire era is interpreted.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010

The sparring, the research, the failed strategies, and the returns for more elicit an image of boxing more than anything else; while "two men in shorts punch each other until one cannot continue" is also dry on paper, in practice it is much more visceral

Full Review… | December 15, 2009

Howard can't, as someone mentions in the film, distinguish between a performer and a journalist

Full Review… | August 26, 2009


Full Review… | August 2, 2009

Entertaining and provocative...a satisfying intellectual bout. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | May 25, 2009
Groucho Reviews

... Plays like an epic tragedy and is nothing short of riveting.

Full Review… | May 15, 2009
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Clearly the work of a mature filmmaker, one with the patience and self confidence to make a smart film whose success is largely in the hands of its talented cast.

Full Review… | April 22, 2009
Apollo Guide

Peter Morgan's play about the behind-the-scenes research, negotiation and fundraising that produced the Frost-Nixon interviews may not sound like natural-born movie material...But the talk is choice, and the film... is mesmerizing.

Full Review… | March 2, 2009
Miss FlickChick

The history lesson is a nice bonus, but it's the art and the acting that give the film its power and resonance.

Full Review… | March 1, 2009

The director of Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind serves up a merely pleasing, vaguely edifying tale of penitence and redemption, or something like that.

Full Review… | February 18, 2009

Estupendo cine sobre periodismo y política, que logra fascinar con sus entretelones de una entrevista crucial que es presentada casi como si fuera una pelea de boxeo.

Full Review… | February 16, 2009
Uruguay Total

Even though we know the outcome, once again the magic works for Ron Howard and a fine cast of actors.

Full Review… | February 5, 2009
Laramie Movie Scope

Frost/Nixon provides an enjoyable history lesson for some and triggers memories of a tumultuous period in American history for others.

Full Review… | February 5, 2009
Atlantic City Weekly

Ron Howard has the benefit of being able to structure the film's entire second act around close-ups, which allows his two fine leading actors to convey the smallest details of emotional turmoil

Full Review… | February 4, 2009
Q Network Film Desk

Langella, of course, warrants the attention paid.

Full Review… | February 3, 2009

Brisk and intense, with Howard and company rising to the challenge of recreating the infamous 1977 television interview David Frost scored with disgraced former U.S. president, Richard M. Nixon.

Full Review… | February 2, 2009
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Audience Reviews for Frost/Nixon



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


NIce piece of history and a powerful performance by Langella portraying Dick Nixon

Spencer Macklin
Spencer Macklin

Super Reviewer

When watching films based on true events, my propensity for doubting what I see on screen is instantly heightened. The main thing that I found suspect was the extent to which Nixon was constructed as a villain. During the film he is shown to be deceptive, racist, lecherous and a man unashamedly motivated by money. The film does add favourable depth to the character in places, making the viewer pity him in some respects, but generally Nixon doesn't fare well at all. I don't know enough about the man to accurately comment on the film's portrayal of him, however I did find the characterisation somewhat dubious.

Furthermore, upon researching the interviews, I read that David Frost's experience was different to what's seen in the film. According to his partner Caroline Cushing, he didn't fret endlessly over his performances with Nixon, he was quite content with each of the interviews.

So, like many films 'inspired by true events', the film takes liberties with the facts. However this doesn't matter to the viewer, the artistic licence makes for a great piece of dramatisation. The film is quite a gruelling experience; the pressure in and out of the interviews is intense. For a film that concerns conversations, it is quite remarkable how compelling and uncomfortable it is. The wars of words and mind games are more engrossing than any boxing match in 'Raging Bull' or 'The Fighter'.

The film's chief merit lies in its performances. Martin Sheen sounds and even looks exactly like David Frost, it is quite uncanny. And whilst not meeting the likeliness achieved by Sheen, Frank Langella is equally as captivating as Nixon. Also, Kevin Bacon gives a good, typical Kevin Bacon performance as Jack Brennan, the officious aide to the President.

Frost/Nixon is a taut, entertaining dramatisation with strong performances and an accomplished period aura.

Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer


Ron Howard's strength as a director is telling true historical tales with a drama that is lost in history books. Langella's performance is solid. Sheen's performance may be the best I've seen from him to date.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

Frost/Nixon Quotes

David Frost:
Are you really saying the President can do something illegal?
Richard Nixon:
I'm saying that when the President does it, it's *not* illegal!
David Frost:
I'm sorry?
– Submitted by Raghu P (2 years ago)
Jack Brennan:
The third part of the interview will be titled, 'Nixon, the Man.'
Richard Nixon:
As opposed to what, 'Nixon, the Horse?'
– Submitted by Jason D (2 years ago)
David Frost:
Are you really saying the President can do something illegal?
Richard Nixon:
I'm saying that when the President does it, it's *not* illegal!
David Frost:
I'm sorry?
– Submitted by Alejandro O (3 years ago)

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