Frost/Nixon Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Charity
CNN.com
October 28, 2014
In its glib and reductionist way, it works like a charm. Or better yet, like television. Which, finally, is a compliment.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
October 28, 2014
You never feel like you're watching a play on film: The way Morgan has opened up the proceedings in his screenplay feels organic under the direction of Ron Howard, who has crafted his finest film yet, and one of the year's best.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
February 8, 2009
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 | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
January 23, 2009
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 | Original Score: 4/6
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 25, 2008
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 | Original Score: 3/4
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Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 25, 2008
Plays often lose their energy when adapted for the screen. But even on the stage, Frost/Nixon had a cinematic dynamism, and Howard has only enhanced that quality.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 16, 2008
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.
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
December 12, 2008
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.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 12, 2008
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.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 12, 2008
An absorbing film replete with telling moments and powerful performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Philip Kennicott
Washington Post
December 12, 2008
It isn't Shakespeare, but it is drama at a level one doesn't often get in movies.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 12, 2008
Despite a cavalcade of talent, Frost/Nixon is a middling thing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 12, 2008
Despite the great care and research that went into the movie, Frost/Nixon pales in comparison to Oliver Stone's Nixon when it comes to humanizing the infamous leader.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
December 12, 2008
When the movie sticks to its central dramatic conflict, it can be spellbinding.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 12, 2008
Both a crackerjack entertainment and a sharp look at the roots, and limitations, of ambition, while stars Frank Langella (Nixon) and Michael Sheen (Frost) put on the year's most provocative and finely tuned display of dueling egos.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 12, 2008
Frost/Nixon is a stylish, smart film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 12, 2008
Despite a moving, canny incarnation of the man by Frank Langella, despite a slickly entertaining coffee-table production as only Ron Howard knows how, the movie feels cooked up. In the name of dramatizing history, Frost/Nixon sacrifices it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 12, 2008
Like Doubt, this week's other stage-to-screen adaptation, director Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon pours old-fashioned theatrical juice into a cinematic bottle and lets the actors drink it up.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 11, 2008
Howard gives it all an appealing, speedy pace, but most important he gives his two lead actors room to create their complicated, showy characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 11, 2008
A must-see for political junkies, history buffs, and folks still fascinated by the paranoia-fueled follies of the twitchy, sweaty, decidedly uncharismatic 37th president.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 11, 2008
Nixon lands his blows, Frost counters. And Ron Howard? He gets the decision, but it's just a decision on points.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 11, 2008
The film begins as a fascinating inside look at the TV news business and then tightens into a spellbinding thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 11, 2008
Howard keeps the pace brisk, light when it needs to be, heavy when that's called for. Along with Langella, he turns Frost/Nixon into one of the most entertaining history lessons imaginable.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
December 8, 2008
Langella inhabits the pouchy skin of the man he's playing, until soon any meaningful distinction between actor and subject disappears.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 8, 2008
It's a smart and entertaining show, and it harks back to a time when politics and television were still feeling each other out, looking for an opening, a knockout punch.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 5, 2008
What Ron Howard gets, to a degree that's astonishing in a two-hour film, is the density and complexity, as well as the generous entertainment quotient, of Peter Morgan's screenplay.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 5, 2008
That this much drama can be wrung out of the Frost/Nixon conversations is no small achievement.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
December 5, 2008
Taking its cues from Rocky rather than All the President's Men, [Peter] Morgan's compact, satisfying drama presents presidential interviewing as a gladiatorial event.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 5, 2008
Whatever problems Nixon might have with Nixon/Frost, Langella's magnetic performance would probably bring a smile to Tricky Dick's famously perspiration-dappled face.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 5, 2008
This is Langella's show, and he makes the movie his own without using a single dirty trick.
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 5, 2008
Shakespeare would have delighted in the chapter, especially in the antagonist, but not at the expense of the longer and darker and still-unfinished book.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
December 5, 2008
It wasn't really Frost who did Nixon in: It was Nixon's old nemesis, the TV camera — that unblinking eye, capturing every bead of perspiration, every nervous shift of posture ...
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 5, 2008
Howard has made a picture for grown-ups, a well-constructed entertainment that neither talks down to its audience nor congratulates it just for showing up.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 5, 2008
The sheer fun of Frost/Nixon -- and fun is the right word -- is not only in watching these men in collision. It's also in watching them together, in the same frame, as two contrasting aspects of humanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 5, 2008
A film version of a play about two talking heads. Please. It shouldn't work at all. But it does work, spectacularly, as a matter of fact.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
December 4, 2008
It's twinkle versus glower in the big-screen edition of Peter Morgan's theatrical smackdown Frost/Nixon.
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
December 4, 2008
Frost/Nixon finds an intriguing new angle on one of history's most documented and fascinating figures.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
December 4, 2008
Sheen and Langella originated their respective roles in the play, and it's clear why Langella won a Tony for his.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 3, 2008
Howard and Morgan have transformed this story into something more than an embellished re-telling of recent history. They have shaped a tragedy that is almost Shakespearean in force
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 3, 2008
Frost/Nixon surges with an energy and visual verve that improve the play and enhance the themes of dramatist Peter Morgan's script.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
December 3, 2008
To luxuriate in Langella's magnificent performance -- as a man unable to small-talk, unable to pet a dachshund convincingly, who can feel only privately -- is to appreciate how movies can ennoble even the worst of us.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/6
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
December 3, 2008
With the awards season swirling around us, Mr. Langella and Mr. Sheen will be hard to overlook when all the prizes are dispensed.
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
December 3, 2008
Frost/Nixon's main attraction is neither its topicality nor its historical value, but Langella's re-creation of his Tony-winning performance.
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
December 2, 2008
A terrific film.
Top Critic
Ben Lyons
At the Movies
December 2, 2008
I thought Ron Howard did a wonderful job.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
December 1, 2008
One of the virtues of Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard's adaptation of Peter Morgan's hit play, is that it brings the intelligence back to the forefront without dispelling the elements of menace and fraudulence that were also part of Nixon's temperament.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 1, 2008
Frost/Nixon is unsatisfying even if, like me, you're a lifelong aficionado of Nixon-bashing.
Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
December 1, 2008
On Broadway, Peter Morgan's Frost/Nixon made for a deliciously smart and dramatic mano a mano. The surprising news is that Frost/Nixon works even better on screen.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
October 16, 2008
Less a political movie than a boxing film without the gloves.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
October 16, 2008
Although it all pays off in a potent and revelatory final act rife with insights into the psychology and calculations of power players, the initial stretch is rather dry and prosaic.