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Going Upriver - The Long War of John Kerry (2004)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 83
Fresh: 74 | Rotten: 9

Interesting and revealing footage of both Kerry and the Vietnam era in general.

88

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 4

Interesting and revealing footage of both Kerry and the Vietnam era in general.

audience

65

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 984

My Rating

Movie Info

Douglas Brinkley's best-selling novel Tour of Duty follows 2004 presidential hopeful John Kerry's years in Vietnam and goes on to illustrate his contribution to peace advocacy groups after being honorably discharged from the Navy. Both of these events, according to George Butler, Tour of Duty director and long-time friend of Senator Kerry, had a profound impact on the politician's personal ideologies, and provided the foundation for Kerry's career. Kerry, who hired Butler as his press secretary

Oct 19, 2004

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All Critics (91) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (74) | Rotten (9) | DVD (1)

This should be revelatory to most people -- but most people will probably never see Mr. Butler's film, and certainly none of those who consider George W. Bush as next to God.

October 14, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the most moving things for me was seeing that some of the high-ranking politicians really did recognize that, hey, we need to meet with these young men and hear what they have to say and that footage is amazing stuff.

October 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Butler is on record as a close friend of Kerry's, but he's also a well-respected documentarian, who introduced Arnold Schwarzenegger to America in Pumping Iron and chronicled the heroism of Ernest Shackleton in The Endurance.

October 7, 2004 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Filmgoers in the mood for one more go-round will be fascinated by this documentary by George Butler.

October 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It underscores, with ample footage from his rallying speeches and his 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, just how important it was for the antiwar movement to be represented by someone like Kerry.

October 6, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

compelling story without fancy gimmicks and trickery

August 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

It's too bad that Kerry's likely to lose the upcoming election, because this type of hagiography would be far better in the unlikely event that Mr. "Wartime" President is going to be defeated.

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

...even Kerry fans might be made wistful... Where has that young man gone? Whatever happened to him?

January 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Going Upriver is lucky enough to have at its disposal a genuinely charismatic figure whose sense of his own citizenship is rigorous, questioning, and articulate.

November 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

It's only OK as a movie, but it's a fantastic political ad.

October 31, 2004 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

Butler's film may do little to change the outcome of the election, but anyone who questions Kerry's convictions should see Going Upriver before casting their vote.

October 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

There's an innocence, a purity in intention ... that one rarely sees in a documentary.

October 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Las Vegas Mercury
Las Vegas Mercury

It's not angry or loud; it hopes that the truth spoken at a moderate level is stronger than lies trumpeted on national television.

October 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

A serious, often very moving portrait of the effect the Vietnam War had on the nation and particularly those who served in it.

October 12, 2004 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Butler's style is lot like Kerry's: analytic, deliberate, a bit plodding, but always with his eyes on the prize.

October 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

We can only wish all candidates for such high office could match or even come close to the standards of qualification set by Kerry.

October 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

[I]t will leave you with questions you'll be asking long after the November election.

October 8, 2004 Full Review

Brinkley has done his homework, and the evidence is on the screen.

October 8, 2004
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com

Audience Reviews for Going Upriver - The Long War of John Kerry

One of those films that has a short shelf life. Interest in Kerry goes up in 2004 and disappears soon thereafter. I found it and it is pretty good biopic of a rapidly fading public figure.
January 20, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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