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The Last King of Scotland (2006)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 181
Fresh: 157 | Rotten: 24

Forest Whitaker's performance as real-life megalomaniac dictator Idi Amin powers this fictionalized political thriller, a blunt and brutal tale about power and corruption.


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 46
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 6

Forest Whitaker's performance as real-life megalomaniac dictator Idi Amin powers this fictionalized political thriller, a blunt and brutal tale about power and corruption.



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 256,071

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Kevin MacDonald teams with screenwriter Jeremy Brock to adapt Giles Foden's novel detailing the brutal reign of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin as seen through the eyes of his personal physician. James McAvoy stars as the doctor who slowly realizes that he is trapped in an inescapable nightmare, and Forest Whitaker assumes the role of the notorious despot. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi




Peter Morgan, Jeremy Brock

Apr 17, 2007


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All Critics (185) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (157) | Rotten (24) | DVD (30)

Having cut his teeth on documentaries, Kevin Macdonald acts as if a shaky-cam aesthetic alone is enough to fuel dramatic tension.

February 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Whitaker and Mr. McAvoy head a first-rate cast that helps The Last King of Scotland to illuminate one of the many dark chapters in recent African history.

November 29, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If this genius turn by Whitaker (he starred in Bird and The Crying Game) doesn't earn an Oscar nomination, then those little statues will lose what little meaning they have.

November 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whitaker's dedicated, nuanced performance is excellent and lifts the film from some unsteady early moments.

October 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

See the movie for Whitaker alone: He's possessed by evil and possesses it wholly, rendering the film (and everyone in it) his plaything.

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A good movie elevated by Whitaker's pitch-perfect performance.

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Captivating hyper-realism, a taut political thriller, and the performance of the year.

November 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine Australasia
Empire Magazine Australasia

The Last King Of Scotland will no doubt be picking up an armful of gongs come award season, and rightly so; it's not only lovingly shot and acted, but it evolves into one of the best thrillers of recent memory too.

November 3, 2012 Full Review Source:

Pit stop for white liberal guilt and neocolonial pillaging

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion | Comment (1)

Whitaker pulls off a spectacular thespian coup that has Oscar-winner stamped all over it.

June 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Its ultimate effect is that of shallow self-congratulation.

April 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Projection Booth | Comments (2)
Projection Booth

Whitaker portrays Amin as funny, vulnerable, tender and enigmatic -- all without ever letting us forget he was a maniacal monster.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

film postaje daleko mra%u010Dniji nego %u0161to su to njegovi autori imali u plan

June 22, 2007 Full Review Source:

it's Whitaker that kept the film alive when everyone was handing him Best Actor statuettes

June 5, 2007 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

...Whitaker's superb work remains the highlight of an otherwise routine effort.

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

Historical fantasy rules in Hollywood's Africa.

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

It's a deconstruction of Idi Amin's persona, played with such dedication by Whitaker the surrounding narrative feels without purpose.

March 15, 2007 Full Review

There is surprise in Whitaker's step, with a curtain of menace running beneath it. His is one of the fiercest, least predictable performances of 2006, so fully on edge that he becomes the movie's edge.

March 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

The four highly diverse leads are uniformly excellent.

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

Whitaker brings us close to Amin, yet he never allows us to actually become comfortable around the man. His Amin is capricious and unpredictable, a personality that can seem volcanic one moment and vulnerable a few minutes later.

February 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

La película vale la pena sobre todo por la imponente actuación de Forest Whitaker, igualmente encantador o amenazante en la piel de uno de los dictadores más sanguinarios de África.

February 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Two terrific performances cap this interesting historical perspective on ruthless dictator Idi Amin.

February 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Whitaker's incendiary and incandescent performance dominates this movie as much as Helen Mirren's performance defines The Queen.

February 5, 2007 Full Review
Atlantic City Weekly

Exalando um carisma mais do que apropriado ao personagem, [Forest Whitaker] busca seduzir não apenas Nicholas, mas também o espectador.

February 4, 2007
Cinema em Cena

Whitaker's riveting and deserved Oscar-nominated performance pretty much dominates -- almost to the point of overpowering -- this fictionalized drama, based on Giles Foden's novel.

February 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for The Last King of Scotland

Forest Whitaker's performance here is truly all it's cracked up to me, and he masters the bipolar switches from terrifying to charming that dictators like Amin are often known for. And as regards the story, it's a bit predictable, but the plot keeps twisting and the action is generally steady, the stakes always high; the point of view of the outsider who's been let in (Amin's personal doctor, played by James McAvoy) is a great one from which to tell the story. Fine, competent film-making, but elevated to rarefied air by the quality of the leading man's performance; Whitaker puts what could be a ho-hum movie on his back and carries it. Great stuff.
January 19, 2014

Super Reviewer

Ugandan dictator Idi Amin was portrayed as a funny, charismatic and tender guy, but he never let us forget that he was a maniacal monster. This is a brutal political thriller about power and corruption. The film shows the lengths at one will go for power and money and the persuasion of the population to believe in something that does not exist. The Last King of Scotland is brilliantly acted by Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy and is almost worth seeing for the performances alone.
July 14, 2011
Raymond Wieser

Super Reviewer

Based on the experiences of a young Scottish doctor who becomes the unlikely confidante of brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, this film is quite even-handed in it's representation of the two main characters. Whitaker was fully deserving of his Oscar and McAvoy looking for the world like a young Ewan McGregor, it's easy to see how a young hedonist who sees Africa as an adventure playground of life experience would fall for the personal charm and charisma of Amin, while completely insulated from the atrocities he was committing in the outside world. I would have liked to have seen more of the context in which the story was situated, as the audience sees only glimpses of Amin's crimes as Garrigan does so the film does not have the weight it could have. As such it's a very well made and entertaining personal story, but it lacks the real punch of something like The Killing Fields.
June 12, 2011
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

    1. Idi Amin: Look at you. Is there one thing you have done that is good? Did you think this was all a game? 'I will go to Africa and I will play the white man with the natives.' Is that what you thought? We are not a game, Nicholas. We are real. This room here, it is real. I think your death will be the first real thing that has happened to you.
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Idi Amin: I am the father of this nation, Nicholas. And you have most... grossly... offended your father.
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Idi Amin: [to crowd at rally] I know who you are and what you are. I am you!
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Idi Amin: I want you to tell me what to do.
    2. Nicholas Garrigan: You want ME to tell YOU what to do?
    3. Idi Amin: Yes, you are my advisor. You are the only one I can trust in here. You should have told me not to throw the Asians out, in the first place.
    4. Nicholas Garrigan: I DID!
    5. Idi Amin: But you did not persuade me, Nicholas. You did not persuade me!
    – Submitted by Taylor W (2 years ago)
    1. Dr. Junju: Tell the world the truth about Amin. They will believe you, you're a white man.
    – Submitted by Nhayelli A (2 years ago)
    1. Idi Amin: They take you to a tree and hang you by your skin. Each time you scream the evil comes out of you. Sometimes, it can take three days for your evil to be spent. Pull him up.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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Foreign Titles

  • Der letzte König von Schottland - In den Fängen der Macht (DE)
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