All The King's Men (2006)
Critic Consensus: With a scenery-chewing performance from Sean Penn, an absence of political insight, and an overall lack of narrative cohesiveness, these Men give Oscar bait a bad name.
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Critic Reviews for All The King's Men
What should have been an incisive study of the American political scene turns out a lumbering celluloid white elephant.
The film isn't dreadful: it is just generally disappointing.
The director can't seem to find a natural rhythm for the movie -- it's portentous and vague at the same time.
All the King's Men was suspended in editing limbo for nearly a year, and the final result only makes the mind reel at what it could have been carved from.
It's Zaillian's overdirection that cooks this whole mess into a flavorless gumbo. He never shows you something just once when he could show it twice and never leaves a point unhammered home.
Audience Reviews for All The King's Men
I know I might be in the minority, but I loved every minute of this. The acting was terrific and it was a perfect neo-noir story. I liked the idea of seeing the complete corruption of an innately good person and the following of him by journalist Jack Burden.
All of the talent but none of the substance would be a good way to describe this film.
"Time brings all things to light." The legacy of a populist Southern politician whose lofty ambitions for the future leave him open to corruption and scandal is detailed as author Robert Penn Warren's thinly veiled portrait of Depression-era Louisiana governor Huey Long comes to the screen -- again -- this time courtesy of director and screenwriter Steven Zaillian. Willie Stark (Sean Penn) is a man of the people, and for the people; at least that's what he tells the people. Propelled into a race for governor by opposing forces looking to split the "hick vote," Stark is convinced by a handler -- as well as by young journalist Jack Burden (Jude Law) -- to not kowtow to the powers that be. His rhetoric grows fiery, and he makes his way into office on a not-so-solid foundation of social-service promises. When idealism gives way to the harsh realities of the time, however, the fast-talking politico is quick to discover just how far one can fall when ambition and power lead to a betrayal of one's original motivations. Kate Winslet, Patricia Clarkson, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins round out an all-star cast in this second version of Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 novel; the first won a parade of Oscars after its release in 1949. Review While this movie did contain a startling amount bad film clichés, including a "dark man in the shadows" bit, I think that the actors were about the only thing that made this film watchable. Penn was a bit over the top as Willie Stark, but it felt somewhat fitting, especially because he went more over the top as the character's mania increased. Jude Law, while exceedingly pretty, fit the character of the struggling debutante fairly well. Patricia Clarkson as Saide Burke far outshone the rest of the cast, and was really the only one that pulled off convincingly a Louisiana accent. Mark Ruffalo was underused and far out shown his traditional romantic comedy characters. There were parts of the movie that were distracting to the plot. The movie was overly melodramatic along with most of the music, which was at times distracting. James Gandolfini acted well but his accent was terrible. Kate Winslet was the least convincing of all cast members and often looked out of place. Worst of all, perhaps, is that the "morals" of the movie were so obvious and yet with the heaviness of the movie you felt empty for not achieving some deeper level of understanding.
All The King's Men Quotes
|Willie Stark:||(repeated line) Nail 'em up!|
|Willie Stark:||Nail 'em up!|
|Sadie Burke:||The world is full of sluts on skates.|
|Jack Burden:||To find somethin', anything, a great truth or a lost pair of glasses, you must first believe there would be some advantage in findin' it. I found somethin' a long time ago, and have held on to it for grim death ever since. I owe my success in life to it; it put me where I am today. This principle: what you don't know, won't hurt you. They called it idealism in a book I read.|
|Willie Stark:||They fooled you one thousand times, just like they fooled me. But this time, I'll fool somebody. I'll stay in this race. I'm on my own and out for blood. Listen to me, you hicks! Lift up your eyes and look at God's blessed and uniflown truth. This is the truth! You're a hick himself. Listen to me, listen to me! They were gonna use me to split the vote. But I'm standin' here now on my hind legs. Even a dog can learn to do that. Are you standin' on your hind legs? Have you learned that yet? Here it is, you hicks! Nail up anybody who stands in your way. Nail up Joe Harrison! Nail up McMurphy! If they don't deliver, give me the hammer and I'll do it. I want his throat cut from ear to ear.|
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