All The King's Men - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

All The King's Men Reviews

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½ March 17, 2014
This film aims to be an epic, but ends up epic-ly miscast. Sean Penn is too angry to play Huey Long. He gets the accent right (surprisingly) but misses the charm. James Galdofini as Tiny Duffy? Ugh. Duffy was supposed to be a sycophantic lick-spittle. It just does not work. Jude Law as Jack Burden? Sean Penn should have taken the Burden role. Jude Law is way too pretty and not cynical enough. Both female leads were also woefully miscast. Plus .. Mark Ruffalo as Adam Stanton? WTH?
December 29, 2013
Brilliantly acted, political drama that sadly falls short of its promise.
½ December 24, 2013
Very good remake but the original is better in my opinion. Both films are great for teaching students about corruption and fraud in politics, and the tendency of even well-intended politicians to become corrupted by power.
November 18, 2013
Forgot how much I love this movie. I guess it's my love of history especially southern history. Sean Penn is excellent.
November 17, 2013
the actual story of huey long is much more fascinating.
½ October 30, 2013
Not terrible, but one familiar flaw in particular - does quite a bit of damage here. Most of the key decisions that these characters make - are presented much more so as twists and plot points, than prisms through which to study character and situation. Too bad, because Penn was as ready to work here as ever.
October 16, 2013
I just don't get it why people are critically agressive with this movie.. oh you know what ? I find it terrific.. Penn's performance was fantastic.. I have to admit i was so impressed.. the entire staff did a great job.. there is some dark points in the movie we don't know so much about it like the judge's death but this is alright the movie still a great one.. I watched it 2 times and I'm about to watch it again.. Penn's speaches are historical !!
September 21, 2013
lots of good a great actors just cant save some movies. I liked sean penn's performance despite the reviews. It just has no rhythm, maybe a couple months with a great editor could have fixed it.
September 18, 2013
It's a political drama and it's all about Sean Penn. He delivers a very powerful acting performance in this one. Others do justice to their role as well but movie wise not strong enough script to make an impression.
August 12, 2013
Good movie - I love politics AND Tony Soprano is in it
July 13, 2013
Not as good as the 5 stars I've given it.........but nowhere near as bad as the 1 star ROTTE TOMATOES has given it !

Probably the truth [ as always ] is somewhere in between.
½ May 13, 2013
Promises more than it delivers. Plodding direction and serious miscasting. Sean Penn is still great as always though.
½ May 9, 2013
Malgré un très beau casting, dont un Sean Penn excellent, le tout manque de lyrisme et est souvent plat.
April 30, 2013
It's a top notch casting job, but the movie itself just drags at times and doesn't really bring anything new to the table. It's pretty predictable, but I don't think it's awful (as a lot of critics have said)
April 21, 2013
Despite the low ratings, I enjoyed this film. Great cast, based on the life of controversial Louisiana Governor Huey Long during prohibition times. Rent it.
April 20, 2013
Interesting. Vividly portrays the corruption of politics and the greed of business. Fine portrayals by all actors.
April 11, 2013
HAH I KNEW IT. I just only now in 2013 saw this movie because it must have disappeared from the theaters and the popular conciousness (sp) so fast I never even heard of it. But since I just LOVED this movie so much, I had to come back to this rotten stinking tomato site just to reaffirm the incomprehensible taste of the general public - which effing sucks by the way - the same public which raved about that retarded Game Plan movie or whatever that was the critics darling of 2013. Just goes to show how little I thought of the movie in that I can't even remember the name of it each time I rail at someone who tells me how great that movie is. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH EVERYONE. Someone PLEASE direct me to a site where I can rely on the reviews of people who actually having some fucking SENSE when it comes to movies.
March 31, 2013
Where do I begin? Let it be known that I do not hate this film. It is the opposite, I do love this film. The story is gold. However, when I first saw it, I saw what Rotten Tomatoes saw, 'a lack of coherent storytelling', however, after I read a review stating that this needs your full blown attention, I immediately watched it again and I loved it. Given the subject matter; a politician who goes corrupt, it's hardly a film you put on just to look at. I was a little naive when watching this for the first time. You SHOULD be paying attention when you watch this. Unless, you put on something like Taken, just to look at, which in that case, you were probably never going to watch this anyway.

Sean Penn, like usual, totally immerses himself in his character, accent n all. If critics and audiences alike paid enough attention to it, he would have been nominated for another Oscar, it's what he and everyone else was going for. His portrayal of an innocent man of the people turned corrupt is diabolically convincing and the transition is gradual which also adds to the villainy, he is the star of the show for these reasons, he is also very loud and grand with his character. The other characters are more subdued in their performances, Law plays the reporter with class and Hopkins is a lot of fun, but they are very quiet vocally and personality wise, which is what bothered most people. Like I said, they're subdued performances and there's nothing wrong with that, but with Penn's bellowing Stark, he is the star of it.

The films dark and gritty look helps convey it's themes and Starks lack of ethics, the fantastic musical score by Horner is a memorable one and one of my favorites.

I still wonder what caused Zallian to pick up this material in the first place. It would always have been compared to the original, which won 3 Oscars, topping it would have been something near impossible. He aims high, but ultimately misses for most people. I'm not ignorant to it's faults, no matter how much I may like it, the story is told in such a profoundly confusing complicated way. However, it is totally impenetrable. The best way I can describe it is, imagine you were in a school class and you zoned out for about 20 minutes, when you start to pay attention again, you're able to pick up bits and pieces but not enough to know what everyone else knows. It's not for everyone, but it's for me and it's one of my favorite movies. Let me end the review with a quote from the film to sum it up perfectly.

'Its like a noise you hear but it isn't fully clear enough, you don't listen to it, so you forget it.'
½ March 31, 2013
Populism...very actual.
March 7, 2013
Based on a 1946 novel by Robert Penn Warren, the story centers on "Willie Stark" (Sean Penn), a man whose strong ability to make speeches helps win him the Louisiana Governor's race.

We see the story through the eyes of newspaper reporter "Jack Burden", who leaves his job to work for "Stark". Through him, we see the changes in "Stark", who lets power to get to his head. "Burden" in fact turns into a detective as he looks into the dealings of a judge.

There are some strong performances in this film. Penn is really good, especially where he is delivering speeches. Not every performance is perfect however. There were times that I thought scenes lagged because of the performances.

In fact, the movie frequently lags. I found myself paying more attention to message boards on the Internet more than watching the movie. I also had trouble listening to the thick Louisiana accents used nearly perfectly by the cast. Sometimes I would misunderstand a word or two and try to figure out what was being said because of the thickness of some of the accents used.

One thing that helps this movie is that it is shot on location in various places in Louisiana. In fact, cinematography is a strong point in this film. There is one scene in the climax of the movie that goes nicely from full-color to black and white, which I thought was a bit odd when it was happening. But, because of what happens in the black and white part of the scene, I can pretty much see why it was done. There was some good use with cameras used in this movie.

As to the authenticity of the 1930's look of the movie. It looks like they nailed it pretty much. Even the automobiles and media's cameras looked as if they came from the 1930's, which is when this movie is set.

I also thought the soundtrack was pretty forgettable. Not one piece of music stands out in this movie.

Personally, I can only recommend this as something to watch on HBO or another movie network on a rainy day when nothing is on. If you like good performances and/or good cinematography, then you can check this one out. However, I wouldn't put it in the Top 10 of your "Must See" List.
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