All The King's Men Reviews

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October 30, 2006
What should have been an incisive study of the American political scene turns out a lumbering celluloid white elephant.
October 28, 2006
A Louisiana swamp of overacting and muddled plotlines sinks this cumbersome new version of Robert Penn Warren's political thriller.
October 26, 2006
The film isn't dreadful: it is just generally disappointing.
October 24, 2006
It's a typical politician's tale -- all talk and no action.
September 25, 2006
The director can't seem to find a natural rhythm for the movie -- it's portentous and vague at the same time.
September 22, 2006
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.
September 22, 2006
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.
September 22, 2006
All the King's Men is full of bits that work; unfortunately, they never quite add up to a whole.
September 22, 2006
It has a labored feel. The editing is choppy, allowing little of the film to flow naturally.
September 22, 2006
All the King's Men is the noblest kind of film failure -- high-minded, literary, cautionary, well-cast and pretty well-acted.
September 22, 2006
Crawford showed us a man who sold his soul to do good and then, soulless, found himself incapable of resisting evil; Penn gives us a smart actor tearing into an awards-baiting role.
September 22, 2006
[It] isn't going to win any awards for Law, a frantically hamming Penn or anyone else involved.
September 22, 2006
Failures on the scale of writer-director Steven Zaillian's All the King's Men are as rare as falling sequoias, and they make a noise even if no one's in the woods to hear them.
September 22, 2006
It's the kind of picture that is so eager to celebrate its self-importance and social significance, it suffocates under its own seriousness.
September 22, 2006
It's too full of itself; it's too convinced of its own value to be much of any to audiences.
September 22, 2006
Sean Penn's work here is so mesmerizing, so intense, so guaranteed to put him front and centre when Oscar reads out the nominees, as to almost obscure the multiple failings of the misguided movie around it.
September 22, 2006
Ungainly and bloated with an unearned sense of self-importance, All the King's Men is nevertheless worth watching for Sean Penn's mesmerizing performance as a corrupt politician who exults in his own dirty ways.
September 22, 2006
[Zaillian] has made a movie about monsters, not men, and in 2006, it's the men we most need to fear.
September 22, 2006
All the King's Men is obviously a movie that has been so rejiggered and downsized, in length and intelligence, that its guiding principles have been sacrificed to the marketplace -- a fate not unlike that of its blustery antihero.
September 22, 2006
Instead of bringing this story to bustling, brilliant life, Zaillian and company make it feel as if it belongs behind a glass case in some museum.
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