All the President's Men Reviews

  • Vicky
    Nov 05, 2019

    Brilliant movie, and the discussion before and after was also wonderful.

    Brilliant movie, and the discussion before and after was also wonderful.

  • Oct 24, 2019

    How funny that two films tackling the direction of journalism in the late 1970s were released in the same year and took completely different stances on the nature of journalists and the reaction of the public to them. This film is earnest and treats journalists as idealistic social justice crusaders who want the public to know the truth while Network (1976) is far more cynical and presents us with ratings-obsessed businessmen who want a good story at any cost. Of the two I must say that I found a lot more to enjoy in Network which despite being a satire felt more realistic and had more to say about journalism. This film presents us with two romanticized figures who are so by the book in their pursuit of the truth that it is hard to believe them as real people in addition to not being drawn in by their false perfection. Adding to this lack of interest was the film's extraordinary length as a story that could have been told in a tidy 100 minutes, thriller elements and all, is stretched out over 138 minutes. All in all a film that will satisfy aspiring journalists hoping to ‘save the world' but for a slightly more cynical viewer they may take agin the phony ideals the film offers. Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward, Robert Redford, and Carl Bernstein, Dustin Hoffman, investigate government corruption in 1972 after the Watergate Hotel is broken into. Woodward uncovers a trail of corruption leading to the White House after discovering that the burglars are connected to former government employee E. Howard Hunt. Using "Deep Throat", a shifty government employee, Woodward is able to verify information and is encouraged to "follow the money" in order to connect the break in to President Nixon. With the help of bookkeeper Judy Hoback Miller, Jane Alexander, they put together a story they can put to print and expose the corruption of the President. The free press clearly have something to offer society as they supposedly provide us with un-biased information on political and social issues that educates us and holds the government accountable. However I do not believe that journalists are actually altruistic in their pursuit of a good lead. They have egos like everybody else and considering the amount of self promotion that Woodward and Bernstein dished out I believe that they knew they were onto something and felt a certain amount of satisfaction at having found a story that would make them famous. None of this is present in the film as our two crusaders are angelic in their commitment and devotion to their work and other than references to Bernstein being a womanizer and Woodward being to uptight they lack humanity. The great journalists in cinema have been flawed, tragic individuals such as J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) who are riveting even as they abuse the ethics of their profession. Seeing two ‘nice' men go about their job while facing very few barriers or challenges was hardly compelling and one would like to see more out of a film featuring Hoffman and Redford. Remarkably the conspiracy they uncover seems less interesting than it should be as although it was a shocking bombshell at the time you never feel the abject horror that the public must have felt in the film. I wanted to be shocked and horrified as I was at the end of The Conversation (1974) but Pakula lacks the ability of Francis Ford Coppola to convey mental turmoil in the minds of characters. When Woodward runs down a darkened street in fear of being attacked by one of Nixon's associates I felt certain that nothing would happen to him and even if he had been beaten I doubt I would care. His ambitions were direct and straightforward, his reactions limited and this meant that even the moments of supposed excitement in the film are not as joyous as they should have been. Were Pakula to explore the idea that journalists are so jaded that they aren't exhilarated by a conspiracy of this scale I could have appreciated the dour, glum tone but instead he plays everything straight faced and that just wasn't enough. If you want a fascinating Pakula directed thriller that manages to explore the emotional struggle of the main character effectively please seek out Klute (1971).

    How funny that two films tackling the direction of journalism in the late 1970s were released in the same year and took completely different stances on the nature of journalists and the reaction of the public to them. This film is earnest and treats journalists as idealistic social justice crusaders who want the public to know the truth while Network (1976) is far more cynical and presents us with ratings-obsessed businessmen who want a good story at any cost. Of the two I must say that I found a lot more to enjoy in Network which despite being a satire felt more realistic and had more to say about journalism. This film presents us with two romanticized figures who are so by the book in their pursuit of the truth that it is hard to believe them as real people in addition to not being drawn in by their false perfection. Adding to this lack of interest was the film's extraordinary length as a story that could have been told in a tidy 100 minutes, thriller elements and all, is stretched out over 138 minutes. All in all a film that will satisfy aspiring journalists hoping to ‘save the world' but for a slightly more cynical viewer they may take agin the phony ideals the film offers. Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward, Robert Redford, and Carl Bernstein, Dustin Hoffman, investigate government corruption in 1972 after the Watergate Hotel is broken into. Woodward uncovers a trail of corruption leading to the White House after discovering that the burglars are connected to former government employee E. Howard Hunt. Using "Deep Throat", a shifty government employee, Woodward is able to verify information and is encouraged to "follow the money" in order to connect the break in to President Nixon. With the help of bookkeeper Judy Hoback Miller, Jane Alexander, they put together a story they can put to print and expose the corruption of the President. The free press clearly have something to offer society as they supposedly provide us with un-biased information on political and social issues that educates us and holds the government accountable. However I do not believe that journalists are actually altruistic in their pursuit of a good lead. They have egos like everybody else and considering the amount of self promotion that Woodward and Bernstein dished out I believe that they knew they were onto something and felt a certain amount of satisfaction at having found a story that would make them famous. None of this is present in the film as our two crusaders are angelic in their commitment and devotion to their work and other than references to Bernstein being a womanizer and Woodward being to uptight they lack humanity. The great journalists in cinema have been flawed, tragic individuals such as J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) who are riveting even as they abuse the ethics of their profession. Seeing two ‘nice' men go about their job while facing very few barriers or challenges was hardly compelling and one would like to see more out of a film featuring Hoffman and Redford. Remarkably the conspiracy they uncover seems less interesting than it should be as although it was a shocking bombshell at the time you never feel the abject horror that the public must have felt in the film. I wanted to be shocked and horrified as I was at the end of The Conversation (1974) but Pakula lacks the ability of Francis Ford Coppola to convey mental turmoil in the minds of characters. When Woodward runs down a darkened street in fear of being attacked by one of Nixon's associates I felt certain that nothing would happen to him and even if he had been beaten I doubt I would care. His ambitions were direct and straightforward, his reactions limited and this meant that even the moments of supposed excitement in the film are not as joyous as they should have been. Were Pakula to explore the idea that journalists are so jaded that they aren't exhilarated by a conspiracy of this scale I could have appreciated the dour, glum tone but instead he plays everything straight faced and that just wasn't enough. If you want a fascinating Pakula directed thriller that manages to explore the emotional struggle of the main character effectively please seek out Klute (1971).

  • Oct 16, 2019

    An exciting film about journalism, based on the true Watergate story.

    An exciting film about journalism, based on the true Watergate story.

  • Sep 30, 2019

    William Goldman's direction in "All the President's Men" stays focused on the Watergate investigation by the Washington Post with impressive technical skill as well as benefits from the power of its two leads (Redford and Hoffman), but we already know the ending so the payoff isn't as satisfying as you'd like from such a significant moment in American politics.

    William Goldman's direction in "All the President's Men" stays focused on the Watergate investigation by the Washington Post with impressive technical skill as well as benefits from the power of its two leads (Redford and Hoffman), but we already know the ending so the payoff isn't as satisfying as you'd like from such a significant moment in American politics.

  • Sep 24, 2019

    A masterclass film anchored by the two leads, especially Redford. Also, Redford directs this film the best possible way you could of. Based on the true story that's clouded with webs and webs of information and motives, this film wonderfully explains all of it with style and excitement

    A masterclass film anchored by the two leads, especially Redford. Also, Redford directs this film the best possible way you could of. Based on the true story that's clouded with webs and webs of information and motives, this film wonderfully explains all of it with style and excitement

  • Aug 30, 2019

    The movie is an accurate representation of how important print media was before the internet came along. Media as information is the root of this movie. The entire movie is a good example of media as information. A majority of it is filmed inside the Washington post office space where journalists are dedicating their life's work to investigating and writing stories for the public.

    The movie is an accurate representation of how important print media was before the internet came along. Media as information is the root of this movie. The entire movie is a good example of media as information. A majority of it is filmed inside the Washington post office space where journalists are dedicating their life's work to investigating and writing stories for the public.

  • Aug 28, 2019

    It's an important story, and everything is done well. It just is slow-paced and could've benefited from more (character) conflict.

    It's an important story, and everything is done well. It just is slow-paced and could've benefited from more (character) conflict.

  • Aug 06, 2019

    All The President's men is a beautifully made, complex, well acted, political thriller. One of the best of the year.

    All The President's men is a beautifully made, complex, well acted, political thriller. One of the best of the year.

  • Aug 03, 2019

    In the beginning, Redford and Pakula said, "let us make the journalistic thriller in our image, in our likeness, so that it may rule over all the theater screens across the country and all the shelves at the Best Buy 'classics' rack, over every wannabe Spielberg pre(?)-make and over every lowly serf that thinks you absolutely need explosions or killings in your movie for it to be any good." "All The President's Men" is just plain ol' cracker-jack storytelling. Though, yes, it most certainly helps that the story in play is already fascinating enough -- and true, to boot -- it also doesn't hurt to have one of the world's greatest screenwriters staging your scene dynamics, drafting up your dialogue, and structuring your overall narrative. Aside from William Goldman's expertly constructed screenplay, this also just so happens to represent Alan J. Pakula putting on an absolute clinic in how to make a seemingly dry movie look incredible. From the dank, expressive corners of a darkened parking structure, to the blindingly bright interiors of the Washington Post's office floor, it all feels expertly staged and shot. Oh, and Redford and Hoffman are pretty damned good as well. Not that that needed clearing up or anything. In the end, "All The President's Men" is an engrossing, beautifully realized story of power, journalistic integrity, and the importance of getting/making things right.

    In the beginning, Redford and Pakula said, "let us make the journalistic thriller in our image, in our likeness, so that it may rule over all the theater screens across the country and all the shelves at the Best Buy 'classics' rack, over every wannabe Spielberg pre(?)-make and over every lowly serf that thinks you absolutely need explosions or killings in your movie for it to be any good." "All The President's Men" is just plain ol' cracker-jack storytelling. Though, yes, it most certainly helps that the story in play is already fascinating enough -- and true, to boot -- it also doesn't hurt to have one of the world's greatest screenwriters staging your scene dynamics, drafting up your dialogue, and structuring your overall narrative. Aside from William Goldman's expertly constructed screenplay, this also just so happens to represent Alan J. Pakula putting on an absolute clinic in how to make a seemingly dry movie look incredible. From the dank, expressive corners of a darkened parking structure, to the blindingly bright interiors of the Washington Post's office floor, it all feels expertly staged and shot. Oh, and Redford and Hoffman are pretty damned good as well. Not that that needed clearing up or anything. In the end, "All The President's Men" is an engrossing, beautifully realized story of power, journalistic integrity, and the importance of getting/making things right.

  • Jul 30, 2019

    A highly-enthralling portrait of one of America's most controversial moments.

    A highly-enthralling portrait of one of America's most controversial moments.