Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story (2008)


Critic Consensus: Boogie Man is a complex, absorbing study of the contradictory life and times of architect of modern smear politics.


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Movie Info

"Boogie Man" is a comprehensive look at Lee Atwater, the blues-playing rogue whose rambunctious rise from the South to Chairman of the GOP made him a household name. He mentored Karl Rove and George W. Bush and played a crucial role in the elections of Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He wrote the Republican Party's winning playbook which the McCain campaign is currently using.

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Critic Reviews for Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (16)

Fascinating to a political junkie like me who wasn't aware of the game back then.

Dec 30, 2008

Director Stefan Forbes has assembled a brilliantly complex portrait that shines an unnerving light on the man who painted the landscape of contemporary American politics.

Nov 10, 2008 | Full Review…

By the end of Forbes' brisk, economical portrait, Atwater has been revealed as a repugnant and pathetic soul--and a political visionary, among the first to fully understand and harness the raw power of voters' fears.

Oct 31, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Conventional but absorbing.

Oct 30, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

Stricken with brain cancer in 1990, Atwater renounced his Machiavellian ways, but as Forbes points out, his legacy lives on in his eager proteges Karl Rove and George W. Bush.

Oct 30, 2008 | Full Review…

Boogie Man is a fascinating portrait of an almost likable rogue.

Oct 30, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story

It tells its story in a way you might expect, but it has a few fascinating moments where even Atwater's most ardent defenders of his political tactics in Republican campaigns still decry him as a vicious monster capable of anything. It might even be fair to say that they only liked him because he was on their side.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

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