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Bulworth (1998)

tomatometer

75

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 65
Fresh: 49 | Rotten: 16

Star and director Beatty's ambitious take on race and politics in 20th-century America isn't perfect, but manages to provide more than its share of thought-provoking laughs.

75

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 3

Star and director Beatty's ambitious take on race and politics in 20th-century America isn't perfect, but manages to provide more than its share of thought-provoking laughs.

audience

68

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 20,169

My Rating

Movie Info

Warren Beatty directed, co-produced (with Pieter Jan Brugge), co-scripted (with Jeremy Pikser), and stars in this political satire, a comedy drama about a U.S. senator who decides to start speaking the truth. Despondent California senator Jay Bulworth (Beatty), up for re-election, is disillusioned by the usual campaign banalities; his marriage to Constance (Christine Baranski) seems equally hollow. In the midst of a nervous breakdown, Bulworth goes without sleep or food for three days and takes

R,

Drama, Romance, Comedy

Jeremy Pikser, Warren Beatty

Mar 16, 1999

20th Century Fox

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All Critics (66) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (49) | Rotten (16) | DVD (7)

It's a sharp, brave movie, a little ragged around the edges, but that's to its advantage.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What gives Bulworth its unique character is that all this silliness is periodically punctuated by cogent, carefully thought-out mini-manifestos...

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bulworth works, with both urbanity and chutzpah, by viewing political puppeteering with an all-purpose jaundiced eye.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As writer, director and star, Beatty flails all over the screen, but he's also made the only recent political satire that draws blood.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A shrewd political observer for decades, Beatty has fashioned a hilarious morality tale that delivers a surprisingly potent, angry message beneath the laughs.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bulworth is an angry movie, but Beatty is savvy enough to recognize that people respond better to comedies than serious "issue films," so he has camouflaged his message beneath the surface of this original, incisive satire.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This charming, Capraesque political fable demonstrates the viability of Warren Beatty as writer, director and star; it's his last decent film.

September 23, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Smug but fun political satire for adults only.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Manages to courageously and seriously address political issues head-on while remaining a funny and entertaining romp.

April 2, 2009 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

A liberal call to action -- a satire driven by equal parts disgust and hope.

August 11, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Beatty is a very shielded actor, but he shrewdly finds ways to work within his limitations, and Bulworth is a tour-de-force for him.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Jaw-droppingly abysmal. Seldom has a major star embarrassed himself so badly.

February 16, 2006
FulvueDrive-in.com

While the ending is predictable and unsatisfying, the political issues that the film raises (racism, et. al) are worthy of further discussion.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

one of the hardest-hitting and unblinkingly brave political satires to hit American screens since "Dr. Strangelove."

August 30, 2005 Full Review
Critics Inc./America Online

A middling funny film with a good, if silly, performance by Warren Beatty, and not much more.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

An effective satire that deserves recommendation.

July 29, 2004 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Beatty's contribution to the ranks of recent political satire is bold, merciless and frequently very funny, and his performance is just plain fearless.

July 30, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

sometimes ambitious failures are more interesting to watch than modest successes, and, though "Bulworth" may offend... it's unlikely to bore anyone.

July 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Warren Beatty is wonderfully wacky here.

May 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Blather
Film Blather

The plot is clever. The acting is genuine.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

Bulworth epitomizes the sort of film that gets lots of points for ambition and concept but fails in practice to live up to its own audaciously stated potential.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Bulworth is Warren Beatty's most passionate work since Reds -- provocative, vulgar, heartfelt and pretty darn funny.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

... Bulworth is the product of an interesting engaged intelligence operating at or near peak capacity

July 31, 2002 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

What begins as a promising, potentially brilliant political satire fast degenerates into yet another celebrity soapbox...

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Warren Beatty's brave, if ramshackle, political farce tackles the dirty business of racial inequality and corporate greed with the tenacity of a pit bull.

March 24, 2002 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Audience Reviews for Bulworth

I missed this in the cinema and have wanted to see it ever since. Suspicions that it wasn't very good appeared when I saw it was showing on free channel Movie Mix - the home of bad movies. Intelligent and witty satire based comedy aimed at modern politics - check! Ruining every intelligent element by telling the same joke over and over again even though it wasn't very funny the first time - check! Accidentally stereotyping black people in a negative way even though it is supposed to be standing up for said black people - check! This film made me cringe like no other. I think people have rated this highly based on what it could have been rather than what it is. The message is lost in a horrible lead performance, racist stereotyping and bad writing. The bad directing, editing and total lack of continuity doesn't help much either. This my friends, is not satire!
November 5, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

A decent social/political satire.
November 29, 2010
Tomassgringo

Super Reviewer

One of my all time favorite movies ever. Engaging characters, great humor, and poignant political satire (if you listening closely to Warren Beatty's raps).
September 13, 2010
jarobb3

Super Reviewer

Simultaneously very silly and poignant. It's like Chris Rock or Robin Williams trying to make a satirical, humorous political film, only it came out much sooner.

A great cast and crew, but it seems just a bit too stereotypical for a movie so bent on destroying stereotypes.
January 21, 2008
djdemersseman

Super Reviewer

    1. Jay Bulworth: What we used to call America, that going down the drains.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Jay Bulworth: We got a club. Right? Republicans, Democrats, what's the difference? Your guys, my guys, our guys, us guys. It's a club.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Nina: The power of a media that's continually controlled by fewer and fewer people, add to that monopoly of the media , a consumer culture that that's based on self-gratification, and you're not likely to have a population that wants leadership that calls for self-sacrifice.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Jay Bulworth: Now over here we have our friends in oil they don't give a shit how much wilderness is spoiled. They tell us that they're careful, we know that it's a lie, As long as we keep driving cars, they let the planet die.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Jay Bulworth: Taxpayers, taxpayers take in the rear.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Jay Bulworth: Now people got their problems, the haves and the have-nots, but the ones that make me listen pay for thirty second spots.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
View all quotes (8)

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