Bulworth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bulworth Reviews

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½ October 1, 2016
One of Beatty's best characters ever in a clever comedy with sharp humor, satire and bite. It's also very entertaining. One of the best of 1998.
½ September 3, 2016
Political satire is not my cup of tea but somehow Warren Beatty makes this comedy taste good.
½ August 31, 2016
Holy crap, what a great movie. Such a shame it's so little-known. Warren Beatty ought to make more films. I mean, Bulworth is kind of a mess, but it's a film about a man, specifically a politician, at the end of his rope. Senator Jay Bulworth has had enough, and he cracks up in a very public way. Trouble is, instead of simply losing his mind he commits the cardinal sin of American politics: he tells the unvarnished truth. The results are interesting, and not as entirely predictable as you might assume. There are problems with the film, but they're outweighed by the inspiration. Beatty turns in great performances both before and behind the camera, and the audacity of this film to tackle race issues in such a bold and unforgiving (if not entirely successful) way is commendable in itself. On top of all this you have cinematography from the great Vittorio Storaro and a music score consisting of equal parts classic hip-hop and a grand turn from Ennio Fucking Morricone, and you have the makings of a near-masterpiece. Watch Bulworth if you want to see an intelligent, honest film about American politics, made by an American with, it must be said, balls the size Mount Everest. Great, disturbing, prescient stuff here, on the order of Dr Strangelove and Network. SEE THIS MOVIE NOW.
½ July 31, 2016
"Be a Spirit! Not a Ghost!"
½ June 24, 2016
"Bulworth" is a political comedy that lies somewhere between clever and absurdity (but closer to absurdity). The concept is clever: a suicidal politician is beyond caring about the fašade required to gain campaign contributions and to win an election, so he becomes truthful in the most politically incorrect ways possible. The cast list also indicates greatness with Warren Beatty and Halle Berry in the starring roles, as well as Oliver Platt, Don Cheadle, and Larry King in supporting roles. However, there is a disconnect between the expectation and the execution. From "Bonnie and Clyde" to "Dick Tracy," I approach Beatty's films with a high expectation. His name frequently appears on the Oscar ballot from a directing and acting standpoint, but he doesn't generally get there by dressing up in gangster clothes and rapping during a political debate. I know that anything usually goes in a comedy but if I listed half of the things that happen in this movie, you would dismiss it immediately. I believe that a combination of comedy and drama could have made this film believable while exploring the concept in a lighthearted way. Instead, the story is over the top, we feel no empathy towards the characters, and the story feels like the same gag over and over again. I absolutely disagree with its Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The script works against the story, sacrificing intellectual satire in favor of relentless profanity. The rapping was a comical plot device and I understand that there are parts of the story that require strong language to make the content believable; however, the language was often unnecessary and I longed for a momentary break. Whether it is an impassioned political interview or the background music in the club, this movie is a never ending stream of f-words. Profanity with the sole intention of creating shock value never resonates well with me and, even though this film has some interesting moments, the profanity is the only thing that will stick with me. Even though the critics liked it, I am not surprised that Beatty hasn't directed a film since this one wrapped nearly 20 years ago. Watching him rap about politics feels like watching his acting career and Bulworth's political career both reaching a symbolic level of absurdity. I suppose that many people "get" this film in a way that I don't, but "Bulworth" seems like a waste of talent and a waste of time.
May 22, 2016
When it's not being scathingly hilarious, it's being profoundly-thought provoking.
May 14, 2016
Relevant then. Even more so now. This just goes to show how aware people were of the broken political system in the '90s and how little (meaning nothing) was done to fix it in the following 18 years... and counting. There seems to be a lot of issues with Beatty's approach. It's intended to be a black comedy. The awkwardness of Beatty rapping and integrating himself in the black culture only strengthens the satire.
February 10, 2016
Great political satire. Average movie. Re-watched it this election season and felt like it was more relevant than ever
February 6, 2016
Brave and prescient!
January 12, 2016
A comedy with few laughs and writing in the middle
½ December 4, 2015
This was absolutely painful to sit through. Seeing Warren Beatty try to act all 'hood' had to be one of the most stupidest moments in cinematic history. Nope nope nope, a thousand times nope.
October 27, 2015
A cookie-cutter politician finally has had enough, and rises from the establishment expectation and speaks his mind by using an irreverent, slightly vulgar, down-with-the people style of rhetoric. Whoa, is this the Donald Trump story? Or maybe it's the Bernie Sanders story? Bulworth was a shock-wave of a movie back in 1998, when American politics weren't straying far from it's disingenuous roots. Between the Clintons and the Bushes, it was as phony as ever. But today, Bulworth is more timely than it has ever been. Every politician right now is doing 'the Bulworth", even the creepily calculated Hillary Clinton. Art is imitating life once again. What was once a spit of fire in a quiet room has become a political revolution. On all accounts, this movie has every right to seem as excellent as I'm making it sound. But despite it's Nostradamus effect in terms of politics, everything else about it is dated. Warren Beatty does a decent job, but I can't really buy him as the rapping politician. He sounds like the granny from The Wedding Singer. He can't hang. The stereotypes of South Central LA are also in full force here, despite it's attempts at humanizing the community. Oh yes, the divide between classes and races is as big as they've ever been at this very moment, but the sophistication of the conversation has changed dramatically. It's a lot more complex now than 1998 had it, and so, to that extent, it's dated. The writing as a whole also loses it's edge slightly after an hour in, and becomes a series of romantic, political-drama conventions. I have to say, though, the very beginning and very end of the movie are fantastic.
½ October 2, 2015
Such an awesome movie
September 26, 2015
This is the story of a senator who decides to tell the truth about politics and the big money contributors who control both major political parties. The movie makes valid and truthful criticisms of the current system, that have yet to change. Starring Warren Beatty, with Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Jack Warden and Paul Sorvino.
September 6, 2015
There is an idea here. The idea might sustain a short movie and better writing.
Super Reviewer
½ September 2, 2015
Pretty run of the mill crap. I think Beatty was going for a big message and instead he just embarrasses himself. The whole Beatty-Halle Berry romance seems contrived and a bit gross. Bulworth whimpers while he thinks he is roaring.
August 24, 2015
it was ok not the best
July 24, 2015
Ah, the days when a white rapping president was the craziest thing ever
July 20, 2015
Bulworth is an odd trip. It's incredibly conflicted on whether to be a silly political comedy with the rapping senator gag and whatnot and then it really wants to be a social commentary, using a musical genre to display messages of racial injustice and its social status.
Senator Jay Billington Bulworth is running for Senatorial reelection but the same old song and dance has him desiring death, plotting for a hitman to kill him. He eventually finds himself living life to the fullest (in a way), taking on rapping in his speeches and becoming one in the African-American community, falling for a young activist who is secretly plotting to kill him herself.
Bulworth is a fun but forgettable ride. Like I mentioned before, it's really split on its main message that the high position Senator is rapping and doing all sorts of silly stuff and then it's somewhat used as a message for racial injustice, this is really noticable in an interview scene where Bulworth raps to a reporter about some lower class issues his peers brought up with him. Politically, it's respectable but a little absurd. Beatty is great as Bulworth but as a director he's iffy. Bulworth also has trouble deciding on who to appeal to, it forgets it's still a political comedy at points. There's nothing super memorable about it, it's an odd trip while it lasted.
½ July 3, 2015
definitely dark and at times preachy but it works, is funny, and is thought provoking
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