Dead Presidents - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dead Presidents Reviews

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Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
March 26, 2009
Dead Presidents may eventually box itself into a narrative dead end, but its muscular engagement of weighty themes and explosive situations makes it a powerful drama.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 31, 2009
The intense and excessive climactic set piece caper scene is the only true highlight in a superficial film.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Film Threat
July 10, 2007
Platoon lite with a bitter ending that doesn't work in its favor...
| Original Score: 2/5
Emanuel Levy
June 20, 2006
Significant as both history and film art, this gloomy tale has no "convenient" villains and refuses to indulge in stereotypes, instead focusing on larger forces, such as racism and political apathy.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic

Time Out
January 26, 2006
There are intriguing aspects to this yarn, and the brothers can choreograph a scene, but you get the impression that they learned all they know from other movies, the blood and guts is gratuitous...
Michael Dequina
January 13, 2004
Excellent performances, a great soundtrack, and the Hughes' technical virtuosity make it worth a look.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Dragan Antulov
September 23, 2003
Talent of Hughes brothers deserves viewer's attention even when their results don't meet such high standards.
Full Review| Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Caryn James
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Like those overreaching sophomore term papers we can all laugh at now, this disappointing film may free the Hughes brothers to move on to fresher, more inspired work.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle
June 18, 2002
It's an overly ambitious effort that strains to work as a coming-of-age drama, a 1960s period piece and a searing comment on the way African American GIs went largely unappreciated for their war efforts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Pat Kramer
Boxoffice Magazine
June 5, 2002
Unfortunately, the filmmakers were overzealous in trying to cover a variety of issues, leaving the story choppy and without resolution in places.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
April 17, 2002
All directors experience a "second-movie slump," and as far as slumps go, this one is more than honorable.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 12, 2001
What emerges is an uneasy blend of didacticism and juiced-up bloodletting (the brothers don't know when to stop with the exploding squibs) that bury the film's message and its good intentions.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 13, 2001
Made with fluid skill and a passion for storytelling, its tale of how the Vietnam War and American society affect a black Marine remains accessible while confounding expectations.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
January 1, 2000
People of any color can sympathize with the plight of Anthony Curtis and understand, if not agree with, the eventual choices life forces him to make.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Here is a film that feels incomplete, as if its last step is into thin air. Scene by scene you feel its skill, but you leave the theater wondering about the meaning of it all.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Hal Hinson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Dead Presidents is like a shotgun blast in the face: It's that powerful, that lethal, that ugly.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Unfortunately, the story manages to be intense (and very bloody), heartfelt and superficial, all at the same time.
Cynthia Fuchs
Philadelphia City Paper
January 1, 2000
A film that is both tightly focused -- on one man's experience in Vietnam and the South Bronx in the late '60s and early '70s -- and broadly resonant.
Madeleine Williams
January 1, 2000
The movie makes its point, and continues to hit you over the head with it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Joey O'Bryan
Austin Chronicle
January 1, 2000
The Hughes Brothers' ambition is admirable, but, as with their main character, ambition gets the better of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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