Head of State (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Head of State (2003)

Head of State (2003)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Head of State squanders its potentially ripe premise with watered-down satire and formulaic gags.

Head of State Photos

Movie Info

Mays Gilliam, a Washington D.C. neighborhood Alderman, is about to be redlined out of his job. But after the untimely death of the party frontrunner, Gilliam is plucked from obscurity, and thrust into the limelight as his party's nominee--for President of the United States. The players in Gilliam's life include: Mitch Gilliam, his unsophisticated older brother who becomes his running mate; Kim, his ex-girlfriend who had once dumped him, but who now has a sudden change of heart as she sees a chance at becoming First Lady; Martin Geller, his campaign manager; Lisa Clark, the woman who truly believes in Gilliam; and Debra Lassiter, the woman who doesn't have faith in his candidacy, and is serving as his reluctant advisor.

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Cast

Chris Rock
as Mays Gilliam
Bernie Mac
as Mitch Gilliam
Dylan Baker
as Martin Geller
Nick Searcy
as Brian Lewis
Lynn Whitfield
as Debra Lassiter
Tamala Jones
as Lisa Clark
James Rebhorn
as Senator Bill Arnot
Keith David
as Bernard Cooper
Tracy Morgan
as Meat Man
Nate Dogg
as Himself
Angie Mattson
as Nate's Girl
Ron Harris
as Himself
Elizabeth Johnson
as Nate's Girl
Tony Head
as Brad Harper
Brian James
as B.G. James
Jeff Jarrett
as Himself
John Badila
as General Olson James
Ron Killings
as Himself
Ed Wheeler
as Mr. Hawkins
Gammy Singer
as Miss Pearl
Ned Eisenberg
as Mike Blake
Reg E. Cathey
as Officer Waters
Brad Marshall
as Demolition Man
Mario Joyner
as Lotto Man
Don Neal
as Senator
Beau James
as Senator
Doug Roberts
as Senator
Charles Able
as Charlie
Raymond Clark
as Mays Decoy
Mark Zeisler
as 1st Fundraiser Issue Guy
Pat Moran
as 1st Fundraiser Issue Woman
Tad Ohta
as Asian Man
Brad Strange
as French Man
Clarke Peters
as Fundraiser Demo-Tape Man
Delaney Williams
as Teamster No. 1
Wes Johnson
as Teamster No. 2
Madeline DeVan
as Singing Lady
Deborah S. Smith
as Singing Lady
Victoria Chapman
as Singing Lady
John Hall
as Hip Hop Dancer
Robin L. Hall
as Hip Hop Dancer
Barbara Suto
as Hip Hop Dancer
Thomas Bevans
as Hip Hop Dancer
Helaine Fonda
as Hip Hop Dancer
Sharon Savoy
as Hip Hop Dancer
David Savoy
as Hip Hop Dancer
Terry Chasteen
as Hip Hop Dancer
Robert J. Norman
as Hip Hop Dancer
Ann Haynsworth
as Hip Hop Dancer
James R. Bergdahl
as Hip Hop Dancer
Linda Kenyon
as Screaming Woman
Alan Chadsey
as Falling Man
Irving Jacobs
as 1st Fundraising Party Goer
Norman Seltzer
as 1st Fundraiser Husband
Patsy Grady Abrams
as 1st Fundraiser Wife
Ashton Marks
as Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Michael Munford
as Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Michael Marceau
as Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Akira Otsuka
as Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Bob Perilla
as Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Cornell D. Thomas
as Muhammad Muhammad Muhammad
Lee E. Cox
as Players Ball Pimp
Jeremy Borash
as Wrestling Announcer
Marcel Marceau
as Bob Perilla's Big Hillbilly Bluegrass Band
Michael Ahl
as Klansman
Annika Pergament
as Cable Anchorwoman
Gwendolyn Mulamba
as 2nd Fundraiser Issue Woman
Mike Hodge
as 2nd Fundraiser Issue Man
Gustave Johnson
as Chester Allen
Kevin Witt
as Secret Service Agent
Brenna McDonough
as School Reporter
Cory Rosemeier
as Helicopter Pilot
Donald Neal
as Senator
David DeBoy
as Police Chief
Caitlin Ray
as Little Girl
Kate Guyton
as Foot Lady
Lucy Newman-Williams
as Train Station Reporter
James Tingle
as Talk Show Host
Ivan Scott
as Talk Show Host
Doris E. McMillon
as Talk Show Host
Sloane Brown
as Roadside Reporter
Lois Kelso Hunt
as Lewis' Mother
Novella Nelson
as Moderator
Nancy Ding
as Voter on Street
John F. Degen
as Voter on Street
H. Reneé
as Voter on Street
James G. Pasierb
as Voter on Street
Leanne Saunders
as Old Woman Transit Rider
Ali Leroi
as Crazy Hostile Dreadlock Voter
Camille J. Thomas
as Super Whore Drill Instructor
Sade Baderinwa
as Transit Reporter
Jimmy Tingle
as Talk Show Host
Leeanna Saunders
as Old Woman Transit Rider
Peter Puglisi
as California Screamer
Marilyn Getas
as National Anchor
R. Bruce Elliott
as National Anchor
Tony Harris
as Local Anchor
Jennifer Gilbert
as Local Anchor
Donna Hamilton
as Regional Anchor
Funkmaster Flex
as Inaugural Ball Announcer
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News & Interviews for Head of State

Critic Reviews for Head of State

All Critics (118) | Top Critics (29)

A missed opportunity.

April 10, 2003 | Rating: 2/4
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

It's pretty much a toothless dog.

April 1, 2003
Village Voice
Top Critic

... I liked this premise in movies like Dave, or the Eddie Murphy movie The Distinguished Gentleman, where the unknown or the underdog becomes the candidate or even the president, but this is so poorly done.

March 31, 2003
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

As a TV sitcom pilot, Head of State might have potential, but, on a multiplex screen, the execution (if not the premise) is thin.

March 29, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
ReelViews
Top Critic

Not the sharpest political humor I've ever heard, but it gets my vote for the stupidest fun I've had in a long time.

March 28, 2003 | Full Review…
Washington Post
Top Critic

Though the comedy falls short of a debacle -- which is what such egocentric projects tend to be -- it isn't as sharp, fast or funny as Rock's stand-up routines.

March 28, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Head of State

This is a very funny satire of our political system and of black culture with the general premise being a black man is chosen to run for president by a white establishment that assumes he'll lose. Chris Rock plays Mays Gilliam, an alderman who finds himself running for President of The United States after the original presidential candidate dies in a plane crash two months before the election. Obviously, he is being set up to lose, but (of course) begins winning over the people and ultimately taking control of his fixed campaign with his street smart unorthodox methods. Bernie Mac plays Alderman's bail bondsman brother turned vice president running mate providing laughter with his rough and rumble ways. Robin Givens plays Gilliam's stalker ex-girlfriend.

Deb S
Deb S

Super Reviewer

Foreshadowing. Most Chris Rock-lead movies are terrible, this one is his best.

Lenny Muggsy
Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

I'm so glad the studios ended up trusting Chris Rock to direct a movie. Man, he should run for President. Although he crosses the surrealism line a little too often for my tastes, this movie was a hilarious indictment of phoniness in American politicians. I have a little souvenir "Crib Malt Liquor" bottle in my room.

Emily Armstrong
Emily Armstrong

Super Reviewer

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