Head of State - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Head of State Reviews

Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 10, 2003
A missed opportunity.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
April 1, 2003
It's pretty much a toothless dog.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 31, 2003
... 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.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 29, 2003
As a TV sitcom pilot, Head of State might have potential, but, on a multiplex screen, the execution (if not the premise) is thin.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
March 28, 2003
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.
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
March 28, 2003
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.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 28, 2003
It's fast and funny and easily the smartest thing Rock has done in a long while.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 28, 2003
It's mostly just bland and occasionally embarrassing.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 28, 2003
A pleasing and occasionally very funny movie that maintains a mild but consistent hold on its audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
March 28, 2003
[Rock] and Bernie Mac ... provide a furious combination of stylistically different but equally effective jabs at the status quo.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
March 28, 2003
It hits easy targets with broad swipes, and its simple message is the same as Disney kiddie fare: Be yourself.
| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 28, 2003
Ascends to caustic comic outrage every so often and is dopily amusing the rest of the time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 28, 2003
It's difficult not to be dismayed by the script's predictable jokes and cliched thinking.
| Original Score: D+
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 28, 2003
What it does wrong is hard to miss, but what it does right is hard to find: it makes an angry and fairly timely comic attack on an electoral system where candidates don't say what they really think but simply repeat safe centrist banalities.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 28, 2003
Based on Rock's awkward performances, it's anybody's guess why DreamWorks thought the comic was remotely ready to step behind the camera.
| Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 28, 2003
Now safe is commendable in a car or a household appliance, but it doesn't measure up in a comedy. Safe just isn't funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 27, 2003
A political comedy that refuses to address a single real political topic.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 27, 2003
Chris Rock was busy directing, producing, co-writing and starring in this light comedy. Given his hilarious stand-up routines, one wishes he had spent a little more time on the script.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
March 27, 2003
Rock can't set up a decent-looking shot, and he doesn't care about niceties such as character development and all that narrative downtime in between jokes. But he nonetheless wrings biting humor from serious issues.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
March 27, 2003
The low points are dull, cliché-bound, even amateurish. But the high points are razor-sharp and fearlessly funny -- a hip-hop feel with a punk edge.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
March 27, 2003
What might work as an election-year stand-up routine is a lame duck on screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
March 27, 2003
Funny despite its dated premise.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
March 27, 2003
What's the point of making a comedy about the first black presidential candidate if you're not going to use it as a springboard for something more sharply satirical than this picture's bland, populist sentiments?
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
March 27, 2003
Actor-screenwriter- director Chris Rock makes the kind of movies that Chris Rock the standup comedian slashes and burns in his live routines.
Top Critic
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
March 27, 2003
Lacks zip, both in terms of its execution and conception.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 27, 2003
Rock is too smart to make this kind of so-so dumb movie.
| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 26, 2003
Does right by Rock, both as a performer and as a director.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Variety
March 26, 2003
It's a retrograde affair, wallowing in the mustiest racial and political stereotypes.
Top Critic
Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
March 24, 2003
A distinct disappointment coming from a comedian whose stand-up work is so sharp, funny and relevant.