Horns and Halos (2002)
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 28
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 5
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Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 401
In 1999, as George W. Bush's bid for the presidency was gaining momentum, free-lance writer J.H. Hatfield contracted with St. Martin's Press to write a biography of the Texas governor and son of former U.S. President George Bush. When St. Martin's published Hatfield's book, entitled Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President, it gained overnight media attention for its allegation (supported by unnamed sources later revealed to be insiders in the Bush campaign) that
Jun 1, 2002 Wide
Oct 5, 2004
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To their credit, Hawley and Galinsky show that there are plenty of horns and halos to go around.
Effective in presenting its portraits of these two men, Hatfield so depressed, Hicks so optimistic, but it's not successful at getting to the bottom of the cocaine charges.
Horns and Halos benefits from serendipity but also reminds us of our own responsibility to question what is told as the truth.
An acute demonstration of the failure today of traditional media to give us a story in its entirety...
Interesting, but in an era of truly great documentaries no more than that.
If this was just a documentary about the book, it wouldn't be nearly as effective - it works because of the human-interest aspects of the story.
Filling but ultimately not terribly substantive. A summary abridgment of the scandal and fallout over Fortunate Son that doesn't draw any lasting conclusions of its own or, indeed, ask its watchers to do too much heavy mental lifting either.
It suggests the wide-ranging effects of media manipulation, from the kind of reporting that is done by the supposedly liberal media ... to the intimate and ultimately tragic heartache of maverick individuals like Hatfield and Hicks.
A fine effort, an interesting topic, some intriguing characters and a sad ending. Certainly the big finish wasn't something Galinsky and Hawley could have planned for... but part of being a good documentarian is being there when the rope snaps.
There aren't many conclusive answers in the film, but there is an interesting story of pointed personalities, courage, tragedy and the little guys vs. the big guys.
Hatfield and Hicks make the oddest of couples, and in this sense the movie becomes a study of the gambles of the publishing world, offering a case study that exists apart from all the movie's political ramifications.
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