Horns and Halos (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Horns and Halos (2002)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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 Bush was arrested for cocaine possession in 1972, but the Bush family exerted political pressure to have the incident wiped from the records. Alarmed by the controversy the book had generated as well as revelations about Hatfield's past which cast suspicions on his credibility (including the fact he was a convicted felon), St. Martin's buckled under pressure (some allegedly exerted by the Bush family and their legal team) and recalled the book. After Fortunate Son disappeared from shelves, Sander Hicks, a young political activist and punk rock singer, approached Hatfield with a proposal to reissue the book through his small leftist publishing company, Soft Skull Press. Horns and Halos is a documentary which examines the controversy over the book but places its main focus on two major players in this story -- Hicks, whose energetic idealism doesn't always mask his naïveté or his endless self-promotion, and Hatfield, a kind but troubled man whose ambition and desire for literary success, coupled with a desire to tell an important but controversial story, proves to be his undoing. Horns and Halos was named Best Documentary Feature at the 2002 New York Underground Film Festival.


Critic Reviews for Horns and Halos

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (12)

A spry documentary that makes the most of two compelling characters.

Full Review… | July 31, 2003
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

To their credit, Hawley and Galinsky show that there are plenty of horns and halos to go around.

July 25, 2003
Denver Post
Top Critic

A compelling documentary.

Full Review… | July 19, 2003
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Unexpectedly moving documentary.

Full Review… | July 16, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | July 11, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Horns and Halos benefits from serendipity but also reminds us of our own responsibility to question what is told as the truth.

June 28, 2003
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Horns and Halos

Remarkably non-partisan, this examination of truth in an age of mass media sneaks up on you as a snarky underdog story before ultimately turning to an unspeakably tragic conclusion.

Brian Mann
Brian Mann

Smartly made and amazingly honest documentary of a small publishing company's attempt to publish a tell-all book about a pre-presidential George W. Watching what unfolds in this story is sometimes quite heart wrenching.

Generoso Fierro
Generoso Fierro

While it was at times boring it was wonderful to watch the characters progress through out the film.

Ryan Tupy
Ryan Tupy

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