The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara Reviews

December 18, 2017
Although Errol Morris's film takes us through the nasty dramas behind various wars, few of McNamara's clarifications come as a surprise.
April 6, 2004
An engrossing and illuminating documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
March 16, 2004
For those of my generation, the true resonance in the film may be in the constant juxtaposition between the then and the now of the McNamara life.
February 27, 2004
Mesmerizing documentary.
Read More | Original Score: A-
February 27, 2004
What's genuinely suspenseful about the movie is its journey into the heart and mind of McNamara.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
February 27, 2004
A provocative case study in power and the powerful.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 26, 2004
Fascinating documentary about Robert S. McNamara.
Read More | Original Score: A
February 13, 2004
An insanely timely cautionary tale about American omniscience and the fallible belief that rationality will always win out.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 12, 2004
McNamara, a robust conversationalist, is so lively that he bursts out of what is essentially a talking-head documentary.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 6, 2004
Disturbing.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
February 6, 2004
A stethoscope on the heartbeat of history.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
February 6, 2004
Essentially McNamara's version of himself through history, and he is such a persuasive figure.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
February 5, 2004
[Morris] gave him a stage -- and Mr. McNamara took it -- to chart the tragedy of Vietnam and prove that war is too complex, too dangerous for fallible human beings in power to know what they're doing.
Full Review | Original Score: A
February 5, 2004
Offers a fascinating history lesson -- and one you'll probably never read in any book.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
February 5, 2004
The interviews were filmed a year before the war in Iraq. That so many of McNamara's lessons have come into play imbue The Fog of War with an eerie clarity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 24, 2004
Morris has learned a lot over the years about how to tell a story while gradually unveiling a personality. But I wish I had a better notion of what story he's trying to tell.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
January 23, 2004
Morris, an ideal combination of journalist and romantic artist, matches footage to the words for maximum illumination and emotional impact.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 23, 2004
Should be required viewing for anyone who makes decisions about national defense, if not for everyone.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 23, 2004
The effect of The Fog of War is to impress upon us the frailty and uncertainty of our leaders.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
January 23, 2004
In his willingness to speak up but not entirely out, McNamara provides the movie with its key fascination: the confessor who refuses to comment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 22, 2004
Brilliant.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
January 22, 2004
It is a profound examination of the troubling proposition that good or well-meaning people can help create horrible and evil events -- and be swept along in the turmoil they unleash.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
January 8, 2004
Emerges as a fascinating enterprise that evokes nothing so much as Victor Hugo's 'dialogue of the deaf' in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
December 23, 2003
Compelling, thoughtful and entirely involving.
December 22, 2003
Thumbs way up for this film.
December 20, 2003
Errol Morris tries to pin down Vietnam War chess-master Robert McNamara, and the results are fascinating -- also troubling, deeply confusing and way too artistically precious.
December 19, 2003
Though the movie may not change many minds about McNamara, it richly humanizes him, a valuable feat atop all the fascinating reflection.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 19, 2003
Morris has always engaged audiences -- and outraged stuffy Oscar voters -- by bringing the full range of narrative filmmaking to his nonfiction films. He doesn't stint here.
December 19, 2003
By asking the right questions and guiding the interview into compelling territory, Morris has produced one of 2003's most memorable documentaries.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 19, 2003
Despite its more tendentious moments and sometimes irritating slickness, Fog of War is every bit as fascinating and unnerving as its subject.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 19, 2003
This understandably ambivalent portrait of McNamara challenges conventional wisdom about the man and his place in history.
December 18, 2003
One of the best documentaries of this or any year.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
December 18, 2003
Evokes a handful of compelling and tantalizing passages.
December 16, 2003
This is spellbinding reality cinema about duplicity and, worse, ignorance at the highest level.
December 16, 2003
No matter what your opinion of McNamara, The Fog of War is a chastening experience.
December 11, 2003
It will knock you for a loop like no other movie this year.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 10, 2003
A warning beacon about fog conditions that never subside but only shift to American military involvement in other parts of the world.
Full Review | Original Score: A
October 30, 2003
If there's one movie that ought to be studied by military and civilian leaders around the world at this treacherous historical moment, it is The Fog of War.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
October 10, 2003
Now, in Errol Morris' fascinating documentary, an 85-year-old McNamara looks squarely into Morris' camera and, with his eyes occasionally yielding tears, rehashes his life with a mixture of guilt, pride, candor, sadness and self-delusion.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
June 11, 2003
A stunning documentary about former secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara that casts new light on his role in major American political events of the 20th century.