The Oath

Critics Consensus

The Oath draws on hyper-partisan modern politics for a pointedly funny satire that hits its targets hard and often enough to more than achieve its desired discomfort.



Total Count: 86


Audience Score

User Ratings: 383
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Movie Info

A controversial White House policy turns family member against family member in THE OATH, a savagely funny dark comedy about surviving life and Thanksgiving in the age of political tribalism. When Chris (Ike Barinholtz), a high-strung 24-hour progressive news junkie, and his more levelheaded wife Kai (Tiffany Haddish) learn that citizens are being asked to sign a loyalty oath to the President, their reaction is disbelief, followed by idealistic refusal. But as the Thanksgiving deadline to sign approaches, the combination of sparring relatives, Chris's own agitation and the unexpected arrival of two government agents (John Cho and Billy Magnussen) sends an already tense holiday dinner gathering completely off the rails. As timely as it is outrageous, THE OATH is a gleefully wicked reinvention of the traditional holiday comedy for our divisive political times.


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Critic Reviews for The Oath

All Critics (86) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (32)

  • [Barinholtz] lacks storytelling chops, aiming for wildly provocative satire but instead churning out a technically spotty screed.

    Oct 24, 2018 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

    Tom Russo

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • The Oath appears to crave several things at once, all diametrically opposed.

    Oct 19, 2018 | Full Review…
  • "The Oath" has a sharp tongue and plenty to say about our times. It's just too bad it can't finish the conversation.

    Oct 18, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • I found it to be the equivalent of a free-swinging slugger who is willing to strike out once, twice, even three times - but then hits one clear out of the park. It's worth the risk-reward ratio.

    Oct 18, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • One thing that's admirable about The Oath is that Barinholtz never apologizes.

    Oct 18, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Political satire is one of the trickiest of genres; this one, running out of steam and nerve, ultimately becomes a too-familiar example of another genre: the 93-minute movie that feels way, way too long.

    Oct 18, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Oath

  • Feb 03, 2019
    On the one hand I admire Barinholtz for trying to grapple with the deep seated rage and resentment festering in the heart of America, but he doesn't appear to have figured out how to coherently address it here. The movie is all over the place and the ending offers a resolution that is too simplistic.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 22, 2019
    I mean, I could actually see Ike looking a little like Bill Engvall as he gets older. But forrealz, I can't decide if this would be better/less stressful or just seem completely ridiculous if so much of it didn't hit so close to home.
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2019
    Did not go the way that I expected, but I'm counting that as a good thing, I don't mind a movie taking a different path to the one I thought it would, my expectations are on me, and a pleasant surprise is still pleasant. Speaking of surprises, I like Tiffany Haddish in in this, something (based on my prior experiences) I didn't think would ever happen.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer

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