Critics Consensus

Vice takes scattershot aim at its targets, but writer-director Adam McKay hits some satisfying bullseyes -- and Christian Bale's transformation is a sight to behold.



Total Count: 339


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,466
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Movie Info

VICE explores the epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.

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Christian Bale
as Dick Cheney
Amy Adams
as Lynne Cheney
Steve Carell
as Donald Rumsfeld
Sam Rockwell
as George W. Bush
Tyler Perry
as Colin Powell
Alison Pill
as Mary Cheney
Lily Rabe
as Liz Cheney
Eddie Marsan
as Paul Wolfowitz
Justin Kirk
as Scooter Libby
LisaGay Hamilton
as Condoleezza Rice
Shea Whigham
as Wayne Vincent
Bill Camp
as Gerald Ford
Fay Masterson
as Edna Vincent
Kirk Bovill
as Henry Kissinger
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News & Interviews for Vice

Critic Reviews for Vice

All Critics (339) | Top Critics (44)

  • What is perhaps most remarkable about Bale's and Adams's performances is that they supply depth and nuance to a film whose director appears to have had no appetite for either quality.

    Jan 29, 2019 | Full Review…
  • When a movie's premise is that its subject single-handedly moulded recent history, you want more depth and grandeur than this one provides.

    Jan 27, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a more ambitious political satire...Because it's about real people, real politicians and real deranged ambitions, and it places much of the blame for today's geopolitical ills...directly at their door. Oh, and it's also very funny.

    Jan 24, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Bale's a riot, but it's The Big Short 2.

    Jan 22, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • You have to admit that this cynical and methodically researched film isn't pulling any punches.

    Jan 18, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • In theory, there's no reason why this approach shouldn't work -- if the jokes were better and the black comedy was blacker. But McKay isn't really interested in Cheney as anything but a target.

    Jan 4, 2019 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Vice

  • Mar 02, 2019
    Often glib and superficial, but I think that this is mostly an improvement over McKay's "The Big Short" which was barely a movie. Its not that "Vice" is particularly deep or offers any new insights but it feels more relevant possibly because we seem to have forgotten how much damage the Bush Presidency did to the world and I'm glad McKay went after one of its chief architects.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 01, 2019
    Despite being a bit messy and juvenile in its first half - like something made by that 13-year-old cousin of yours who just learned how to use Windows Movie Maker and is so full of himself - the film gets considerably better later, when the gimmicks become wittier and the sarcasm sharper.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 28, 2019
    McKay takes the approach of throwing spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks and what does stick is pretty good. All the acting is top-notch but the story is a little OCD. No doubt that Lynne Cheney is the power behind the throne - our own Lady Macbeth and Dick Cheney is our own Darth Vader. (1-27-19)
    John C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 25, 2019
    Political biopics are a bit of a mixed bag. But when one turns out to be a hit-piece for one of the most reviled men to set foot in the oval office, you should pay attention, even if the final result is somewhat flawed. Vice tells the story of Dick Cheney and how he became one of the most powerful men in Washington for decades. It's not flattering and is ABSOLUTELY written from a liberal standpoint. (Surprise, surprise.) Oh sure, there are humanizing moments and Vice does present him as a human being who gambled, made mistakes, and cared about the welfare of his family. But it makes no apology in telling you that Cheney is guilty in helping to create the gigantic cesspit that is American public life today. (Oh, and it points the finger directly at the audience and implicates their complacence in helping to create that nightmare.) Now let's talk about the tone of Vice. It's framed mostly as a dark comedy with absurd cutaways and a tone that is often farcical. "Breaking the fourth wall" is a term everyone says these days in the aftermath of Deadpool, but to put it simply there is NO FOURTH WALL in this film. The entire movie is direct satire and will go to insane lengths to remind you that it is. And I think that's what damaged Vice in the eyes of many critics. I think they wanted a more conventional biopic and found the humor and awkward moments irritating. The director, Adam McKay is largely responsible for its comedic bent, as one look at his filmography would quickly explain. Abstract, non-sequitur humor is kind of his shtick. That being said, the fragmented nature of Vice did irritate me especially during the second half. Many scenes felt obligatory or like small vignettes and didn't flow together well. While Christian Bale and Amy Adams as the Cheney's seems at first glance to be bad casting, they really own it. Bale gets his tics, his speech patterns, and his signature coldness down pat. And yes, his physical transformation represents the kind of commitment actors rarely bother with anymore. Adams likewise plays against her femme-fatale type as a cold and square Lady Macbeth, who is less sympathetic than her infamous husband. Steve Carell is quite entertaining as a loose cannon version of Donald Rumsfeld, and Sam Rockwell doesn't quite look like "Dubya," but he certainly sounded like him and I wished he was onscreen more often. Overall, Vice is an entertaining, albeit preachy political satire that features fine performances and a few good jokes. It was certainly more diverting than one would expect and on occasion I like to have expectations subverted, if it results in something worthwhile. I think it warrants an investigation.
    Joshua S Super Reviewer

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