W. - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

W. Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 6, 2016
It does a pretty decent job to humanize an imbecile and make us almost sympathize with him as we see his efforts to prove himself to his family, but Oliver Stone plays it too safe and this semi-satire is also harmed a bit by its perfunctory jumps in time and random flashbacks.
July 22, 2016
I found W. to be a really entertaining movie. Josh Brolin gave a great performance, and Oliver Stone once again does a good biopic of an American president, meaning that he can add W, to his collection.
½ July 21, 2016

I think I was a little stoned and paranoid when I wrote "new review," but I'll keep it because it entertains me. I like this movie.


What's most disturbing about this film is the portrayal of George H.W. Bush as an honorable elder, this coming from the same filmmaker who painted all of Bush's affiliates from the CIA as monsters in 1991's JFK. It's a confused message from an artist who is losing his audience over time. Oliver Stone is great at asking questions these days, as his 2004 film Looking for Fidel reveals a stunning, rare look at the 'great dictator' Americans perceive of Cuba's Castro.

Take a look below and you see a mind manipulated by pure cinematic spectacle and entertainment. Fast forward to 2011 and things are a little different. This is a sensitive piece by Stone - and I'm not sensitive to it anymore - one which reveals he might've gotten the idea being Stoned: "hmm, let's paint a portrait that makes George W Bush look like a complete, manipulated moron so people simply vote for anyone who looks smarter." He makes no attempt to reveal hidden facts as Fidel or JFK brought us. Like 2006's World Trade Center, it comes from the pressure of being sympathetic to an audience heavily manipulated by mainstream coverage. What does World Trade Center achieve? Just... remember shit like this sucks and it's really sad. What does W achieve? Just... remember the bad guys are everyone around the President, not the President himself - actually I would take that if it were left at that, but instead there's a tail end to it - and Dubya is just stupid. I really hope he corrects this film one day.


Frantic paced, New York-style, avant-garde filmmaking at its best. Director Oliver Stone presents to us a fair portrait of our 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. Stone colors the screen with top-notch performances, energetic staging and camera work, swift transitions, and entertaining music. There wasn't a moment I felt unabsorbed by this gem of a filmmaking job. Josh Brolin does the best Bush performance I've ever seen because he goes beyond mimicry and delves into genuine performance. It's less of a political movie and more of a human story, allowing us to sympathize with a man who the media generally tends to make us hate. I especially loved James Cromwell and Ellen Burstyn as Mr. and Mrs. Bush, both of whom looked far beyond the publicity stills their characters are most typically recognized by. This film comes strongly recommended from yours truly.
½ June 2, 2016
Interesting, yet entertaining.
½ March 20, 2016
Not really that interesting. Had enough good actors just didn't pull me in, needed more on 9-11.
½ February 19, 2016
Garbled and disjointed; certainly not one of Stone's best films.
February 1, 2016
it is a tragedy that that W was able to steal the Job of POTUS and damage the USA.
½ January 26, 2016
How could so few people like this? I smell a rat. It's not shot as traditionally cinematic as other biopics like Nixon or J Edgar but it's more important than those, and for those of us (the great majority of the planet Earth) that is not a fan of Bush, there's a lot of humor in it. I love it.
January 16, 2016
It was interesting to watch, but I don't know how I feel about it. It didn't always seem like a fair portrayal of George W. Bush and it didn't seem accurate enough for a biopic. It's not a bad movie, but it feels too much like fiction. (First and only viewing - 1/14/2016)
½ January 15, 2016
Upon its release a lot of reviewers where surprised of this "sympathetic" portrayal of George W Bush. They were readily expecting a crucifixion by Stone. As someone with a big interest in American Politics since many years (I consider myself a moderate independent), I consider this movie hearsay. As I have read quite a few book about the Bush presidency, I can say that most of the political details are to a very large extent correct. The portrayal of "Dubyay" as a person is very much based on second hand accounts, as acknowledged by the director himself, and it shows. A lot of social liberals expected a depiction of anti-christ and was surprised by the very human portrayal of Bush. A human portrayal that is a very much a caricature of gossip and second and third hand information. That also includes the portrayal of his relationship with his father and family, which is surely regarded as outrageous by everyone in the Bush family, and rightly so. The portrayal of W the person, is, as I already mentioned, a caricature that fail to recognize why he was elected as president in the first place. In an early fraternity inauguration scene he shows his social skills of knowing everyone in the room, who they are, and their family connections. These skills, and the intelligence required, and never depicted during his presidency. This scene is a very important scene, perhaps the most important scene, because it hints at both the emotional and social intelligence of the man that was to become the most powerful person on earth and leader of the free world. None of these skills are shown in his cabinet meetings, and certainly not in his cabinet meetings. This is in stark contrast to descriptions by anyone who actually worked with him directly in the administration. These persons consistently describe him as someone who always digged deep and asked the right questions with a compassionate consideration for all issues. Interestingly, this make me sound like a republication, which I am certainly not. In these dark days, I would could never consider joining any of two major parties, which is a shame. I share many of the concerns on the agenda of the both the GOP and the Dems, but being a moderate these days equals being a political outsider. Strange indeed. During W's presidency I was very critical of his policies, while keep defending him against my social liberal friends. My conservative friends were actually quite neutral at the time, saying they supporting most of W's policies, but not all.
This review turned very political, which is inevitable considering its about our previous president, and about a movie released during the heat of a presidential election.
In summary this a movie about a recent American president, that manages to almost all the details right, while at the same time getting them wrong.
December 21, 2015
It was interesting how Stone interlaced the two narratives of the movie together, however accurate it was, you gain great insight into W's ongoing inner conflicts, a cocky self assured Texan with no path to swagger down. Loved the acting and thought most of the cast really captured their subjects except for Thandie Newton, her portrayal of Rice was embarrassing and hard to watch.
½ December 13, 2015
The message is muddled and the story jumps around too much, but W. is an often enthralling inside look at the President and his life, elevated by Josh Brolin's dedicated performance.
December 8, 2015
Oliver Stone was probably sitting around one day completely out of ideas for movies to make and figured "Well everyone hates President Bush, so I guess a movie about him will be popular, so lets make that" That is the only conceivable reason I can think of that this movie was even made. Who makes a movie about a President in the middle of his tenure in office ? He knew people would go see it because President Bush is such a controversial figure among Americans. And seeing what Oliver Stone has been putting out the past decade or so, lets just be frank here, the guy is dry on ideas. He's got nothing good left as of right now. All that said doesn't take away from the pretty solid performances by everyone involved. Just a movie that was made for selling movie tickets. Oliver Stone can tell you otherwise, but I see through that.
September 16, 2015
Brilliantly cast and perfectly played, W depicts quite 'accurately' a time in history that will always be looked over, and the player involved. What W does brilliantly, is that although it's honest, and delivers the sides, trials and tribulations of George W. Bush, from many levels, it never appears biased or judgmental. Instead an understanding and deeper connection is made towards a man, family and situation, that most people assume they could wrap up in a few words. Well done Oliver Stone and well done Josh Brolin!
August 24, 2015
i thought josh brolin made a pretty good george w bush in this movie
August 23, 2015
Too tonally inconsistent to be great, but it's a solid look at a flawed president from Oliver Stone
½ August 22, 2015
I don't know why I like this movie so much. Oliver Stone & Josh Brolin both awesome could be.
August 22, 2015
ok there's criticizing and there's mudslinging, I know not everyone like bush but my god why did stone make him a jerk and plus it's reminds me of how I felt about Michael bay when he did pearl harbor I feel there is not historical facts here.
½ August 21, 2015
A totally fascinating total failure of a movie.
August 18, 2015
Fascinating characters / Good acting / Nice filmed / Only rudimentary
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