Does “W” Stand For “Worth Seeing” Or “Worthless”?

Amelia McDonell-Parry | October 17, 2008 - 6:00 pm

This weekend, Oliver Stone’s highly anticipated movie about the fairly unpopular president (Bush), “W”, comes out. I’m psyched to see this film, though I’m still pretty unclear on whether it’s a comedy or a drama. Still, Josh Brolin (Dubya), Elizabeth Banks (Laura), Ellen Burstyn (Barbara), and James Cromwell (George Sr.) should add up to being a pretty compelling movie, acting wise. And Richard Dreyfus plays Dick Cheney! That’s so perfect because I hate Richard Dreyfus. Anyway, after the jump, a summary of some of the reviews so far, so you can decide for youself if this is a must-see or a see-it-on-HBO type flick.“W. is a scattershot attempt at stylized portraiture that plays like a half-baked editorial cartoon.” — The Washington Post

“In spite of Josh Brolin’s heroic efforts, W. is a skin-deep biopic that revels in its antic shallowness.” — The Wall Street Journal

“Although clearly not the definitive biography of Bush, W. is absorbing and amusing to ruminate over.” — USA Today

“More of a hastily executed charcoal sketch than a portrait, Oliver Stone’s W. is nonetheless an often compelling, tragicomic psychological analysis of Dubya, viewed through the prism of his relationship with an allegedly disapproving father.” — The New York Post

“In the midst of these tumultuous times, in the midst of this tumultuous election, Stone has delivered his most tepid film.” — New York Magazine

“Whatever you think of Dubya, he has balls. The movie doesn’t.” — Rolling Stone

“Perhaps the crucial reason W. succeeds as much as it does is the surprisingly empathetic work of Josh Brolin.” — The Los Angeles Times

“W. does something most journalism and even documentaries can’t or won’t do: it reminds us what a long, strange trip it’s been to the Bush White House.” — The New York Times

“Instead of satire, W. works best as a filmmaking allegory. That going into a production unprepared is a lot like doing so with military conflict. The execution was off before the first camera started rolling.” — Houston Chronicle