Oliver Stone (2008)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Considering Oliver Stone's filmography (JFK, Nixon), it's probably not too much of a surprise that the first biopic of a sitting US President would be directed by him. It's a well-cast portrait of George W Bush (Josh Brolin) that mixes West Wing-like, behind-the-scenes re-enactments of the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, with more fancifully imagined scenes from the early pre-politics life of the wayward scion of George HW Bush (James Cromwell). While Stone's Nixon set a high standard with its humanising reappraisal of a past president, W. serves only to reinforce the popular public image of the latterly unpopular incumbent: tongue-tied, weak, straight-talking (albeit through constant mouthfuls of food), but politically naive. Brolin sidesteps caricature with an even-handed, even warm portrayal, but the fidgety, to-and-fro time frame creates a string of vignettes that offer little insight beyond "Dubya's" semi-Oedipal complex. A heavyweight supporting cast do well with small roles - particularly Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney and Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell - but as a cinematic exercise, Stone's film feels rather pointless.


Oliver Stone's biopic of former US President George W Bush, including his turbulent youth and his difficult relationship with his father. At the age of 40, Bush became a born-again Christian before embarking upon a political career which saw him elected as Governor of Texas and, in 2001, being sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States. Starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Noah Wyle, Ioan Gruffudd and Richard Dreyfuss.

Cast & Crew

George W Bush Josh Brolin
Laura Bush Elizabeth Banks
Don Evans Noah Wyle
Tony Blair Ioan Gruffudd
Dick Cheney Richard Dreyfuss
Barbara Bush Ellen Burstyn
General Colin Powell Jeffrey Wright
George H. W. Bush James Cromwell
Director Oliver Stone
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Lions GateAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 7 Nov 2008