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W. [Blu-ray] (2008)

Josh Brolin , Elizabeth Banks , Oliver Stone  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioan Gruffudd, Colin Hanks, Toby Jones
  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Writers: Stanley Weiser
  • Producers: Albert Yeung, Bill Block, Christopher Mapp, David Whealy, Elliot Ferwerda
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 10, 2009
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,648 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "W. [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Whether you love him or hate him, there is no question that George W. Bush is one of the most controversial public figures in recent memory. In an unprecedented undertaking, acclaimed director Oliver Stone brings the life of our 43rd President to the big screen as only he can. W takes viewers through Bush's eventful life -- his struggles and triumphs, how he found both his wife and his faith, and of course the critical days leading up to Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

Oliver Stone’s W. is similar to his other movies about American presidents (JFK, Nixon), which is to say these films are much more about Stone’s imagined versions of reported events than they are alleged reenactments. As such, W. is Stone’s case for what he sees as the absurdity of George W. Bush’s ascendance to the White House and especially the arrogant blunder of the Iraq War. Josh Brolin is very good as the miscreant son of George H. W. Bush (James Cromwell), Vice President to Ronald Reagan and 41st president of the United States. Adrift in a sea of booze and squandered opportunities, the younger Bush is largely driven by a need for his disapproving father’s love and respect, which never truly arrives. Becoming a hatchet man for Bush Sr.’s administration, “W” (as his wife, Laura--played by Elizabeth Banks--call him) meets Karl Rove (Toby Jones) and heads toward the Texas governorship, despite his father’s preference that the more golden son, Jeb, get all the family’s support in his Florida gubernatorial bid.

Told in broken chronology, W. focuses on Bush’s post-9/11 path to waging a “preventive war” in Iraq despite no hard evidence of weapons of mass destruction to justify it. The major players in W’s administration--Rove, Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright), Condoleeza Rice (Thandie Newton), and especially Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss)--all participate in closed meetings that look and sound like every investigative account by the New York Times or Bob Woodward about the administration’s inner workings leading up to the war. Much of this is quite fascinating if a little weird (Newton’s performance is indeed strange), but the drama is often powerful, particularly around Powell’s resistance to the rising tide for a supposedly slam-dunk war. A number of the film’s key performances, besides Brolin’s, are very strong, especially Cromwell, Jones, Wright, Dreyfuss and Bruce McGill as George Tenet. --Tom Keogh

Beyond W. on DVD

Family of Secrets the book

W. the Soundtrack

W. the Original Motion Picture Score

Stills from W. (click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 66 people found the following review helpful
To be honest, I am a liberal who went to this movie expecting to see a funny parody of George W. Bush along the lines of a Michael Moore film. While I did laugh at times during the film, I left the movie feeling strangely sympathetic towards poor W. Stone plays it surprisingly straight, presenting Bush as the kid who had trouble finding his way as a grown-up. The main focus here is on Bush's relationship with his father, particularly his efforts to constantly try to please George the elder and falling short, especially when compared with his brother Jeb. Stone effectively weaves in flashblacks from Bush's college and early adult years with his first term as President. Some major events, including the 2000 election and September 11th, are given almost no attention, but again, that's not the main focus of the film.

The movie is superbly cast. Josh Brolin does an amazing job as W.; he manages to capture Bush's mannerisms in a portrayal that is uncannily accurate without becoming a caricature. Then there's James Cromwell, who looks and sounds nothing like George Bush senior but somehow manages to depict the former President perfectly just the same. Most of the other supporting roles are excellent as well, from Richard Dreyfuss as Cheney to Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell; the one exception was Thandie Newton's Condoleezza Rice, who DID feel more like a caricature.

No matter which side of the aisle you find yourself on, this is an engrossing movie with the potential to appeal to many different types of people, and I definitely recommend it.
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101 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Place Do You Think He Will Have in History? October 17, 2008
Oliver Stone's "W." is one of the year's most absorbing films, and that's because, as the tagline suggests, it reveals that George W. Bush has been greatly misunderestimated. Watching this film, we see not the forty-third President of the United States, the former Governor of Texas, or even a politician in general. From my perspective, we're being told about an insecure man who reaches too far in an attempt to earn his father's approval. This movie is not a political commentary--it's a character study. Better still, it's a character study that's more or less historically accurate, with Stone and writer Stanley Weisner relying on published works and in-depth reports for the screenplay. Liberties were obviously taken; after all, there's no way anyone could know exactly what was said behind closed doors. But all the basic scenarios are well documented, which is to say that the film never once felt contrived. The end result is a compelling, complex, and occasionally funny examination of a person who always has something to prove.

Josh Brolin is perfectly cast as the title character, flawlessly capturing the mannerisms and diction we've become so familiar with over the last eight years. We see him as a determined but incompetent man who claws his way up to the presidency without the necessary skills. Pay close attention to scenes featuring W. in staff meetings; it quickly becomes clear that political heavyweights like Dick Cheney (Richard Dreyfuss), Karl Rove (Toby Jones), Condoleeza Rice (Thandie Newton), Colin Powell (Jeffrey Wright), and even the infuriated Donald Rumsfeld (Scott Glenn) are making all the important decisions. As for W., well, let us not forget that the real President Bush publicly declared that his faith in God influenced his foreign policy decisions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Transparently partisan, occasionally entertaining July 5, 2009
There are two ways to evaluate this movie: 1.) for its political message, and 2.) for its entertainment value.

In regard the first item: Oliver Stone has been making movies and spouting his political views in public since the mid-1980s. His political views are a mishmash of boilerplate 1960s liberalism and snide Hollywood elitism. Therefore, it wasn't difficult to predict that W. would be a one-sided partisan piece peopled by crass, venal Republicans and simpleminded evangelical Christians. Stone hit every point on the checklist in this regard: G.W. was consistently portrayed as comically stupid. During several of the White House scenes, I expected Rumsfeld to wink at the camera and let loose a cartoonish bwah-hah-hah! at any moment.

If you share Stone's view of the world, you will no doubt cheer through W. As a conservative voter who *didn't* care for the Bush Administration, I found many of the movie's caricatures to be over the top.

For example, in one scene Bush is uttering inanities while he sits on the commode. In another scene the president clumsily chokes on a cracker and falls to the carpet. It seemed that Stone could not decide whether he wanted to make a serious movie or a two-hour SNL skit.

Oliver Stone's movies have always been liberal and controversial; but the director used to deliver his blows with greater subtlety and artistic integrity. Consider "Born on the 4th of July": This movie contained an unmistakably partisan message; but it didn't insult the audience's intelligence.

Also, Stone used to focus on story first and politics second. Whatever your opinion about U.S. involvement in Vietnam, you can't help but be captivated by the storyline of Platoon. W., on the other hand, was no dramatic tour de force.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars but the film is good and enjoyable to watch
Still have a lot of respect for the former President. Oliver Stone takes a lot of license, but the film is good and enjoyable to watch.
Published 5 days ago by Scott Chaffee
4.0 out of 5 stars Boo....but good movie!
What a life!
Published 6 days ago by RICCOH
5.0 out of 5 stars a great film about a great man
I think this is one remarkable film. Oliver stone is a brilliant director and I was glad he made Bush as a man and showed his trials a just a hard life. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Jeremy Montanez
3.0 out of 5 stars W. = *3* star movie as its just okay.... read my review!!
Republican's will hate this film, Democrate's will *love* this film as its a rather sharp parody of George Bush Jr. and Dick Cheney
and Ms. Rice. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Devils.Advocate666
4.0 out of 5 stars A History of This Politician
W., 2008 film

It begins in an empty baseball stadium; it is empty but we hear a crowd cheer. [Symbolism?] President George W. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ray Stephanson
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliving the insanity
Since most of us lived through the Bush years and couldn't wait for it to be over I enjoyed it. Too bad the movie did not include some of the fluffs I remember during his reign of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lokiblosom
2.0 out of 5 stars ... as moving as i thought it would be but good
Not as moving as i thought it would be but good quality
Published 2 months ago by James W. Houston
4.0 out of 5 stars The Debate For The Country's Soul
The scene during the White House meeting midway through the film is worth the price of admission itself. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Majestyk
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good Acting!
Published 3 months ago by Alphonso
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacked Objectivity
Well made movie with good historical facts. I didn't like the negative spins on how the events took place though. The "what" was good, not so sure about the "how. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tom Gonzales
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