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Bob Roberts

4.2 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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(Aug 14, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Tim Robbins stars as BOB ROBERTS, a radical folksinger turned senatorial candidate, in this satirical comedy that blends his campaign trail with singing, music videos and scandal. BOB ROBERTS is a hilarious film that will change the way you look at American politics!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Eva Amurri, Tom Atkins, Merrilee Dale, Giancarlo Esposito, Peter Gallagher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2001
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005OOQ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,957 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bob Roberts" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
"Bob Roberts," Tim Robbins' 1992 fictional account of the political campaign of a folk-singing conservative businessman, is a remarkable film. Echoing D.A. Pennebaker's 1966 documentary "Don't Look Back" (which covered Bob Dylan's 1965 U.K. tour; a number of scenes in "Bob Roberts" are cribbed directly from the Pennebaker film), "Bob Roberts" follows the title character (played by Robbins, who also directs and writes here) in his 1990 Senatorial campaign against Brickley Paiste, a once-vigorous, but now-weary and increasingly disenchanted New Frontier-era liberal democrat (played by author Gore Vidal). Roberts, who had made a fortune on Wall Street during the '80s, first gains national attention in the late '80s with a pair of critically panned, but commercially successful albums (clever homages to two early '60s Dylan albums) of right-wing country-folk songs. Using his musical fame as a springboard, Roberts embarks on his political career, backed by press aide Chet MacGregor (Ray Wise) and the shadowy Lukas Hart III (Alan Rickman, whose Mephistophelean presence almost steals the movie). Along the way, Roberts is tailed by journalist Bugs Raplin (Giancarlo Esposito), who is eventually framed for an assassination attempt on Roberts when he gets too close to uncovering Hart's and Roberts' shady involvement in both the Iran-Contra and S&L debacles of the '80s. Largely viewed at the time of its release as a broad slap at the New Right, in retrospect Robbins is nearly as critical of the Old Left. Vidal's Brickley Paiste is old, tired, and nearly irrelevant (and, sadly, seems to know it). If Robbins is scathing in his indictment of the Right, Paiste symbolizes Robbins' criticism of the Left for their lack of energy and ideas.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
I saw this film when it first came out in '92, and thought it was okay, but rewatching it during the 2004 election season I was appalled by how many of the absurdities depicted had come true, with cynical pandering and manipulation at every turn. The only thing it's missing are voting machines that count backward! The title character, played by Tim Robbins (who also wrote and directed), is a right-wing folk singer pursuing a senate seat, running against an incumbent played by Gore Vidal. The songs and album covers are very funny, and there are many cameo appearances.

DVD extras include three commentary tracks, 22 minutes of deleted scenes, stills, 3 music videos, cast notes, production notes, a trailer and tv spots.

Worthwhile viewing, good extras.
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By A Customer on July 6, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I loved the wry, Republican-bashing in this film, but did it have to spell everything out in caps? We were quite aware of Bob Roberts' packaging concept without it having to be explained to us by various characters, especially so humorlessly. John Cusack's little lecture was especially patronizing.
Being spoon-fed a message only diminishes your enjoyment of a film, especially a satire. But I'm opposed to it on more than aesthetic grounds. Mainstream Americans hate liberals because they see us as elitist, condescending, and a little contemptuous of them. Heavy-handed films like this only reinforce that image.
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Format: DVD
By 1992, actor and leftist-liberal firebrand Tim Robbins had come a long way since his thankless role in the George Lucas uber-flop "Howard the Duck", and "Bob Roberts" displayed that the actor who had turned in fine performances in gritty movies like "The Player", "Jacob's Ladder", and---erm---"Erik the Viking" (he played Erik, and *I* liked it, anyway) had solid directorial chops, as well.
"Bob Roberts" is a gimlet-eyed little mockumentary chronicling the rise, fall and rise of merciless, villainous, Machiavellian and media-savvy politician Bob Roberts, who---as the film's opening sequence makes clear---is a man of many talents: former West Pointer, Wall Street trader and stock market guru, self-made millionaire, and right-wing folk singer.
Folk singer?
That's the clever little hook on which Robbins hangs his skillful little fusillade against mindless political partisanship: Roberts has appropriated the Rebel Prophet image crafted at Woodstock for himself, and---horrors!---for right-wing Republican politics. Roberts is an ingenious political animal, having picked up a guitar and made the transition from Woodstock to Wall Street---and now he wants Main Street.
The plot is simplicity itself: "Bob Roberts" is played with a straight face as the'documentary' of the 1992 Bob Roberts Pennsylvania senatorial campaign, produced and 'directed' by fictional documentarian Terry Manchester (played convincingly by veteran British actor Brian Murray).
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
To better appreciate this movie, it's good to know that it makes references (many, in fact) to the 1966 Bob Dylan documentary "Don't Look Back." If you haven't seen this earlier movie, naturally you won't pick up on these references (which are funny). What's interesting, though, is that at about the same time "Bob Roberts" was being made, the director of "Don't Look Back" was making a documentary (or perhaps had made ...), similar in nature to his earlier film, about Bill Clinton's campaign for the presidency called "The War Room." Cinema verite, no doubt.
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