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Academy Award® Winner
The story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still...  View more >

Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Dec 29, 2018
I went to see Vice last night and came away with mixed reactions: found the first half flat and disappointing, the second remarkably better. The reason in a nutshell is Sam Rockwell, whose George W. Bush simply steals the show from Christian Bale (Dick Cheney), as to a lesser extent do Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Steve Carell, pitch-perfect as Donald Rumsfeld. Bale, lumpishly there at the center of every scene, is just not much fun to watch. He catches Cheney’s weird mannerisms and demeanor expertly, but somehow the net effect is too labored and relentless. Like the hectoring narration that is especially prominent early on, he seems overly concerned to prevent the slightest hint of an inkling of sympathy for Cheney, as if that were ever going to be a problem. Rockwell, by contrast, seems to be genuinely enjoying W, in all his amiable overmatched goofiness, and (like Carell) dares to make him likeable.

Those who want art to be nothing but politics by other means will not be amused, I suspect, but I was. To me, the reminder that W could be a heckuva fun guy only makes the film’s political message deeper and truer. We get some brilliant glimpses of the way the American system tends to sift out and elevate men who are not really evil — just mediocre, cloistered, privileged, unreflective, supremely ambitious, and white — and of how their clueless mismanagement of the unthinkable power bestowed on them is never really ill-intentioned.

I won’t be in a hurry, but this may be one of those movies that I like much better on a second viewing, as it seemed to be teaching me how to watch it. There is a ton of Brechtian or postmodern (can we still call it that?) “deliberate distancing,” accomplished by sudden cuts, awkward camera angles, random editing, and constant shuffling of the narrative. Early on I found this heavy-handed and somewhat pointless; about midway through it began to click for me, growing clever, apropos, and even funny. A late montage or whatever they call it, overlaying scenes from Cheney’s heart surgery with moments from his retirement years (a la the settling-all-family-business sequence in The Godfather) seemed to work especially well. Bale’s frame-breaking valediction to the voters / audience was great.

So see it, but don’t expect to enjoy it, exactly.
Jan 2, 2019
Ten years ago in 2008, A movie on the lie of George W. Bush was released, a few months before he left office,. Ten years later, we got "vice" a humorous movie which focus on the vice President Dick Cheney. Who though his vice-presidency, he used his office to greater heights. Christian Bale, is brilliant as the vice president who with a lot of make up, he makes a compelling character. Amy Adams plays his wife with political ambitions of her own.Sam Rockwell plays George W. Bush and he play that role very well. Rockwell kind of reminds me of Robert Ryan and all the tough roles that he played though the years. Steve Carell is also brilliant as Donald Rumsfeld. For those who like the guy and those who don't you can agree on how well the movie been made. "Vice" is powerful entertainment. Watching this movie has brought back memories of when the country was in chaos after 9/11. And watching this movie reminded me of that time.
Jan 6, 2019
A real winner, outstanding in both entertainment and historical value.
Feb 18, 2020
If you've seen The Big Short, Adam McKay's treatise about the events that largely brought about The Great Recession, you'll be in familiar territory with Vice. His techniques of using dark comedy and some interesting techniques to explain the complexities of the subject material are in full display here.

The central character is Dick Cheney, arguably the most powerful Vice President the White House has ever seen. I believed that Cheney was the smart one between him and his running mate, and that he was the one pulling the strings in everything that administration did. This movie provides a near documentary telling of that scenario by showcasing its title character.

Arguments could be made that it is favorable to Cheney and highly critical of him, at the same time. I am sure that the final impression that each viewer will have of this movie will depend on their political leanings.

Christian Bale is nearly unrecognizable as Cheney. The work done on his makeup was rewarded with an Oscar, and deservedly so. Bale embodies his character, and he is supported by incredible performances from the entire supporting cast, including Steve Carrell, Amy Adams, and Sam Rockwell.

There are two very notable highlights. There is a scene where Dick and Lynne recite their lines in Shakespearean fashion, which is confusing at first, but totally elegant in its execution. The second is a scene in a restaurant, where the waiter recites a menu of corruption and malfeasance, as if it was a list of entrees at the restaurant. This is as entertaining as it is comically horrifying at the same time.

After watching this movie, I am very sure that our current political situation would not be what it is without the groundwork laid by Dick Cheney. That's a testament to his impact on the country and the world. This movie is not a glory piece, nor is it a hatchet job, and it would certainly be the source of plenty of interesting conversation afterward!

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