I think critics should have to state what political party they belong to before submitting a review. Although there is NOTHING ethical about that and a critic or an audience member should be able enjoy a good movie with or without agreeing with it. BUT it does seem like reviews are being effected by which side of the coin you’re on. I think they best way to settle this is to see for yourself. But here is a little round-up of what people think about W. so far. Hell so far the reviews for the film are way better than most of the things written about the President (but that’s not hard to do.)
- WSJ: Oliver Stone goes for the juggler vein in “W.,” an exuberant account of the life and times of George W. Bush. He juggles genial mockery and moist empathy without venturing any judgments on his hero’s presidency.
- AVClub: It isn’t quite accurate to say that Oliver Stone paints history in sweeping brushstrokes; he’s actually using a roller. His new biopic W., a slapped-together assessment of a lame-duck sitting president, plays like a TV-movie primer on a figure Americans have spent the last eight years getting to know.
- FilmSchoolRejects: It may be completely unfair, but it’s difficult to measure the worth of this film outside the motivations for making it. Let’s just say it’s not simply suspicious that a politically motivated movie that wasn’t in motion to be made eight months ago was made quickly enough to come out just before a major election. With that in mind, everything in the film seems sort of, well, unfair – colored by an agenda instead of propelled by good filmmaking. Without that in mind, I have no idea what message you were trying to send.
- Rolling Stone: It’s not that W. fails to score points. It’s watchable, often fun and, on rare occasion, suitably fierce. But from Stone you expect a fire in the belly or the gravitas he showed in Nixon. Here, only Brolin and James Cromwell as George Sr. are allowed to play it for real… But the script reduces the actors to stick figures, and Stone’s flair for comedy is largely in his own head.
- NYPost: Josh Brolin is superb as George W. Bush, who, while not treated entirely sympathetically, is perhaps surprisingly not entirely evil in the view of Stone and screenwriter Stanley Weiser… “W.” is entertaining as far as it goes, which is up to about four years ago. It’s a story without a final act – one that’s currently playing out in real life.
- FilmJournal: Give W. a W for “wonderful,” B for “balance,” and A for excellence in those things that add up to terrific filmed entertainment. Brolin’s Dubya, Stone’s direction, and Weiser’s script nail it, with invaluable support from others both above and below-the-line.
- Pastemagazine: It’s a strange complaint, but if anything, W. isn’t quite as bitter or shrill as it should be.The gloves aren’t left on, but subtlety has never been Stone’s strong point (he literally has a character call Bush a devil in a cowboy hat at one point), and the broad, at-times unfocused commentary he gives isn’t what feels promised.W.’s issue isn’t its political statements; it’s that there isn’t a satisfactory film there to back them up.