Rated 3.0

As it is, Oliver Stone’s movie portrait of George W. Bush comes off as a sketchy, half-baked combination of docudrama and biopic. Stone and screenwriter Stanley Weiser frame their portrait as a composite of events past and present, and the pieces in their faux-serious puzzle seem as though they might have been drawn from some master list of the top 20 things you already know about George W. Bush. The cast is a good one, on paper at least, but neither the casting of roles nor the acting itself is particularly good. Richard Dreyfuss (as Dick Cheney) and Stacy Keach (as the evangelist/enabler Earle Hudd) are particular stand-outs, and Toby Jones playing Karl Rove as a gerbil in heat may be the film’s one real coup in satiric terms. But Josh Brolin (as W), Elizabeth Banks (as Laura Bush), James Cromwell (Bush Sr.) and Ellen Burstyn (Barbara Bush) all exude dignity and allure that are at odds with the script’s scattered pungencies and with too much of what has already been well-documented about the Bushes individually. Rated PG-13