Rated 4.0

In Oliver Stone’s take on the beleaguered 43rd President, Bush is not portrayed as deliberately evil. (That would be Dick Cheney, portrayed satanically by Richard Dreyfuss.) In this movie, Bush (played all too realistically by Josh Brolin) is evil by default. Oliver Stone’s W. is a charismatic simpleton who eventually becomes president due to some big daddy issues and an unwavering desire to get out of his brother’s shadow. Whether or not you find this portrayal sympathetic or evil, Stone’s movie isn’t a warm “hug out” for the outgoing president. It’s a swift kick in the ass, sorry-to-have-met-ya, now-get-the-hell-out-of-here middle finger to the man’s face. Josh Brolin has a good shot at an Oscar nomination, which he deserves. The film’s major flaw is a terrible depiction of Condoleezza Rice by Thandie Newton. It’s like she showed up thinking she was in another movie.