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The Dictator (2012)

tomatometer

57

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 209
Fresh: 120 | Rotten: 89

Wildly uneven but consistently provocative, The Dictator is a decent entry in the poli-slapstick comedy genre.

64

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 16

Wildly uneven but consistently provocative, The Dictator is a decent entry in the poli-slapstick comedy genre.

audience

45

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 165,406

My Rating

Movie Info

The heroic story of a North African dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. -- (C) Paramount

R,

Comedy

Aug 21, 2012

$59.6M

Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on The Dictator

August 21, 2012:
RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Dictator, A Separation, and Some Disney Classics
This week on home video, we've got one big comedy and a bunch of smaller films that critically fared...
August 7, 2012:
Sacha Baron Cohen Sells James Bond Spoof to Paramount
He's currently working on the script.

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All Critics (210) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (120) | Rotten (89) | DVD (1)

The film has a vicious edge that the Marx Brothers didn't have, and it's too low-minded to achieve their enchanting blend of anarchy and surrealism.

May 22, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comments (3)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Now [Cohen is] turning material both fresh and rancid into tepid gruel.

May 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal | Comments (8)
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

On the laughmeter The Dictator is closer to Borat than to the misfired Bruno, which is to say it's funny for about half of its brisk 83 minutes.

May 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comments (3)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Most of The Dictator had me neither laughing nor shocked, but just staring at the screen in anxious is-that-all-there-is? silence.

May 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Slate | Comments (11)
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A bit scattershot and schticky, the film never quite settles into a consistent comic rhythm. Yet for fans of Baron Cohen's work there are plenty of moments of crass hilarity.

May 16, 2012 Full Review Source: The Atlantic
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For the most part, the movie's rhythms feel slightly off -- there are long stretches without a laugh -- and there is a mean-spirited air to the whole thing.

May 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Comments (3)
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This comedy succeeds as a crude, inventive and humours look at a dumb despot.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: John Hanlon Reviews
John Hanlon Reviews

This is not a character who can hold the center of a movie for 90 minutes.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

A mix of gimme jokes and fish-out-of-water observations about a foreigner's introduction to New York City that were rendered clichéd by 'Crocodile Dundee.'

June 2, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

Underrated comic excellence from Sacha Baron Cohen with plenty of sharp satire lacing the broader gross-out gags.

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

Consistently offensive, and not in a way that should automatically be dismissed as 'edgy' or 'provocative'.

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

The film's writers understand that satire is infinitely more powerful when it's accessible

December 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Ultra Culture
Ultra Culture

By now, what looked like good dirty fun, a funhouse mirror pointed at America, has calcified into easy shtick.

December 17, 2012 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

The publicity stunts for promoting The Dictator were funnier than the actual movie.

October 16, 2012 Full Review Source: BET.com
BET.com

A sly/insightful portrait that the comedian has already painted, and re-painted, and painted again. How many examples of the same idea can he successfully convey on film?

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant
ScreenRant

While The Dictator may appear different than Borat and Brüno, it is very much the same idea as both films, packed with the same jokes and new ones that are more disturbing than they are hilarious.

September 15, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Cohen remains a talented comedian. I like his anything-goes sense of humor. But, "The Dictator" feels like he was holding back to get people to like his character.

August 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers
Movie Chambers

Where Borat had unsuspecting victims, The Dictaror is stuck with actors; the Candid Camera element erased. As is the shock value.

August 27, 2012 Full Review Source: NECN | Comments (2)

It doesn't have much to say about the character Cohen portrays or about how the world perceives that stereotype, which results in a paper thin but generally amusing little farce.

August 22, 2012 Full Review Source: CraveOnline
CraveOnline

A few laughs here and there at the expense of offensive stereotypes, The Dictator mostly repeats jokes we've seen in other, better Sacha Baron Cohen films.

August 21, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

This is Cohen in a lightweight mood, taking very few chances, instead relying on only mildly irreverant humor.

August 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

While [Sacha Baron Cohen's] latest, ultra-hyped effort The Dictator has its fair share of disgusting, gross-out moments, perhaps the biggest shock is that it actually has a decent story and engaging characters.

June 30, 2012 Full Review Source: 3AW

A missed opportunity of global proportions.

June 22, 2012 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

What's shocking is the movie's finale, in which Baron Cohen -- as usual, fully committed to his character -- delivers a diatribe that's a satirical version of Charlie Chaplin's famous speech in The Great Dictator.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

It doesn't expose stupidity. That's what Cohen has done absolutely wonderfully in the past with his other characters. Now he's just acting stupid, with only some funny results.

June 13, 2012 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review | Comment (1)
The Scorecard Review

By this time, even Eve Ensler probably would support a movie and TV comedy moratorium on the use of the word 'vagina.'

June 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Audience Reviews for The Dictator

In this overly PC world (and ultra PC UK) Sacha Baron Cohen is an exhilarating breath of fresh air that is most welcome. This new film isn't quite as good as his previous films, 'Bruno' being the best for me, 'Borat' coming second and lastly 'Ali G' but this is only down to Ali G needing a better film, the character is probably his best creation.

As for 'The Dictator' its a sterling effort in harsh political satire, more typical stereotypes and vulgar verbal humour but the approach lets it down. Bruno and Borat were brilliant because they were basically a collection of individual embarrassing real time sketches that humiliated other people by Cohen himself, these were all linked together to make a loose general plot.

This new film goes down the route of Ali G by having a rather poor plot, it seems to run along the same lines as 'Coming to America' albeit a completely racist, sexist bigot filled version. So the proper story route doesn't really work as well for Cohen's skills if you ask me but there are still some great comical cringeworthy scenes to be seen. The dialect/language of John C. Reilly's character in his scenes are really quite unbelievable! you're watching and thinking to yourself, should I be laughing at this? is it political...ah who cares.

I enjoyed it but its not the best he's done. The beginning was good when he was all powerful and the sequences where he is getting used to life not being all powerful were good but it lags through the middle and the happy-ish ending spoils it a little. End of the day you all should know what to expect from Cohen and you all know he doesn't beat around the bush, this guy has balls!. Its offensive and in your face so only watch if you like the guy, simple really.
April 12, 2014
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

Unwatchable. And I love Sacha movies.
August 20, 2013
puffchunk
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

"The Dictator" speaks of painfully humorous comedy!

Full review coming to themoviefreakblog.com on 7/5
June 29, 2013
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

I was quite bored with this movie. It wasn't funny or clever. It was just annoying and stupid. I didn't intend to watch it but thought I would see what the fuss was about since it was streaming on Netflix. Still don't understand the fuss. It's just not my type of humor I guess.
May 29, 2013
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

    1. General Aladeen: I accept your job offer as general manager.
    2. Zoey: Well you can't be the manager because I'm the manager.
    3. General Aladeen: Well I can if I killed you.
    – Submitted by Typhon Q (16 months ago)
    1. General Aladeen: Good morning Nadal! Wake up, Good Morning Nadal!
    2. Nadal: Waaaaaaaaaa!
    3. General Aladeen: Hello Nadal!
    4. Nadal: Oh that is weird!
    – Submitted by Isaiah Collins A (16 months ago)
    1. General Aladeen: Do you sell any assault rifles?
    – Submitted by Isaiah Collins A (16 months ago)
    1. General Aladeen: You promise not to steal again?
    2. Store Customer: I won't. I won't!
    3. General Aladeen: Give him one more for fun, Viktor.
    – Submitted by Jean R (16 months ago)
    1. General Aladeen: Don't worry. I am Wadiya's number one actor. You don't twin four Wadiyan Golden Globes for nothing.
    2. Nadal: Yes, you do, because you gave them to yourself!
    3. General Aladeen: My performance in Aladeen Jones and the Temple of Doom was outstanding.
    4. Nadal: I give it thumbs down.
    5. General Aladeen: Have you seen You've Got Mail Bomb?
    6. Nadal: Yes, I've seen them all! They're all terrible movies!
    – Submitted by Jean R (16 months ago)
    1. General Aladeen: I'm attracted to you in a really fucked up way.
    – Submitted by Aisha S (18 months ago)
View all quotes (50)

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Foreign Titles

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  • The Dictator (UK)
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