He doesn't look much like LBJ, even after the make-up, nor can he bring his voice to the same low register, but he understands the coyote cunning of the man. Won't be his (Woody Harrelson) fault if you find this endearing, if this slight political biopic falls short. "LBJ" — 2 stars LBJ slips from an examination of a sometimes admirable leader into a hagiographic daydream, a fantasy of a father figure to save us all. This is the grinning, arm-twisting, deal-making LBJ of legend, and Harrelson gives him to us full-bore. Director Rob Reiner’s excellent biopic is limited in scope but powerful in its presentation. The film’s historical frame represents some interesting choices on the part of screenwriter Joey Hartstone. Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” had the courage and insight to embrace the tragic elements in its protagonist’s story. Those of us who were around at the time recall just what a despicable president LBJ actually was. Rob Reiner’s latest is an awkward stylistic handshake. As he puts it, he “speaks both languages,” which indeed helps explain his pivotal role in history. Fortified by vivid, compelling performances from Woody Harrelson and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, Rob Reiner’s “LBJ” captures a tumultuous political era and one of its most profanely colorful leaders with a good deal of insight and emotional torque. All rights reserved. ... Woody Harrelson steps into Lyndon B. Johnson’s boots beside Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Lady … Here the physical and the verbal prevail over the analytic. When Kennedy is assassinated, Johnson, with his devoted wife Lady Bird by his side, is suddenly thrust into the presidency. At this point, Johnson is the quintessence of a background figure, and obviously not happy about it. ... now on the festival circuit, is a more distinctive movie than "LBJ." ... a consistently compelling history lesson, which puts the spotlight on a man forced to navigate the country through one of the most pivotal periods of the last century. If “LBJ” had done the same, a very good film might have a become a truly exceptional one. In its final act, the film unfortunately devolves toward TV-movie conventionality by ending on the high note of Johnson announcing the legislation that will produce the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The LBJ-RFK conflict—with JFK as bemused moderator—continues after Johnson successfully attempts to make the Vice Presidency a greater, more efficacious power base than it has been before, and also faces the rising pressures for meaningful Civil Rights legislation. In reality, of course, LBJ’s career went on to include both triumphs and the tragic Vietnam escalation that effectively destroyed his presidency. LBJ is a film that is wholly unnecessary because it’s already been done by way of the 2016 HBO movie… LBJ Review. Movie Reviews; LBJ Review: A Bizarre Biopic That’s Entertaining Enough. LBJ (2017) Movie Reviews - Cinafilm has 158 reviews of LBJ from movie critics and film fans. The … Movie review: LBJ Posted on November 12, 2017 by luckyotter Rob Reiner directed this 2017 biographical film about a complicated, crusty, sometimes ill-tempered, but very human man determined to make the dreams of his assassinated predecessor, John F. Kennedy, come to fruition. Also this movie held my attention from start to finish. Michael Phillips is a Tribune critic. I don't see this movie being a "whodunit" instead just as the name implies it is about depicting LBJ the "politician." He has written for, Spike Lee Receives American Cinematheque Award, America Has to Come to a Reckoning: Director Sam Pollard on MLK/FBI, The TV Homages of WandaVision are an Amusing, Unfulfilling Distraction. Such episodes in a politician’s life – internal exiles, if you will – entail psychological struggles that test his character, sagacity and resolve to the extreme. Though the film understandably leaves out much about Johnson’s career to focus on his growing commitment to Civil Rights, it does so with verve and conviction before, alas, turning more soft-edged and conventionally hagiographic as it nears the finish line. I really liked the wording of the speech given by LBJ (Harrelson) at the near end of the movie. By Jim Castagnera Special to The History Place 11/6/17. LBJ review: Woody Harrelson compelling if physically unconvincing in firm biopic. Jennifer Jason Leigh [Woody] Harrelson gives an impressionistic performance. When the film isn't cracking jokes the film explores Johnson's desire to be liked by the public and fears of rejection but doesn't go far enough to ensure compelling results. If I was asked to recommend the perfect short to be studied by young film-makers, it would probably be the 18-minute LBJ. LBJ regards JFK as a “show horse,” and himself as a “work horse” and therefore more suited to taking on the work of running the nation; so when Kennedy offers him the Vice Presidential slot, he not only has to deal with the ignominy of a de facto political demotion, he does so facing the active opposition of bratty Robert F. Kennedy (excellent Michael Stahl-David), who resents having such a relative rube on the ticket. Hartstone’s smart, flavorful script makes the most of this rough passage. Come 1960, Johnson reaches a crossroads when John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan) beats him for the Democratic nomination for President. There is a richer film here than the generically-told one that Reiner gives us, despite Harrelson's plucky firebrand of a performance. Nein, das steht nicht für Lesbian Blow Job, auch wenn das irgendwie sicher eine interessantere Review geben würde. With Woody Harrelson, Michael Stahl-David, Richard Jenkins, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Ratings, review and more on Cinafilm.com Don't have an account? LBJ-OK. In its final act, the film unfortunately devolves toward TV-movie conventionality by ending on the high note of Johnson announcing the legislation that will produce the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While the shooting of JFK is the dark shadow of this movie, what unfolds on screen is less about the 35th president than the man who replaced him. And the movie does a good job doing so. Godfrey Cheshire is a film critic, journalist and filmmaker based in New York City. Lyndon Johnson’s downfall was a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions. Stefan Pape from HeyUGuys and Paul Heath from The Hollywood News review Rob Reiner's LBJ from the 2016 Toronto Film Festival (TIFF16). on. The movie recounts the journey of how the most “successful Senate Majority Leader” of all time becomes the 36th President of The United States of America. Published. Yet he also understands the Northern position too. LBJ was released in 2017 and has generally received positive reviews. By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Policies, October 30, 2017. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! Movie reviews for Lbj. He has written for The New York Times, Variety, Film Comment, The Village Voice, Interview, Cineaste and other publications. By Siddhant Adlakha Oct. 30, 2017. For the more impatient, it could be the six-minute Now. Check out LBJ critics reviews. As the nation mourns, Johnson seeks to honor JFK’s legacy by championing the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. LBJ Review: Laying bare the naked politics of JFK's successor ... Woody Harrelson plays Lyndon Baines Johnson and Jennifer Jason Leigh his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, in the film LBJ… LBJ is an eye-opening and sensitive look at a man who looked everyone in the eye and fought with conviction and respect to bring a nation together during one of its darkest moments. In reality, of course, LBJ’s career went on to include both triumphs and the tragic Vietnam escalation that effectively destroyed his presidency. [Full Review in Spanish]. The most powerful senator of his time, made president first by horrid chance, but then by a landslide election victory, and the architect of the Great Society, he left the White House in 1969 in disgrace. Movie Review: LBJ. Rob Reiner’s film fails to do justice to both the man and the fraught times he so fundamentally influenced. So while providing some enlightening insight into the 36th President ("a sensitive man with an enormous ego," as this film's JFK puts it), LBJ never truly engrosses. But even within this subgenre, Lyndon B Johnson has been a surprisingly recurrent character. While Johnson’s legacy includes such milestones as his Great Society legislation, Head Start, Medicare and Medicaid as well as his escalation of the Vietnam War, “LBJ” largely ignores the events of his presidency to focus on what came before, in the years 1959-63: first, his power as the Senate majority leader; then, his years as vice president, when he felt largely neutered and marginalized until fate catapulted him to the pinnacle of power. In LBJ, Lyndon B. Johnson (Woody Harrelson) decides to run for president, risking his position as majority leader in the U.S. Senate.When John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan) wins the nomination, Johnson reluctantly accepts Kennedy's offer to be his running mate.As a southerner, Johnson is expected to help influence other southerners -- especially the powerful Senator Richard … The only question is: Is the LBJ movie we want and deserve an LBJ movie directed by Rob Reiner? By. Online reviewers have written 158 reviews, giving LBJ (2017) an average rating of 63%. Directed by Rob Reiner. User Reviews Rate it! LBJ. Sign up here. As I said there, I anticipated a stately and effective film that I could wait to see until it made it to rental, but was impressed enough by the performances and vision of the piece to check it out. LBJ is an eye-opening and sensitive look at a man who looked everyone in the eye and fought with conviction and respect to bring a nation together during one of its darkest moments. Lyndon B. Johnson aligns himself with John F. Kennedy, rises to the Presidency, and deals with the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. Movie Reviews Movie Review: LBJ Danielle Solzman November 3, 2017. There's a curious moment in "LBJ," the biopic of 36 th US president Lyndon Johnson, when Attorney General Robert Kennedy scoffs about his brother John Kennedy's vice president having adopted the habit of using three initials as his moniker. ... Synopsis: The story of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson from his young days in West Texas to the White House. That’s a matter of Reiner’s politics, of course, but even more so a matter of his instincts as a popular filmmaker: He’s offering us an American presidency to escape to. Movie News. Copyright © Fandango. 3 years ago. Reiner has directed some of my favorite films during … Is LBJ any good? Those of us who were around at the time recall just what a despicable president LBJ actually was. LBJ (2017) - Reviews & Comments. Sincere in its duty but concerned in its thought, LBJ ranks as an excellent adaptation of Johnson. The movie concentrates on LBJ's better qualities, while acknowledging his coarseness, but ignores his revolting nature as the architect of the slaughter of 58,000 American boys. Last week’s trailer round up lit a fire under me for LBJ. Thereafter there’s both humor and political urgency in Johnson’s trying to persuade JFK’s young Ivy League circle of aides to stay on and help him make the transition, an effort that includes embracing the Civil Rights legislation that Kennedy had hoped to introduce. Though the actor doesn’t have as much physical resemblance to Johnson as did the Bryan Cranston of “All the Way,” and thus must make use of ample make-up and prosthetics, he energetically conveys both Johnson’s blustery personality and evolving internal struggles. 0 Shares 0 0 0 0. In what initially seems a somewhat corny contrivance, but later proves its dramatic worth, the film intersperses the first two-thirds of its narrative with a depiction of the events of November 22, 1963, with the Johnsons arriving in Dallas and following President and Mrs. Kennedy in the motorcade that will take them through downtown. 'LBJ' review: Woody Harrelson tries on the prosthetic ears. Review: LBJ (TIFF 2016) September 18, 2016 by: Chris Bumbray. Richard Jenkins turns in his usual winning performance. Read the complete critics reviews & previews for the hollywood movie LBJ only on FilmiBeat. Then comes the watershed moment of Dallas. [Full review in Spanish], Rob Reiner, in creative decline since the mid-nineties, approaches the personality of Lyndon B. Johnson in his best film in years. The effectiveness of this approach stems from the fact that it centers on the time in his life when, between passages when he exercised enormous influence, Johnson was challenged by being rendered a mere spear-carrier in the glamorous Kennedy retinue. ^^ Gemeint ist der neue Film, tada, ihr ahnt es, mit Woody Harrelson, Lyndon B. Johnson, dem Vize, der zum Präsident wurde nach dem Attentat auf Kennedy. LBJ Trailer #1 (2017): Check out the new trailer starring Woody Harrelson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and C. Thomas Howell! LBJ Hollywood Movie: Check out the latest news about Woody Harrelson's LBJ movie, story, cast & crew, release date, photos, review, box office collections and much more only on FilmiBeat In some ways, the most important relationship LBJ has in the film is with veteran Senator Richard Russell (Richard Jenkins), who, as leader of the Senate’s Southern caucus, has been successfully opposing all Civil Rights legislation for decades. The film renders this dark day with wrenching immediacy and such pungent details as LBJ refusing to leave Dallas without Kennedy’s body. MRQE Metric: See what the critics had to say and watch the trailer. For those who need more, it might be either the 25-minute 79 Springs or the 38-minute Hanoi, Tuesday 13th. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer. But the film soon jumps back four years, to his time as a kingpin of the Senate, when his powers are manifest to all. This early-days biopic isn't quite as good as the Bryan Cranston film All the Way but, along with Tom Wilkinson's performance in Selma, it continues Hollywood's crusade of recasting LBJ's public image. Throughout these and earlier battles, LBJ is bolstered by the unflinching calm of Lady Bird, who’s brought to life with almost uncanny exactitude in Jennifer Jason Leigh’s fine performance. We see him commanding a roomful of aides, barking orders, cajoling, cussing, juggling telephones, even playfully threatening a subordinate with castration. This is two stories for the price of one. Movie Reviews TV Reviews Roundtables Podcasts 'LBJ': Film Review | TIFF 2016. Read full review Forgot your password? A middle-of-the-road yet somewhat entertaining drama... Woody Harrelson delivers a powerhouse performance in this straightforward, solid political drama. Review: LBJ. He injects pace, energy and colour into a familiar storytelling approach that flicks back and forth across the period. As to why “LBJ” wouldn’t try to show both the dark and the light, I was reminded of a director recently complaining of an actor that “he doesn’t understand that not everything is ‘the Hero’s Journey.’”. The True History Behind the LBJ Movie The True History Behind the LBJ Movie. f for no other reason, the changing dynamic of the relationship between Johnson and Russell makes the movie worth checking out. Johnson has a great deal of personal sympathy for Russell and, as a Southerner himself, understands the resistance of whites to changes in the laws affecting race. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. An odd, stilted affair with a curiously distanced feel. The scornful Bobby opines, "He's trying to be like JFK. This ends up placing the film in the category of conventional biopic. as Lady Bird Johnson, Godfrey Cheshire is a film critic, journalist and filmmaker based in New York City. By Lora Grady. The movie concentrates on LBJ's better qualities, while acknowledging his coarseness, but ignores his revolting nature as the architect of the slaughter of 58,000 American boys. 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