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The American President
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Reviews & Ratings for
The American President More at IMDbPro »

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Index 206 reviews in total 

A great film

Author: LisaAllen123 from Sterling VA
25 May 1999

I recently saw this movie on TV and it is brilliantly directed and acted especially by Benning. Benning shows a very realistic passion about the issues for which she is fighting for. Sheen and Douglas also do a great job in making 2 characters with a long standing friendship very believable. Michael J. Fox played the stereotypical intellectual yuppie (George Stephanopolis perhaps?) and I am getting tired from seeing Back to the Future Boy in this type of role. You also have to appreciate the part played by Richard Dreyfuss (Bob Runson) as the typical out of touch Republican presidential candidate. I loved the line "My name is Bob Runson, and I'm running for president" and then Michael Douglas says "Thanks for clearing that up for us Bob, I thought you were trying to sell us all Amway products".

In summary America needs more of these feel good about America movies. I thought it was a surprising treat.

Brilliantly written, brilliantly casted, brilliantly directed and decently acted.

*** 1/2 out of ****

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Bening's facial expressions are priceless!!

Author: keznik from Mountain View, CA, USA
25 May 1999

I saw The American President on TV last night, plus I've seen it 3 times on video. Annette Bening does a wonderful job!! Her facial expressions are priceless. The kisses between President Shepard and Sydney are quite lovely-----NOT as is so often the case with Hollywood----a Great White Shark feeding frenzy. The interaction between the White House Staff and the President was interesting---sometimes funny.

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Great Script, Great Direction, Great Performances.

Author: Scott Carr ( from Kingston, Ontario
8 March 1999

Rob Reiner and Aaron Sorkin's last collaboration, "A Few Good Men" was a tremendous success with me. I thought that the simple conflict was exploited in a very enthralling and entertaining fashion. Based on this work, I was very excited to see "The American President", especially since it starred one of my favourite actors, Michael Douglas. I was just as impressed with this film.

The story had that intelligent humour and interesting story that worked so well for "A Few Good Men". Douglas and Bening had a great chemistry which blended well with their strong performances. I found myself laughing and crying at the same time. I empathised with the tragedy in President Sheppard's situation and I was moved by his handling of it. There are fine performances by the supporting class, especially by Michael J. Fox in a role he was born to play (it's Alex Keaton meets Marty McFly).

This movie is thoroughly entertaining and moving. It will play with all your emotions, from the opening scene with its fantastic musical score to the film's final shot.

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Annette Bening is terrific

Author: Sonia Gosselin from Quebec, Canada
19 December 1998

This movie should be seen just for the acting of Annette Bening. She seems to be so natural. This movie surely won't be the same without here presence. About the movie by itself, it's very interesting for somebody like me, who's not an american, to see the inside life of the White House, even if we know that it's not really like that in real life...

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Schmaltzy, but nice

Author: Blair Campbell from Perth, Australia
5 October 1998

There's no question that this movie pushes all the right buttons. It is very cute and plays on your emotions. In spite of the fairly predictable plot and the rehash of the familiar themes and characters, you can't help but like it. Yet another movie with more polish than substance, but if that's what you're looking for in a soft romantic comedrama, you'll enjoy this movie.

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Author: Borko Baric from Zagreb, Croatia
4 October 1998

Here is one movie that is truly charming and filled with romance. Michael Douglas is as likeable as he can be, and Anette Bening can simply break walls with her smile. The movie is smart, not too sentimental and an absolute must for all fans of romantic comedies.

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Beautifully acted (especially Bening)_ comedy/drama that leaves you with a warm patriotic glow!

Author: Gert-4 from San Francisco, CA
26 September 1998

I saw "The American President" on TV very recently. I loved it so much that I ran out and purchased the video. The White House "problems" currently in the news had a depressing effect on me and my family. "The American President" was a happy antidote. It is a comedy but not a mindless one. The acting is superb especially Annette Bening and you regain your love and confidence and shout "God Bless America"!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: BlackRoseShelli from Pennsylvania, United States
13 March 2012

Extraordinary movie about an extraordinary president. I would vote for Andrew Shepherd right now if I had the chance.

The writers did a fantastic job of portraying the game of politics, the intricacies of a blossoming new relationship, and the balance between the two. Douglas was phenomenal in this role, as was Annette Benning. I came away from it feeling energized in several ways.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone and everyone. I would even recommend that it be shown in civics courses in high school and college - not for the love story, which I really felt was secondary to the story about the workings of government. Although, make no mistakes about it, the love story was just as fantastic!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Political Feel-Good Movie. (no, not an oxy-moron)

Author: PJLowe from The Next Corner, England
26 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A beautifully crafted film that works on every level.

It gives you great insight into American politics, particularly re-election but politics is just one thread woven through this superb tapestry of a tale.

The romance is beautifully crafted, with just the right amounts of humour, nervousness and sensuality.

The supporting cast are well served by a sparkling script; Sheen, Fox and Waldren get some great one liners And just wait for the quality and majesty of Andrew Shepherd's press conference at towards the end of the film

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The American President as a normal person

Author: david-sarkies from Australia
26 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie appeared before the American president as a hero movies (ID4 and Airforce One) but it still a very pro-American president movie. At the time of this movie, there was no hint of disgrace within the Presidency. It was late 1997, 1998 that the whole Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones affairs hit the media. Nixon and the affairs of Watergate are far behind us so the president was somebody to look up to and admire. Somebody to follow and worship and a position to aspire to. What surprised me about this movie though is that it made the President a normal person. President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) is a single president, actually a widower. His wife died during his election campaign and this was used successfully to elect him to office. He did not use it because Andrew Shepherd is portrayed as an honest president who loved his wife dearly, but the events that transpired severely hindered the opposition. One day, while debating a bill, an environmental lobbyist decided to speak her mind to the president and this impressed him. He is surrounded by people calling him sir and Mr President: even his best friend refuses to treat him as an equal, and thus he is lonely. He is not a megalomaniac, but rather a president that wants the best for people. He is one that wants to serve the people and not be considered to be too important to talk to normal people. Unfortunately, as president, he cannot escape this. A normal walk down the White House brings marine soldiers saluting him, and he cannot go anywhere without the press following him. He cannot even have a private relationship without the press plastering it all over the papers and the opposition using it against him. The movie is not about the President trying to get this girl, he has her right from the beginning. Rather it deals with the pressures of public life and the problems that they put on the relationship. The real struggles come from the guilt that his girlfriend (Annette Bening) has in regards to the president's daughter, and the fact that people will accuse her of manipulating the president. The greater problem, the one the movie is focused around, it the president struggling with the nature of his private life. He refuses to bring his relationship into the open, nor to defend it, while his opponent is constantly attacking it by dragging up the past. One theme that came through this movie is the realisation of the problems of being president. The major one is the publicity of his private life. The press follows him everywhere and everybody knows what he did with his girlfriend. The first time she spent the night over there, everybody in America knew. Thus I think this movie is an attack against the publicity of some of these lives. It depends on the person – some like to have their lives publicised, while others just can't escape from the press. Generally people do not like the press questioning their activities, especially when they are illegal. In this movie, it is not illegal, but rather private. The American President is a comedy though, but most of the comedy is focused around reactions of normal people to the American President. He has a habit of going out to the people and meeting them face to face. In this movie we laugh at the thing people do when they are nervous, especially when the President rings up. We laugh even more at the way people grovel to him, and their disbelief in the fact that he is personally calling them. This movie forces us to accept the president as a normal person, somebody who loves, hates, and does everything else that we do.

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