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Bush's Brain (2004)

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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 872 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 18 user | 40 critic | 22 from

An examination of political consultant Karl Rove's influence on George W. Bush's candidacy.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cathy Bonner ...
Herself - Richards Campaign Official
Bruce Buchanan ...
Himself - Presidential Scholar, University of Texas
Max Cleland ...
Himself - U.S. Senate, Georgia (D) 1997-2003
Shirley Cuff ...
Herself - Proprietor
Robert Edgeworth ...
Himself - Professor of Classics, Louisiana State University
Kent Hance ...
Himself - Bush's Opponent for Congress 1978
Bill Israel ...
Himself - University of Massachusetts
Molly Ivins ...
Herself - Author, Political Columnist
Richard Leiby ...
Himself - 'Reliable Source' Columnist, Washington Post
Susie Lieseke ...
Wade Lieseke Jr. ...
Himself - Former Nye Co. Sheriff, Tonopah, NV (as Wade Lieseke)
Ken Luce ...
Himself - Campaign Manager for Rick Perry
Garry Mauro ...
Himself - Former Texas State Land Commissioner
Chuck McDonald ...
Himself - Former Richards Press Secretary
Dave McNeely ...
Himself - Political Columnist, Austin American-Statesman


An examination of political consultant Karl Rove's influence on George W. Bush's candidacy.

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

13 March 2004 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,927 (USA) (20 August 2004)


$11,927 (USA) (20 August 2004)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


A Song for Fred Pokorney
Written and Performed by David Friedman
for the film "Bush's Brain"
Published by Wandering Moose Publishing (BMI)
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User Reviews

Poorly made, biased and meandering....and I hate Bush!
26 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This documentary was really a disappointment. I've been meaning to watch it for a while (even though it's all old news now) but was shocked at how uninformative it actually was. It basically meandered on in this "wild" allegation that politics are dirty and highly successful Republicans, namely Karl Rove, do whatever they can to get their candidates elected, including smear campaigns and so on. Well...DUH!??? What, have I been living in a bubble all my life? No kidding, Sherlock. I didn't need a documentary to tell me politics is a dirty game and there are many dirty players, especially the most successful ones. There was really very little specific information and virtually no hard evidence whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, I think Bush and Rove are a disgrace to our country but I can glean more from their slimy smirks on TV than I can from this loose documentary. It basically amounted to gathering everyone whom Rove has ever destroyed politically or personally in a room and having them lament (shouldn't this have been a lot more people?). It reminded me of the scene in JFK where Kevin Costner is in bed with his wife, and he sees the guy on a TV documentary smear him, and says "Oh look, there's the guy I sent up for murder!" The whole thing was just completely one-sided from people obviously very hurt personally by Rove, instead of a factual investigation into his many wrongdoings and an exploration of how he maintains and manipulates such control in the White House, which is what I was expecting from the title. The personal accounts really provided little insight. I also didn't appreciate the 20 minute lead-up since I thought this was his role in the Bush campaign and not what he was like in the 4th grade. It was all just very meandering and poorly thrown together, and very uninteresting. Anyone who's surprised by anything in this film has no idea how politics actually work, which sadly I suppose is most of our country who was obviously stupid enough to be manipulated by people like this....(twice!) And yes, the whole 10 minute diversion about "our son was killed in Iraq" was a stretch and totally out of context as an obvious sympathy ploy...and quite hypocritical considering it amounts to the same type of tears-and-eyebrows tactics the film chastises in regards to campaigning! A dirty trick I would expect from the likes of someone like Michael Moore, who is about as balanced as a see-saw but at least entertaining. This film was neither. Hence the 1 star rating. Bush is a puppet moron and Karl Rove is a master manipulator. But I already knew that. Maybe when this film originally came out, people didn't, but there's little to learn here. Hopefully a better documentary on how Rove/Bush really works(ed) exists or will come out in the near future...

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Why is no one talking about this movie?? BEARisonFord
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