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The Last King of Scotland (2006)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  19 January 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 136,159 users   Metascore: 74/100
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Based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970s



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 47 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Junju
Stephen Rwangyezi ...
Abby Mukiibi Nkaaga ...
Masanga (as Abby Mukiibi)
Adam Kotz ...
Sam Okelo ...
Sarah Nagayi ...
Chris Wilson ...
Dick Stockley ...
Times Journalist (as Dr. Dick Stockley)
Barbara Rafferty ...
David Ashton ...


In the early 1970s, Nicholas Garrigan, a young semi-idealistic Scottish doctor, comes to Uganda to assist in a rural hospital. Once there, he soon meets up with the new President, Idi Amin, who promises a golden age for the African nation. Garrigan hits it off immediately with the rabid Scotland fan, who soon offers him a senior position in the national health department and becomes one of Amin's closest advisers. However as the years pass, Garrigan cannot help but notice Amin's increasingly erratic behavior that grows beyond a legitimate fear of assassination into a murderous insanity that is driving Uganda into bloody ruin. Realizing his dire situation with the lunatic leader unwilling to let him go home, Garrigan must make some crucial decisions that could mean his death if the despot finds out. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Charming. Magnetic. Murderous.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence and gruesome images, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




| | |

Release Date:

19 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El último rey de Escocia  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$142,899 (USA) (29 September 2006)


$17,605,861 (USA) (18 May 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To prepare for his role as Idi Amin, Forest Whitaker put on nearly 50 pounds of fat. See more »


(at around 1h 35 mins) Just prior to dealing with the Entebbe hostage situation in 1976, Amin is shown sitting beside an issue of Bullet comic from 1977. See more »


[first lines]
Nicholas Garrigan: Come on! Are youse ready?
See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.185 (2013) See more »


Grazing in the Grass
Performed by Hugh Masekela
Written by Philemon Hou (as Philemon M Hou) & Harry Elston
Published by Moncur Street Music Ltd.
Licensed courtesy of Geffen Records
under license from Universal Operations Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Acting! and Gillian Anderson!
24 February 2007 | by (Quezon City, Philippines) – See all my reviews

I like movies based on real people in history. Because of the Oscar buzz surrounding Forest Whitaker now, I knew this movie is about Idi Amin. This is of course a familiar name in my childhood (asked in General Information contests), but I don't really know much about him, except that he was a dictator.

This film has a documentary feel to it. It is really very realistic, even if upon reading background info that the Dr. Garrigan character is fictional. Even though granted that the Idi Amin regime was compressed into a coherent Hollywood storyline, it does not feel contrived. The final sequence of events at the Entebbe Airport was very suspenseful indeed.

Idi Amin was not really the lead character in this movie. It is actually Dr. Nicholas Garrigan. Being a physician, I could not help but be able to identify with his situation and dilemmas. Would you accept to be the personal physician of a country's president upon his personal request? It seems to be an offer and career opportunity you could not refuse.

There is sex and violence in this movie. I could not agree though with Dr. Garrigan's rashness regarding his love affairs, particularly his morals of hooking up with wives of his supposed friends. But considering that this movie is set in the 1970s, that was a totally different world pre-HIV. The violence, what can I say? After watching one violent film after the other, you get sort of anesthetized already. That said, the scene with hooks at the airport was still something else! The acting is very good. Forest Whitaker has channeled the Idi Amin persona very effectively. I could feel the scary and suffocating craziness whenever he is on screen. There's something about this performance being based on a real character though. I think it would be harder to essay a totally fictional character since you have to create this new character from scratch. And I feel James McAvoy (who was actually Mr. Tumnus in "Narnia"!) did so very well as Dr. Garrigan. You dislike him, yet you can empathize the stickiness of his situation.

Before I end this review, I have to mention that I was very happy to see the luminous Ms. Gillian Anderson again. I totally did not know she was in this film and it was a welcome surprise. She handled her few scenes as the wife of a volunteer doctor very well indeed. I hope she gets meatier movie roles in the future.

57 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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