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The Dictator (2012)

 -  Comedy  -  16 May 2012 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 172,484 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 296 user | 305 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

The heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Rocky Citron ...
Liam Campora ...
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Rick Chambers ...
Elsayed Mohamed ...
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Tamir
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Virgin Guard
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Virgin Guard (as Naz Homa)
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Virgin Guard (as Dawn Zimniak)
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Virgin Guard
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Storyline

The Republic of Wadiya is ruled by an eccentric and oppressive leader named Hafez Aladeen. Aladeen is summoned to New York to a UN assembly to address concerns about his country's nuclear weapons program, but the trip goes awry. Written by Sam

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong crude and sexual content, brief male nudity, language and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 May 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Finchley's Dream  »

Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$17,435,092 (USA) (18 May 2012)

Gross:

$59,617,068 (USA) (20 July 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sacha Baron Cohen wanted to shoot scenes in the actual United Nations building but was denied access. Baron Cohen claims the official explanation given to him was "we represent a lot of dictators, and they are going to be very angry by this portrayal of them, so you can't shoot in there." When asked about Baron Cohen's claims, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon only responded by saying "Sacha Baron Cohen has a wonderful sense of humor." See more »

Goofs

When Aladeen accidentally shoots his guard, the slide on his gun is clearly shown locked back, indicating it is empty. Moments later, he shoots the gun again. See more »

Quotes

Zoey: [yelling at the police after Aladeen is arrested] And I know this because I majored in Fem Lit!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In loving memory of Kim Jong-il See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Eli Manning/Rihanna (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Breaking News
Written by David Arnold & Paul Brian Hart
Courtesy of APM Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Woody Allen, Peter Sellers, Sacha Baron Cohen
20 May 2012 | by See all my reviews

The non-stop jokes, off-color humor, slapstick and under 90 minute running time of "The Dictator" hearkens back to early Woody Allen gems like "What's Up Tiger Lily," "Take The Money and Run," "Bananas," and "Love and Death. And, in the world of comedy, that's quite a compliment.

Like Cohen, Allen's first films were often misunderstood. Some folks just did not get the joke. Many still don't get it today. The object of comedy has always been to take down the high and mighty by whatever means necessary. And, if you happen to be a Middle Eastern despot, you will find much to be offended by here. But, as Allen often did as well, Cohen uses racial and gender stereotypes to shine a light on people's attitudes, and that's likely to put off others as well. That's fine. Some comedy just isn't for everyone.

While his writing style owes much to Allen, his acting chops are also influenced heavily by one of Britain's greatest comics, Peter Sellers. You can see it in his outrageous accents and in his ridiculous pratfalls. Like Sellers, Cohen is fearless in his characterizations and, again, like Sellers, there will be those who will take offense in this. Again, not for everyone. But, if you laughed your butt off at Sellers' simpleton Indian character destroying a Hollywood party, you will be laughing here too.

And that's what we're talking about; laughs. Not every joke works. Many fall flat. But the film starts off fast and furious with a rapid succession of gags, most of which work hilariously, settles down for a bit and then takes off again, literally. His verbal sparring with co-star Jason Mantzoukas is one of the highlights as are many of the fun cameo appearances and a running joke about his name that I will not reveal here. There are many great sight gags that are easily missed and the appearance of his Efawadh character at the U.N. channels a scene right out of Allen's "Sleeper." There's a few scatological and sex jokes also (one about excrement, one about urination, one about masturbation, several about body parts), and these, if you ask me, are the low point of the film (except a child birth scene that's as funny as it is outrageous). But, the bodily fluid gags, so rampant in comedy films today, are actually few and far between. And there's a bit of a message, too.

We're not dealing with "Citizen Kane" here. But, then, this film made me laugh much more.


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