5.5/10
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Head of State (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 28 March 2003 (USA)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
When a presidential candidate dies unexpectedly in the middle of the campaign, Washington, D.C. alderman, Mays Gilliam is unexpectedly picked as his replacement.

Director:

Chris Rock

Writers:

Chris Rock, Ali LeRoi
10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Rock ... Mays Gilliam
Bernie Mac ... Mitch Gilliam
Dylan Baker ... Martin Geller
Nick Searcy ... Brian Lewis
Lynn Whitfield ... Debra Lassiter
Robin Givens ... Kim
Tamala Jones ... Lisa Clark
James Rebhorn ... Senator Bill Arnot
Keith David ... Bernard Cooper
Tracy Morgan ... Meat Man
Stephanie March ... Nikki
Robert Stanton ... Advisor
Jude Ciccolella ... Mr. Earl
Nate Dogg ... Himself
Angie Mattson ... Nate's Girl
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Storyline

One candidate for the presidency dies in an accident a couple of weeks before the election. Meanwhile the alderman Mays Gilliam becomes a hero when he rescues a woman and her cat from an old house that would blow up. However his fiancee Kim does not pay his bills and dumps him, and Gilliam loses everything including his fancy car. When Senator Bill Arnot sees the news on television, he plots a scheme with the party advisors Martin Geller and Debra Lassiter to invite Mays to be the party nominee and lose the election for the other candidate, Vice-President Brian Lewis. Four years later, he would be the candidate and would have the chance of winning the election. Mays has a terrible beginning of campaign but when his older brother Mitch Gilliam meets him in Chicago, he advises Mays to be himself. Will he have the chance to be the first African American President of the USA? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The only thing white is the house.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chef de l'état See more »

Filming Locations:

Annapolis, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,503,484, 30 March 2003

Gross USA:

$38,125,247

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$38,620,484
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scream that was used after Chris Rock says, "Security," was actually done by Adam Sandler. See more »

Goofs

The city of Washington, D.C. does not have aldermen, but councilmen. Nor is there a 9th ward, there are only 8. See more »

Quotes

Mitch Gilliam: You can survive a stroke, but the high prices of medicine will give you a heart attack.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, it lists many famous politicians, then in parenthesis it says "(Are not in this movie)". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Bernie Mac/Good Charlotte (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Who We Be
Written by DMX (as Earl Simmons) & Mickey (Black Key) Davis
Performed by DMX
Courtesy of Ruff Ryders/Def Jam Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

The Cradle Will "Rock".
29 April 2003 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

An angry commentary on American politics and the current state of the Republican Party today is made quite clear in "Head of State". Chris Rock stars as a relatively normal man who is having a string of bad luck in one of the roughest areas of Washington, D.C. A heroic rescue of one of his elderly friends leads to Rock getting in the spotlight. Meanwhile the Democratic presidential nominee for 2004 has tragically died in a plane crash. The party feels they have no chance in the election so they come up with an idea to sway minority voters so the Democrats (namely candidate James Rebhorn) can re-claim the presidency in 2008. Get the picture? Dylan Baker and Lynn Whitfield are the two campaign managers assigned to Rock's cause, but soon Rock starts running his own show. Throughout, the Republican nominee (goof-ball Nick Searcy, a character that is an unsympathetic carbon-copy of President George W. Bush) continues to lead the polls mainly because he has been vice president for eight years, is a war hero and is also Sharon Stone's cousin. However, Rock's antics quickly make him the darkest of dark horses in a tight race. Along for the ride also is love interest Tamala Jones, ex-girlfriend Robin Givens (in a psychotic role), personal assistant Stephanie March and the priceless Bernie Mac (in a part that is way too limited). Mac eventually becomes the running mate for Rock. The fact that he is Rock's older brother makes him the most trust-worthy person in a twisted circle. "Head of State" has shades of Warren Beatty's "Bulworth" all over it. Rock, however would rather shy away with sometimes silly comedy than tackling the issues like the aforementioned film did. The Republican Party has already boycotted this film due to the way they are portrayed and that fact has made the production go into a minor financial tail-spin at the box office (overall "Head of State" has been a disappointment economically speaking). Politics aside, the film ultimately fails due to Rock's shortcomings as a director and screenwriter. He definitely has some things to say, but the way he conveys his thoughts are such a jumble on the big screen that the film almost becomes tedious. Rock has a likeable cast and yet he tries to carry the show by himself. This is not a very good thing in the end. Overall I do respect Rock's views and I do think he made a movie that pushes the envelope on some issues in the U.S. today, but in the end "Head of State" is just another potentially good production that never does rise to expectations. 2.5 out of 5 stars.


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