5.4/10
16,523
83 user 45 critic

Head of State (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 28 March 2003 (USA)
Trailer
2:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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:

Writers:

,
10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Dr. RJ Stevens is a talk show host who visits his family in the deep south. While there he reunites with his brother Otis, his sister Betty, his cousin/rival Clyde and his childhood love interest Lucinda Allen.

Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Stars: Martin Lawrence, Louis C.K., James Earl Jones
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The big screen adaptation of Perry's stage play about the trials of marriage, and what happens to one family when a sexy young temptress arrives on the scene.

Director: Tyler Perry
Stars: Tyler Perry, Janet Jackson, Sharon Leal
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Why not spend another day with the crew at Calvin's shop in the South Side of Chicago?

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Stars: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve
Drumline (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A band director recruits a Harlem street drummer to play at a Southern university.

Director: Charles Stone III
Stars: Nick Cannon, Zoe Saldana, Orlando Jones
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

As Carl Black gets the opportunity to move his family out of Chicago in hope of a better life, their arrival in Beverly Hills is timed with that city's annual purge, where all crime is legal for twelve hours.

Director: Deon Taylor
Stars: Mike Epps, Zulay Henao, Alex Henderson
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A black detective becomes embroiled in a web of danger while searching for a fortune in missing drug money.During the course of his investigation, he encounters various old connections, ... See full summary »

Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Stars: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Charles S. Dutton, Jada Pinkett Smith
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Jack Cates once again enlists the aid of ex-con Reggie Hammond--this time, to take down The Iceman, a ruthless drug lord operating in the San Francisco bay area.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, Brion James
Next Day Air (2009)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Two inept criminals are mistakenly delivered a package of cocaine and think they've hit the jackpot, triggering a series of events that changes ten people's lives forever.

Director: Benny Boom
Stars: Yasiin Bey, Mike Epps, Donald Faison
Houseguest (1995)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In hot water with the mob over an unpaid debt, a con man poses as a family friend in an affluent Pennsylvania suburb.

Director: Randall Miller
Stars: Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Kim Greist
Pootie Tang (2001)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Pootie Tang, the musician/actor/folk hero of the ghetto, is chronicled from his early childhood to his battles against the evil Corporate America, who try to steal his magic belt and make ... See full summary »

Director: Louis C.K.
Stars: Chris Rock, Lance Crouther, J.B. Smoove
House Party 2 (1991)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

When Kid's college money is stolen by a crooked music promoter, Play's solution is to stage the 'mutha' of all pajama parties. Starring Kid 'n Play and Martin Lawrence.

Directors: George Jackson, Doug McHenry
Stars: Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, Martin Lawrence
Repos (Video 2006)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

In this extremely hilarious comedy, Tea (Master P) and Coffee (Michael Blackson) are two repo men who work for Mr. Henderson (Katt Williams) at Banks Repo. While trying to break their "repo... See full summary »

Directors: Sal Martino, Master P
Stars: Michael Blackson, Master P, Katt Williams
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Mays Gilliam
... Mitch Gilliam
... Martin Geller
... Brian Lewis
... Debra Lassiter
... Kim
... Lisa Clark
... Senator Bill Arnot
... Bernard Cooper
... Meat Man
... Nikki
... Advisor
... Mr. Earl
... Himself
... Nate's Girl
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chef de l'état  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$35,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,503,484, 30 March 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$37,788,228, 8 June 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the Chicago speech a man stands up and yells out " Get your hand out of my pocket" in homage to Malcolm X where the same thing happened before he was assassinated. See more »

Goofs

When Mays is wrestling, we see a sign that says "Mays for Pres" being held up in the crowd. In the next few shots, the same sign is upside down. See more »

Quotes

Martin Geller: Look, one thing at a time. The Teamsters haven't endorsed Lewis yet. Our numbers are creeping back up, but if you want a real shot at this thing, we gotta get Lewis to debate.
Mays Gilliam: Well, he knows that. That's why he won't debate me. The guy's avoiding me like he owes me child support.
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

References NWA: Total Nonstop Action (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

A Woman Needs to Be Loved
Written by Carl Davis, Willie Henderson & Floyd Smith
Performed by Tyrone Davis
Courtesy of Brunswick Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Chris Rock could -- and *should* -- do much better
30 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

Chris Rock has made an interesting name for himself. He's a black comedian who's been in almost 60 feature films; a writer and co-writer for movies and TV shows like Saturday Night Live; and is a man with strong political opinions. So, with all that talent and experience, you'd think that if he were to write and produce a political satire, it'd be a mix of biting comedy with a message.

If only that were the case with `Head of State.' Instead of biting satire poking fun at the political system, there's a collection of gag jokes that, in themselves are funny, but neither politically pertinent or satirical in any way. What's more the romantic-comedy subplot is way too prominent, elbowing out the main theme of the film.

Rock plays Mays Gilliam, a Washington, D.C. alderman, who's a man of the people. He not only does good things in his neighborhood, but even the drug dealers like him. When the existing democratic presidential candidates unexpectedly die, Gilliam finds himself selected by the party to replace them, all in the name of a politically ambitious underling who sets up Rock to lose in hopes of securing the nomination in the next election. Through a series of gags and mishaps, Gilliam not only gets elected, but gets the girl too.

The film certainly has the gags, many of which are genuinely funny. In fact, if it were all gags, a la `Airplane' and `The Naked Gun', then Rock's film would have been surprisingly refreshing. But, the humor was diluted by attempts at a serious side – both on the political front and the romantic front – and the script fails to know when one ends and the other begins. What's more, the serous or romantic sides to the film, gags notwithstanding, were just plain silly.

It's not that the formula doesn't work. It's been done many times before, such as `Dave', starring Kevin Klein, and Warren Beatty's `Bulworth'. In each case, the `candidate' was unlikely and over the edge, but their straight talk and unconventional approach to politics appealed to the people and resonated with movie audiences. In essence, using this theme as the platform for satirical poignancy was very effective (from an entertainment perspective, not necessarily as a valid social commentary). In the end, the reason these films worked is because it was clear where the gags end and the seriousness begins.

On a separate note with respect to today's current events, I couldn't help but notice that it's because of reality that this movie is actually more disturbing than it should be. In fact, it harkens back to the good old days of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Back then, people didn't take politics or world events seriously at all, as evidenced by the fact that we had actual, serious attempts at the presidency from people such as Donald Trump, Ross Perot, and yes, even Warren Beatty. You'd never see those names in mainstream press in today's environment. Perhaps `Head of State' should have been released during a time when society's perception of politics and the presidency wasn't so important. But today, it's just plain eerie and disturbing.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 83 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Sci-Fi Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular sci-fi movies and TV shows available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial