6.5/10
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53 user 69 critic
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2:32 | Trailer
Lyndon B. Johnson aligns himself with John F. Kennedy, rises to the Presidency, and deals with the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.

Director:

Rob Reiner

Writer:

Joey Hartstone (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Woody Harrelson ... Lyndon B. Johnson
Michael Stahl-David ... Bobby Kennedy
Richard Jenkins ... Senator Richard Russell
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Lady Bird Johnson
Jeffrey Donovan ... John F. Kennedy
Bill Pullman ... Senator Ralph Yarborough
John Burke ... John Connally
C. Thomas Howell ... Walter Jenkins
John Ellison Conlee ... George Reedy
Michael Mosley ... Kenny O'Donnell
Tim Ransom ... Larry O'Brien
Brent Bailey ... Ted Sorensen
Brian Stepanek ... Agent Rufus Youngblood
Darrel Guilbeau ... Jack Valenti
Oliver Edwin ... Bill Moyers
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Storyline

LBJ centers on the political upheaval that Vice President Johnson faced when he was thrust into the presidency at the hands of an assassin's bullet in November 1963. With political battles on both sides of the aisle, Johnson struggles to heal a nation and secure his presidency by passing Kennedy's historic Civil Rights Act.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

LBJ See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,110,565, 5 November 2017

Gross USA:

$2,470,979

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,510,151
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Ironically, Rob Reiner and Woody Harrelson disliked Lyndon B. Johnson immensely, primarily due to his stance on Vietnam. It was only after they'd delved more deeply into his life that they began to see the softer and insecure side of the man. See more »

Goofs

The presidential aircraft was incorrectly depicted in the film. In JFK's day, SAM 26000 (Air Force One) was fitted with a skeg, a long, narrow fin, on the lower fuselage under the tail. The feature was removed in later years. See more »

Quotes

Lyndon B. Johnson: [to Connally and Jenkins] If either of you get a better job offer, I suggest you take it. My future is behind me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Tulip Fever (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Sons of Thane
Written by John Knowles
Courtesy of APM Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Safe Non-Offensive Look at the 36th President
18 September 2016 | by gregsrantsSee all my reviews

Few things are as comfortable as a Rob Reiner film. The director who is still commonly referred to lovingly as Meathead by fans of the iconic All in the Family television series has been directing films since the early 80's and his films are consistently entertaining inoffensive fair marketed to mass audiences. The Princess Bride, A Few Good Men, The American President and The Bucket List are just a sampling of the director's filmography that audiences will be familiar.

Those that watch Rob Reiner on the talk show circuit would know that the outside of being an actor and director, he is very political activist who uses his celebrity status to bring attention to equal rights and to social issues such as violence and tobacco use.

So it is a bit of surprise that Rob Reiner has never made a film that might leverage his strong activist lifestyle. Until now, that is.

LBJ is Rob Reiner's film about the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, who was thrust from the Vice-President's chair to the Oval Office desk after the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy on that fateful November day in 1963.

Woody Harrelson plays LBJ and the film takes us backwards and forwards in time from LBJ's unsuccessful run for the Democratic Party nomination through JFK's assassination and ultimately through the President's fight for an Equal Rights Bill.

The heart of the film comes from LBJ's battle within his own party. Robert Kennedy (Michael Stahl-David) is hardly a fan of the foul-mouthed Texan who was hand-picked by brother John for the Vice-President position. The two will battle wills and disagree on almost all political talking points throughout their tenures. Also providing resistance to LBJ's forward thinking is Senator Richard Russell (Richard Jenkins) from the state of Georgia. Russell is portrayed as a racist that does not believe that individuals of color deserve the same rights and freedoms as all other Americans. LBJ does his best to try and win the trust of Russell and LBJ walks the thin line of keeping Russell in the fold before he abandons his friendship with the Senator in his attempt to fulfill the inroads JFK had made in his equal rights efforts prior to his assassination.

Harrelson is barely recognizable as the title character. The make-up is thick to ensure he resembles the former President. At times, the make-up is brilliant. The big ears and receding hairline of LBJ is captured expertly. But at other times – particularly in close-ups – the make-up looks like Harrelson was an extra in Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy film.

LBJ is obviously the focus, but there is ample time given to JFK. And the assassination in Texas is captured with valuable attention to detail. The assassination is a key point in the life of LBJ and Rob Reiner takes the time to film it correctly (it was filmed in Texas exactly where the shooting took place). Jeffrey Donovan (televisions Burn Notice) plays Kennedy and brings subtle touch to the role not attempting to overdo the Boston drawl.

As with all other Reiner films, LBJ plays it safe. Audiences may learn a few things about the complicated man along the way. His foul mouth, how he would have meetings while sitting on the toilet, and his insecurity always believing that he was not loved by either his inner circle or his country (he did win re-election by the widest margin in American history). To my embarrassment, I didn't know that LBJ was in a procession car with JFK the day he was killed. But LBJ is no Lincoln. Where the Spielberg film was brilliantly written and a character study of both a political family and the process to which they battled, LBJ skims the surface like a rock skipping along calmer waters. Gritty, LBJ is not.

But safe entertainment can still be good entertainment and Reiner is surely a master at that craft. There is plenty of humor in the film to keep the characters interesting and keeping the story non-linear works to valued effect. LBJ will not be considered Rob Reiner's best work, but it is exactly what you can come to expect from the director. And slipping into a comfortable shoe can be so so comfortable.


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