Wag the Dog
Wag the Dog (1997)

In a 29-day shoot, Barry Levinson filmed this $15 million political and media satire, adapted by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet from Larry Beinhart's novel, American Hero. Two weeks prior to re-election, the President (Michael Belson) is… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: July 28, 1998
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
85%
Flixster
User Score
77%



Critic Score: 85% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Smart, well-acted, and uncomfortably prescient political satire from director Barry Levinson and and all-star cast.

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Hilary Henkin and David Mamet's script is gleefully hyperbolic without ever straying from its political target.

Full review…
Godfrey Cheshire
Variety

The pacing is crisp, the dialogue quippy and fast, the tone arch but energetic.

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Betty Jo Tucker
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

'Wag the Dog,' a movie that's fun to see more than once, comes across as a bitingly funny satire of politics, the media and show business.

Full review…
Time Out

Lazily assembled by director Levinson, it slides into a series of soft, extended skits on engineering a media war, not helped by several badly handled leaps in the story.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

A wicked smart satire on the interlocking worlds of politics and show business, Wag the Dog confirms every awful thought you've ever had about media manipulation and the gullibility of the American public.

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Heather Boerner
Common Sense Media

Entertaining, creepily resonant political comedy.

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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

Amusing as it is, Wag The Dog does what it purports to sat irize -- the bark is real but the teeth aren't.

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John Hartl
Film.com

Wag the Dog could have been a one-joke scenario, but it's consistently rescued from monotony by a smart script.

Film4

Smart political satire from director Barry Levinson.

Full review…
More reviews for Wag the Dog

Flixster Audience Score: 77% Flixster User Reviews
Spencer S.
This eccentric little dark comedy was perfectly timed upon its release, a year before the Clinton affair went public. The film deals with a conspiracy to cover… More
Chris Weber
Two weeks before election day, news gets out that the U.S. President is accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. To divert attention away from the scandal and… More
Alex roy
Wag the Dog is an average dark comedy that relies on a great cast and an effective script. Enjoyable, but could have been better, this film is a bit dull at… More
Jens S.
One of the rare cases of reality catching up to a satire movie sooner than you can blink. The story of the spin doctors creating a fictitious war to distract… More
Lorenzo von Matterhorn
<i>"A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow."</i> Before elections, a spin-doctor and a Hollywood producer join efforts… More
Apeneck Fletcher
"Political crisis"? Here's a bit that enlightens that particular oxymoron. Starts with a bang but finishes less than so yet is nonetheless… More

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