I found myself disconcerted and underwhelmed by a hugely anticipated movie. It never quite escapes its stage origins, and under a glitzy surface of period stylings doesn't seem to have much to say.
Despite a moving, canny incarnation of the man by Frank Langella, despite a slickly entertaining coffee-table production as only Ron Howard knows how, the movie feels cooked up. In the name of dramatizing history, Frost/Nixon sacrifices it.
What Ron Howard gets, to a degree that's astonishing in a two-hour film, is the density and complexity, as well as the generous entertainment quotient, of Peter Morgan's screenplay.
One of the virtues of Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard's adaptation of Peter Morgan's hit play, is that it brings the intelligence back to the forefront without dispelling the elements of menace and fraudulence that were also part of Nixon's temperament.
Like Doubt, this week's other stage-to-screen adaptation, director Ron Howard's Frost/Nixon pours old-fashioned theatrical juice into a cinematic bottle and lets the actors drink it up.
A must-see for political junkies, history buffs, and folks still fascinated by the paranoia-fueled follies of the twitchy, sweaty, decidedly uncharismatic 37th president.
Both a crackerjack entertainment and a sharp look at the roots, and limitations, of ambition, while stars Frank Langella (Nixon) and Michael Sheen (Frost) put on the year's most provocative and finely tuned display of dueling egos.
Howard keeps the pace brisk, light when it needs to be, heavy when that's called for. Along with Langella, he turns Frost/Nixon into one of the most entertaining history lessons imaginable.