“Endless Laughter... Cohen Has Done It Again!”
“What A Joke! Director I Am Laughing At You, Not With You!”
“Sacha Baron Cohen Is At Again This Film Is So Crude, Gross And Extremely Offensive. Its Also One Of The Funniest Films So Far This Year. Although Not As Funny As Borat And Running A Very Short Run Time. I Still Enjoyed It & Was Laughing 80% Of The Time”
“I Almost Had A Seizure From Laughing In This Film.”
I almost had a seizure from laughing in this film.
Julian Roman - MovieWeb
Baron Cohen's demonstrations of political ''outrageousness'' feel all too canned, planned, and defanged.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
- New York Times
Potential is mostly squandered in "The Dictator," which gestures halfheartedly toward topicality and, with equal lack of conviction, toward pure, anarchic silliness.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
It doesn't, in truth, offer much of a twist on the genre. It does, however, deliver laughs and weapons-grade offensiveness.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
While tastelessness is rampant and the humor uneven, The Dictator also has its moments of slyly clever satire.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Never achieves the stinging parodic heights of Cohen's Borat movie, but manages a better batting average than his most recent misfire, Bruno.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Cohen and Charles offer a lot of admittedly witty observations, but they don't build into anything bigger or smarter. They're too broad.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Even in its manufactured boundary-pushing-a flash of full-frontal Baron Cohen, another scene set partially inside a birth canal-The Dictator never really risks anything.
Karina Longworth - Village Voice
The easily offended will be appalled. The rarely offended may be appalled. But they'll have to stop laughing long enough to realize it.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
Now [Cohen is] turning material both fresh and rancid into tepid gruel.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
If nothing here offends you, take a bow on behalf of your stout constitution. If nothing here makes you laugh, you might need to loosen up a tad.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
Baron Cohen balances the stupid, outrageous, over-the-top stuff with almost, ahem, radically provocative observations and pronouncements...
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
The film has a vicious edge that the Marx Brothers didn't have, and it's too low-minded to achieve their enchanting blend of anarchy and surrealism.
David Denby - New Yorker
The Dictator is funny, in addition to being obscene, disgusting, scatological, vulgar, crude and so on.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Cohen at his best is both brazen and sly. As is The Dictator.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Cohen is actually Chaplin's antithesis, a first-world bully content to target the Other.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Directed by Cohen's longtime collaborator Larry Charles, The Dictator mixes its high and low comedy with surprising success.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Sacha Baron Cohen's third starring feature, and the first to be fully scripted, is sharp as a scimitar in one scene and wobbly in the next, but it's unfailingly audacious.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It reasserts Baron Cohen as a comic force who can't be ignored, dedicated to pushing the envelope and working with real ideas.
Tom Long - Detroit News
For the most part, the movie's rhythms feel slightly off -- there are long stretches without a laugh -- and there is a mean-spirited air to the whole thing.
Randy Cordova - Arizona Republic
Typically, political correctness couldn't be farther from the filmmakers' mind, and yet, what the pic most sorely lacks is the sort of humanist appeal Chaplin delivered at the close of The Great Dictator.
Peter Debruge - Variety
It ends up being a lot less hilarious than "Borat,'' and not quite as funny as "Bruno.''
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Cohen and Charles deserve kudos for departing from their usual formula of setting Cohen's crazed characters loose in the real world.
Melinda Sue Gordon - Toronto Star
Transitioning back into a scripted dynamic after his quasi-documentary performance excursions with "Bruno" and "Borat," Baron Cohen loses none of his edge, combining slapstick inspiration and social commentary into a hilariously provocative blend.
Eric Kohn - indieWIRE
While Baron Cohen's lanky physical slapstick and verbal manglings are funny, the movie begins to feel like one of the later, worn-out Pink Panther movies.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Although the character of Aladeen seems awfully predictable by Baron Cohen standards, the movie itself veers from one hilarious, absurd and patently offensive setup to the next...
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
Most of The Dictator had me neither laughing nor shocked, but just staring at the screen in anxious is-that-all-there-is? silence.
Dana Stevens - Slate
One of the cleverest moments in Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator comes during the first five seconds: a memorial dedication to Kim Jong Il. It's all downhill from there.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Cohen employs a comic range that ricochets between wicked political barbs and the lowest anatomical farce, to often funny and occasionally hilarious effect.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
Clearly, Baron Cohen is a smart, gifted and versatile actor; it's time for him to stretch his abilities and dictate to himself a new kind of challenge.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Fans of the nasty Baron Cohen may regret his being borderline nice in The Dictator. But we should welcome his decision to stop being the best at something few others dare try and instead to inhabit a more familiar comedy style.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
The Dictator starts at outrageous and rockets on from there. Screw the occasional sputter.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Of course it's offensive and tasteless. That's the point. Sometimes the jokes are excruciatingly funny.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
By turns hysterical, heretical, guilty, innocent, silly, sophisticated, teasing and tedious.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Consistently offensive, and not in a way that should automatically be dismissed as 'edgy' or 'provocative'.
Tom Glasson - Concrete Playground
Underrated comic excellence from Sacha Baron Cohen with plenty of sharp satire lacing the broader gross-out gags.
Catherine Bray - Film4
The film's writers understand that satire is infinitely more powerful when it's accessible
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
By now, what looked like good dirty fun, a funhouse mirror pointed at America, has calcified into easy shtick.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
The publicity stunts for promoting The Dictator were funnier than the actual movie.
Clay Cane - BET.com
A sly/insightful portrait that the comedian has already painted, and re-painted, and painted again. How many examples of the same idea can he successfully convey on film?
Kofi Outlaw - ScreenRant
While The Dictator may appear different than Borat and Bruno, it is very much the same idea as both films, packed with the same jokes and new ones that are more disturbing than they are hilarious.
David Baldwin - We Got This Covered
Cohen remains a talented comedian. I like his anything-goes sense of humor. But, "The Dictator" feels like he was holding back to get people to like his character.
Paul Chambers - Movie Chambers
Where Borat had unsuspecting victims, The Dictaror is saddled with actors; the Candid Camera element erased. As is the shock value.
Erick Weber - New England Cable News
Where Borat had unsuspecting victims, The Dictaror is stuck with actors; the Candid Camera element erased. As is the shock value.
Erick Weber - NECN
It doesn't have much to say about the character Cohen portrays or about how the world perceives that stereotype, which results in a paper thin but generally amusing little farce.
William Bibbiani - CraveOnline
A few laughs here and there at the expense of offensive stereotypes, The Dictator mostly repeats jokes we've seen in other, better Sacha Baron Cohen films.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
This is Cohen in a lightweight mood, taking very few chances, instead relying on only mildly irreverant humor.
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
While [Sacha Baron Cohen's] latest, ultra-hyped effort The Dictator has its fair share of disgusting, gross-out moments, perhaps the biggest shock is that it actually has a decent story and engaging characters.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
A missed opportunity of global proportions.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
What's shocking is the movie's finale, in which Baron Cohen -- as usual, fully committed to his character -- delivers a diatribe that's a satirical version of Charlie Chaplin's famous speech in The Great Dictator.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
It doesn't expose stupidity. That's what Cohen has done absolutely wonderfully in the past with his other characters. Now he's just acting stupid, with only some funny results.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
By this time, even Eve Ensler probably would support a movie and TV comedy moratorium on the use of the word 'vagina.'
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The danger for Baron Cohen is having made his name as a confrontational comedian but delivering something that, while occasionally provocative, feels too conventional.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Both the laughter and the satire had crawled off and quietly died.
Jenny McCartney - Daily Telegraph
A weapon of mass derision.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
The biggest problem with the movie is that it has all these crazy dictator jokes, which are funny but when it tries to be a movie, it fails miserably. You don't buy any of it.
Mark Ellis - Schmoes Know
the movie feels lazy and middlebrow, without even the mockumentary format of Borat to disguise things.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
As a supporting actor Cohen is okay, but as the star of his vanity projects he is excruciating
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
While acknowledging that some of the film's individual scenes are quite funny, the overarching story needed work.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
Borat cut deep, The Dictator couldn't incise bread.
Ed Whitfield - The Ooh Tray
This is basically Coming to America with more gross-out gags.
Rick Kisonak - Film Threat
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
He very lovingly pokes fun at us like a favorite uncle who wants you to pull his finger.
Danny Minton - Fort Bend Sun
Where most of Cohen's films exploit non-actors falling for his ruse, this dictator has been banished to one of those (regrettable and forgettable) SNL movies...
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
Baron Cohen is as always never less than fully immersed into his character, and Aladeen's antics are often quite hilarious, most brashly and crudely so.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
The whole love story shackles the movie, forcing it to ultimately and ruinously fit into the strict confines of the rom-com genre, whereas Cohen has always been at his best, like any rubber chicken, when allowed to be free range.
CJ Johnson - ABC Radio (Australia)
You would strain to identify The Dictator as a clever movie. But it doesn't quite work as a big dumb movie either.
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
All of the best jokes were given away in the trailer.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
As with Mel Brooks, it's the good scenes and lines that stick in the mind rather than the misfires.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Leonard Maltin - ReelzChannel.com
Cohen has added something to the picture that prevents it from completely succeeding: a plot.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
- Austin Chronicle
Lame, tedious and decidedly NOT funny.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
It lacks the visceral anarchy to which it clearly aspires: that sense that Cohen is playing with lit dynamite that could explode at any moment.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
Sacha Baron Cohen returns to form in this gleefully bad taste fish out of water comedy which kicks sand in the eye of political correctness.
- Liverpool Echo
It pains me to say that "The Dictator" is a big disappointment.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
There are plenty of great jokes in here, mostly because of Cohen's complete lack of fear about inciting the anger of the entire world.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
Sick semper tyrannis!
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
The Dictator is like Coming To America with rape jokes.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
A funny movie from a funny man.
Boo Allen - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
If this is reform, I'll take the old regime.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
It really, really feels like the movie ought to be funnier than it is.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
The Dictator is not laugh loud, snarfing, hurt you kind of funny, but it has moments where you'll do a snort or two.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
It's too bad that Baron Cohen and his regular director, Larry Charles, settled for simply rehashing Borat Sagdiyev.
Dan Lybarger - KC Active
Dumb and infantile, proving that even the most audacious, belligerent vulgarities get boring when you repeat them often enough.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Cohen is beginning to lose much of his early shock luster.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Are you ready for some leftover, room temperature Sacha Baron Cohen?
Dave White - Movies.com
It's funny enough, even hilarious at times, but is it really being incisive and intelligently manipulative, or is it just ignorant, offensive drivel? I can't tell.
Tim Martain - The Mercury
Based on The Dictator, I'd say Sacha Baron Cohen's reign of funny has come to an end.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
...combining Coming to America-like fish-out-of-water comedy with the tasteless anarchy of Team America: World Police...
Aaron Yap - Flicks.co.nz
A large part of The Dictator is shoehorning Aladeen into awkward situations, an approach that works in the faux-doc format but feels forced here.
Annlee Ellingson - Paste Magazine
A sweet movie, not unlike Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, if less sentimental.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
There's a marked flatness to the film, a real heaviness. Jokes sink, energy is low.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
Not for the faint-hearted, political correctness has once again been abandoned by the British comedian for wanton buffoonery and slapstick satire.
Brian Henry Martin - UTV
The Dictator is very funny. But with Baron Cohen and his work, the laughs were part of a bigger project. Now it seems to be the only point.
Peter Galvin - sbs.com.au
There are several jokes that overplay their hands, as if something that was only vaguely funny the first time around will become hilarious on its fourth repetition.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
The film works on its own terms. While crude, there is an intelligence on display here and a method to the madness. (Full Content Parental Review also available)
Teddy Durgin - Screen It!
[Baron Cohen] understands perfectly well whom the object of his rage should have been... It's just that as screenwriter, he couldn't figure out how to make the richly deserving powerful-and-corrupt the butt of comedic ire.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher