Robert DeNiro stars as a Washington spinmaster who needs a war to distract public's attention from a sex scandal involving the President. Dustin Hoffman received an Academy Award nomination for his role in this biting poli... more »tical satire.« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 8/24/2018...
Love this incredibly fun movie about politics and the goings on in Washington! Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro are two of Hollywood's best and combined they make movie magic! Watch for a small but very funny role played by Woody Harrelson too!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Edgar R. (edgarshoe) from CALEXICO, CA Reviewed on 8/17/2010...
This is the 2nd time I watch this film and I think I remembered it was way better. Although still a humorous, yet scary look at politics and Washington.
Jason G. (DVDominator) from SAINT LOUIS, MO Reviewed on 7/8/2010...
I love how a writer will form a screenplay that gives a passionate middle finger to society and a vast majority of the people in that society have no idea that they're being insulted. Wag the Dog is a true example of how expressing your insulting opinions doesn't have to be insulting if you handle it correctly.
The movie follows the media-related staff of the President of the United States. An unfortunate incident occurs and a powerful distraction needs to be created. Most powerful distractions come from Hollywood and the staff finds a famous producer to create their masterpiece.
WTG is supported by an "A" list of performers and their acting is award-worthy. The movie flows nicely and the complications the characters run into provide the fascination and the humor needed to create a well-balanced picture.
There are a number of one-liners that are strictly inserted to create a laugh while failing to add to the script or depth of the characters. Regardless, the storyline and presentation still deliver and you find yourself intrigued by how it all will end.
Jon B. (starlostchild) from RALEIGH, NC Reviewed on 6/15/2010...
This movie is just as relevant today than when it was made. Smart yet tongue-in-cheek, it is a statement on politics that makes me question every news story I see and read.
Rachel C. (rackoflamb) Reviewed on 11/24/2009...
Scarily prescient. One of my favorite movies about the White House, along with Dave and The American President.
Jeannette J. (Tsarien) from CATANO, PR Reviewed on 10/11/2008...
Well,what do you know, for once life imitates art. Oh come on, if you've seen this movie you realize it IS like the war was staged to cover for Bush's shenanigans and mismanagement...
Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro are so utterly the BEST!
Melanie A W. (novelwriter) from NEWINGTON, CT Reviewed on 1/10/2008...
I absolutely love this movie. My husband and I think this movie is so funny. Everything about it is great. Also, everything is just one big parody.
"Mr. Fix It"
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 07/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to the New Line Platinum Series DVD "Wag The Dog"....
The Preisdent of the United States has just been acussed by a "Firefly Girl" of improper advances to her, right in the Oval Office, no less. The story is about to break, and all hell will break loose. The President has 11 days until election day to gain the Public's favor in order to gain re-election. What to do?It's time to call in the big guns.Enter "Mr. Fix-it". He will put a spin on the situtation that will take care of everything.Sound familiar? Art imitating life? Or could it be the other way around, as Hollywood meets Washington for a poltical satire, that may not be so far off base.
Robert DeNiro heads an all star cast as Conrad Brean, the most sought after spin-doctor in D.C. He always"working on it", as he heads the public off the bad publicity and onto the President's campaign trail.He hires a big time Hollywood Producer(Dustin Hoffman) to "Produce" a war. Who will we go to war with? How bout Albania? Albania????,you ask. Why Albania? Well.. why not? And this is not to be some little Independant production. This will be big time. Like the big Hollywood studios, they pull out all the stops. Complete with a theme song, logos, a hero and some great publicity. If things seem to be going wrong, i.e., the opposition and the C.I.A. are on to them, don't worry cause Connie "Is working on that".
The film is great fun and is loaded with talent.A great screenplay as expected from David Mamet and Hilary Henkin.At the helm is the wonderful Barry Levinson, and also lending their charms are Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Woody Harrelson, Willie Nelson,William H Macy, Craig T. Nelson and Kirsten Dunst.
All this fun is presented on a terrific DVD. The picture(widescreen or fullscreen) and colors qualities are excellent. The sound in Dolby Dig 5.1(English or French) very good. Tons of extras. Commentary, featurettes, an essay, and filmographies.
Enjoy and don't sweat the politics..cause.."Connie's working on it.."...Laurie
also recommended: Primary Colors "
Ahead of its time...literally
jon | NJ | 05/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of people knocked this film for being a rip-off of current events. Nothing could be further from the truth! What makes this satire so amazing is that its all coming true. For example:1) This movie was made BEFORE the lewinsky/clinton scandal but the details were frighteningly similar2) It told us the war of the future would be against dissident terrorists plotting against the US from camps in some remote country...years before we had heard of al Qaeda, 9/11, or a war in afghanistan3) Watching Willie Nelson leading the 9/11 Tribute to Heroes telethon in singing "God Bless America" seemed like it was a rip-off of this movie.To many, the premise of this movie may have seemed absurd when it was released. But each passing year reveals how closer it is to the truth than we think. For a scary, thought-provoking satire of Hollywood and Washington, check this movie out.
If it was a 2002 film, people would say it was a clever satire. That it was made in 1997 qualifies it as an absolute classic."
NIPPY AND TRUE-TO-LIFE POLITICAL SATIRE!
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 06/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This riveting media yarn with some big acting stalwarts is so dead-on in the way it balances biting humor with its life-like pizzazz that PR trainers could almost use it as a training film. It is above all a satire, but it makes no bones about including every American voter, reporter and politician in the cross-hairs of its comic cannon. The slyest farcical element of the film is the fact that the president is wholly irrelevant. (He's not even a character, short of being an unheard voice on the other end of phone calls making superfluous suggestions, like that the cat should definately be white.) No matter what your political persuasion, or how cynically you regard the goings-on in the White House (or any other political helm), you will surely find something entertaining in this hilarious yet very, very intelligent film. 6 out of 5 stars in terms of recommendation. In other words, buy it."
This film grows on you ......
Stuart Gardner | Fair Lawn, NJ | 09/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw this film at the cinema I thought it was a half decent parody of the Clinton administration, and the devious behaviour of politicians in general. As an ex civil servant I thought it was an extreme piece of satirical commedy with a clear message on the dangers of "spin". Had I rated it at he time, I would have given it a strong 3 star rating.
Given the events since the film, it's message and relevancy have become more important. The writers and director weren't intending to be prophetic (unlike Chaplin's the great dictator), but real world events have given this film a second lease of life! Great example of reality imitating art ......"
Truer with age....
J. Fryer | Nicholasville, KY | 05/31/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This satire directed by Barry Levinson (And Justice For All) rather than becoming 'dated' gets more delicious and enlightening with age.The title 'Wag The Dog', originally referred to the need for reality to fashion itself to conform to the power of television. In order to play to the people, the facts had to be styled to meet the method of distribution. The film now offers a much greater lesson and a warning to the population of the great lengths to which politicians and the government might go to deceive the American people and/or fabricate 'truth' to suit their own end.The commentary, although only five years old, has become the most 'dated' feature on the DVD.The multiple occurrences of: the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, the terrorists and 09/11/2001, colored ribbons, 'spontaneous' waves of patriotism, and the recent war in Iraq (particularly the revelation of the true facts surrounding the rescue of Jessica Lynch) have made 'Wag The Dog' more cutting edge with the advent of each individual incident. Today's viewers must continually and repeatedly jolt themselves back to reality with reminders that they are NOT viewing an educational documentary on 'spin' or a how-to-film outlining methods for fabricating and implementing diversion, but are instead viewing an entertaining and satirical film developed well before the occurrence of any of the events listed above. This is a film where David Mamet, well known for his realistic dialogue, had the character's speaking the future in a most frightening way. 'Wag The Dog' is great viewing for new and repeat viewers alike. It is a reminder of how we the public can be misled by what we see and hear in the press and on television. The film itself is however not misleading, but thought-provoking, and as it chillingly turns out, perhaps even more realistic than we knew in 1997."