A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Bob deceives the public to win the election; others kill a man because they suspect he shot Bob.
Violence & Scariness
Bob Roberts is shot; another character is killed off-screen.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some drinking during the victory celebration; one woman appears to get in her car drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bob Roberts fakes an assassination attempt, manipulates the media, and cultivates a gang of the disaffected who eventually kill a journalist. Bob also sings about stringing drug users up by the highest tree, preaches self-interest, and fosters anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, and anti-minority sentiment among his devoted followers ... all in the name of satire, of course. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
As in Wag the Dog, the answer is a foregone conclusion; but unlike that other '90s-era political satire, Bob Roberts is as humorless as a heart attack. Robbins doesn't make any attempt to get viewers comfortable with Roberts, and, in fact, invites derision. "Bob Roberts is Nixon, but he's shrewder, more complicated," says a skeptical newscaster, one of many such heavy-handed speeches in the film. "Here's a man who adopted the persona and mindset of a free-thinking rebel and turned it on itself: The rebel conservative. That's deviant brilliance. What a Machiavellian master."
Like most dystopian tales (1984 and Brave New World come to mind), Bob Roberts carries its premise to the most extreme conclusion. So here, African American men lose their lives, and the public is tricked into electing Roberts without ever hearing how he would govern. We already know the answer when that same newscaster asks, "Are we to believe that what Bob Roberts wants to see in America is a compliant and silent public which respects the wishes and actions of its presidents no matter how immoral or illegal?"
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Our Editors Recommend
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