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By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Irreverent, mature biopic about VP Dick Cheney.

Movie R 2018 132 minutes
Vice Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 15+

Glossy and genre bending

This film is a surprise. I never would have guessed that the portrayal of Dick Cheney's life would have me at the edge of my seat, but here we are. Amy Adams slays, and the scene depicting the Shakespearean monologues tickles. Rockwell almost steals the show with his bombastic portrayal of Bush, Jr. (surprise, surprise). But it is the depiction of how the centralization of power and shift of responsibility has contributed to a fractured political climate that is unsurprisingly heavy-handed and glossily executed. A genre-bender that encourages the viewer to bend their mind to its will.
age 18+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (13 ):

A comedy veteran , writer/director Adam McKay brings a strong irreverence and some quirky humor to this biopic, yet it can't disguise its sheer outrage; its laughs come through openmouthed dismay. McKay uses a variety of unexpected tools in Vice, including a surprising narrator choice and offbeat little inserts and alternate realities (the movie has a funny false ending halfway through). An opening crawl claims that the movie is a true story, then says that since Cheney was so secretive, they just did the best they could. These touches help get the story down more easily, and certainly the tone often teeters toward satirical, which feels almost like vindication. But some viewers will still feel helplessly furious.

As with his previous drama, The Big Short, McKay sets aside the clean, colorful look of his comedies (the Anchorman movies, etc.) in favor of a washed-out, edgy look, with frequent use of hand-held cameras. The enormous canvas requires many helping hands, and viewers will find amazing actors in even the smallest roles. In bigger parts, Adams, Carell, and Rockwell do admirable work, but their roles are sidelined and not as fully fleshed out as the central one. Playing Cheney, Bale more than disappears. He hides; it's not a particularly personal performance, but it's skillful and highly effective. All in all, Vice feels like a much-needed, cleansing primal scream at politics.

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