Premiere - 10/01/2006 3 stars out of 5 -- "Forest Whitaker has given a lot of extraordinary performances in his career, but none quite as high voltage as [this] portrayal..."
Box Office - 10/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] flawless match-up of acting skill and role. It's compelling, seductive and terrifying."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/06/2006
"Amin is just half the story -- and Whitaker, given such rich source material, carries the easier half." -- Grade: B+
Rolling Stone - 10/19/2006 3 stars out of 4 -- "Powerful. Thundering. Colossal -- puny words to describe Forest Whitaker's king-size, Oscar-ready performance of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin....Whitaker is on fire, and as long as he's onscreen, KING keeps you riveted."
Total Film - 02/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] major work....With Macdonald putting himself in the front rank of important filmmakers -- British or otherwise."
Uncut - 02/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "A canny political satire at heart and one that expertly sustains a sensation of impending doom..."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2007
"Forest Whitaker, in a tour de force performance, captures the man's mannerisms and lethal range of moods so convincingly that when we see newsreel footage of the real Amin it seems like somebody impersonating Whitaker."
Ultimate DVD - 05/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "[Whitaker] renders the tyrant as equally charming, childlike and terrifyingly brutal. Likewise, McAvoy is perfect as the flawed but sympathetic Garrigan..."
Forest Whitaker delivers a ferociously commanding performance as bloodthirsty Ugandan president Idi Amin in Kevin MacDonald's THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. Adapted from the novel by Giles Foden, the film recounts Amin's horrific reign through the eyes of a fictional character, Nick Garrigan (James McAvoy), a young doctor from Scotland who travels to Uganda hoping to do some good. Nick is more sanguine about new president Amin than is his counterpart Sarah Merrit (Gillian Armstrong), whose experience causes her to be skeptical of Amin's bombastic declarations. After an automobile accident, Nick is called in to treat the president's wounds. His authoritative behavior impresses Amin, who charms Nick into becoming his personal physician. Nick embraces his newfound life of luxury, but he is unable to grasp the reality of the situation. When he does finally realize the atrocities Amin is inflicting upon his people (and is also capable of inflicting on Nick), the terrified doctor tries to make a frantic escape before it's too late.
MacDonald, director of the acclaimed documentaries ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER and TOUCHING THE VOID, makes a startlingly assured transition into fictional filmmaking with THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. Working with cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle (THE CELEBRATION) and editor Justine Wright, MacDonald brings 1970s Uganda to pulsating life, perfectly recreating that tumultuous era. But ultimately the film belongs to Whitaker: as he shifts from charming to maniacal in the space of a short, unexpected breath, he infuses Amin with startling humanity.
Based On A Novel |