Rolling Stone - 01/22/1998
"...WAG THE DOG, besides being outrageous fun, is also a groundbreaker..."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/1998
USA Today - 12/23/1997
"...Fitfully amusing political satire..."
New York Times - 12/26/1997
"...As scarily plausible as it is swift, hilarious and impossible to resist....Splendidly acted, written with biting acuity...and directed in discreetly sidesplitting fashion..."
Premiere - 01/01/1998
"...The sharp script makes for a movie sure to be appreciated by media junkies and conspiracy theorists alike..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 01/01/1998
"...Like DR. STRANGELOVE, it makes you laugh, then it makes you wonder....For Hoffman, this is the best performance in some time..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
A comedy about truth, justice and other special effects...
When the President is caught in a sex scandal less than 2 weeks before the election, White House spinmaster Conrad Brean (Robert De Niro) creates a phony war with the help of Hollywood producer Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman). From acclaimed director Barry Levinson and writers Hilary Henkin and David Mamet comes this biting look at American politics and its relationship with the media that we have all come to embrace.
When a Firefly Girl accuses the president of sexual misconduct in the Oval Office less than two weeks before the upcoming election, White House official Winifred Ames (Anne Heche) is told to bring in Conrad Bream (Robert De Niro) to fix the situation and save the president's chances for reelection. This mysterious "fixer" fabricates a conflict with Albania in an effort to detract attention from the sex scandal, bringing in legendary Hollywood producer Stanley Motss (Dustin Hoffman) to "produce" the war. When the CIA foils the initial plot, the creative team turns to a new story line, creating the saga of a U.S. soldier left behind enemy lines whom the president vows to find and return to American soil. Directed by Barry Levinson (DINER, RAIN MAN) and loosely based on Larry Beinhart's novel AMERICAN HERO, this merging of Hollywood and politics is both thought provoking and comical. The inspired casting of Hoffman as the self-absorbed producer and De Niro as the mysterious spin doctor is bolstered by a superb supporting cast that includes Denis Leary and Andrea Martin.