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"DEATH OF A PRESIDENT"
(2006) (Hend Ayoub, Brian Boland) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*Mild Moderate Extreme *Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Mild None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Heavy Heavy Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Various officials, witnesses, and suspects discuss their view and involvement in the October 2007 assassination of President Bush.
PLOT:
It's October 2007 and President Bush has been assassinated following a speech and massive demonstration of protestors in Chicago. President Cheney has been sworn in as his successor, the Patriot Act III -- giving the executive branch even broader powers to detain and investigate potential terrorists -- has been passed, and various government officials are trying to figure out who's responsible.

At an undisclosed point in the future, various officials, witnesses, and suspects discuss their view and involvement in the act. They include the President's advisor Eleanor Drake (BECKY ANN BAKER), Larry Stafford (BRIAN BOLAND) the head of President's detail for the Secret Service, Chicago deputy Greg Turner (ROBERT MANGIARDI), FBI agent Robert Maguire (MICHAEL REILLY BURKE), FBI forensics specialist Dr. James Pearn (JAMES URBANIAK) and FBI interrogator John Rucinski (CHRISTIAN STOLTE).

Among the suspects is demonstration protestor Frank Molini (JAY WHITTAKER) and disgruntled Iraqi War veteran Casey Claybon (M. NEKO PARHAM) who's upset about his brother and fellow soldier's death in Iraq. Then there's Yemen born Samir Masri (SEENA JON) whose family has been deported, and Jamal Abu Zikri (MALIK BADER) who works in the building from where the shots were fired and has the most evidence pointing at him, something that doesn't sit well with his wife Zahra Abi Zikri (HEND AYOUB). As these various people comment on the event, the weeks and months pass as government officials try to find the killer and bring them to justice.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The controversy might interest some older teens, but beyond that, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For brief violent images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MALIK BADER plays the foreign-born man eyed as the most likely suspect in the President's assassination.
  • HEND AYOUB plays his wife who comments in hindsight about her husband's association with the event and the overall implications of what occurred.
  • BRIAN BOLAND plays the head of the President's security detail who discusses what occurred on that fateful day.
  • BECKY ANN BAKER plays the President's advisor who recounts the events.
  • ROBERT MANGIARDI plays a Chicago deputy who discusses the police reaction to the massive protests outside the hotel on the day of the assassination.
  • JAY WHITTAKER plays a Bush protestor who was arrested in belief he had something to do with the shooting.
  • MICHAEL REILLY BURKE plays an FBI agent who discusses his agency's immediate reaction to the shooting.
  • JAMES URBANIAK plays a forensics scientist with the FBI who discusses his role in examining the evidence related to the shooting.
  • M. NEKO PARHAM plays a military vet from the second Iraq War who admits to going back on drugs and being upset about his brother's death in the war and their father's suicide over that and other matters.
  • SEENA JON plays another foreign-born man eyed as a possible suspect.
  • CHRISTIAN STOLTE plays an FBI agent who interrogated Zikri after the latter was arrested as the possible suspect.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this dramatic faux documentary that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while a few other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered.

    Violence consists of President Bush and others being shot in an assassination attempt (in very shaky, you are there type footage), what appears to be real footage of a terrorist being shot several times and killed, and skirmishes between protestors and the police (with some hitting with batons, etc.). There's also footage of an explosion, the aftermath of other unseen ones, and photos of a man who committed suicide by shooting himself in the head (with bloody results).

    Some of that may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, while various bad attitudes are present (and some viewers may see the overall film as having a bad attitude for using a real President rather than a fictional one as the target). Tense family material is present (regarding familial deaths), as are various thematic elements regarding the assassination and its aftermath. While no actual drug use is observed, some comments are made about such use.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a tremendous amount of handheld camera footage that might induce that reaction in sensitive viewers.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • There's no actual use, but Casey admits that he started using drugs again.
  • Casey's mother talks of him experimenting with drugs and the Army then whipping him into shape. Later, however, she says she knows he went back on drugs.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see the actual assassination attempt, but the footage is handheld and includes a lot of camera movement, so it's hard to see anything in detail. We do hear some gunshots, see brief blood on the President's clothing and perhaps another person, and then see the Secret Service agents push the President into a limo and race off. We also see one man on the ground with blood on his suit.
  • We see a still photo of surgery being performed on the President (we don't see his face, but do see a surgical incision area -- from a distance).
  • We see several still photos of a body slumped over in a car, with a gun in hand and a bloody head wound (along with blood on the seat).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Viewers may or may not find the film, its subject matter, and the themes it explores as being in bad taste and/or depicting bad attitudes.
  • The same holds true for protestors protesting President Bush, including burning an American flag.
  • The killer obviously has a bad attitude for assassinating the President.
  • We see some protestors applauding upon hearing that the President was shot.
  • We see Molini with a banner depicting a handgun held to President Bush's head.
  • An official says they started investigating Islamic names first (after the shooting) but adds that it wasn't racial profiling.
  • A Syrian exile says that the assassination was state sponsored by Syria (we later learn that was a lie).
  • Pearn states that he was informed by government officials to "put up or shut up" regarding linking Zikri directly to the assassination regardless of the evidence or lack thereof. He then states that's why he resigned.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Since the film is told in flashback but moves forward in a linear fashion, the moments leading up to the shooting of the President might be unsettling or suspenseful for some viewers.
  • We see the actual assassination attempt, but the footage is handheld and includes a lot of camera movement, so it's hard to see anything in detail. We do hear some gunshots, see brief blood on the President's clothing and perhaps another person, and then see the Secret Service agents push the President into a limo and race off. We also see one man on the ground with blood on his suit.
  • There's news from TV announcers that President Bush has died and we later briefly see President Cheney giving the eulogy at President Bush's funeral.
  • We see what appears to be real footage of a terrorist preparing to shoot a rocket, but being shot, including to the head (no blood and seen from a distance).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles: Used to wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Throughout the film, we see various images of various weapons, such as the sniper rifle used to shoot the President, the same held by government sharpshooters, and missiles paraded about by North Koreans during a military demonstration. We also see Jamal holding an assault rifle above his head in the military, footage of U.S. fighter jets taking off from an aircraft carrier, terrorists carrying machine guns and launching a missile, U.S. military forces carrying machine guns, etc.
  • We hear the sound of gunshots in a scene.
  • We see Molini with a banner depicting a handgun held to President Bush's head.
  • Unseen explosives are used to cause property damage, injuries and/or death in several scenes (we only see the aftermath and not the actual device or us).
  • We see distant footage of a roadside or vehicle bomb exploding with a massive explosion.
  • We see several still photos of a body slumped over in a car, with a gun in hand and a bloody head wound (along with blood on the seat).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck, man," "I had to get my sh*t together," "A screw lose," "Nut" (crazy person) and "Get the hell out."
  • It's possible the film could inspire some troubled teens to attempt something similar in terms of assassinating someone.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • We see what appears to be real footage of a terrorist preparing to shoot a rocket, but being shot, including to the head (no blood and seen from a distance).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • Some suspenseful music plays around the time of the assassination attempt, while dramatic music plays throughout the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 "s" words and 2 hells.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Samir talks of his family being deported.
  • Casey's mother talks of her other son's death in the military.
  • Casey cries while reading his father's suicide note that says that there's no honor in dying for immoral causes, and states that George Bush killed David (his son and Casey's brother -- a military enlistee killed in Iraq).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Assassinations and what would drive a person to kill a political leader.
  • The line of succession in the U.S. executive branch.
  • There's brief talk of 9/11.
  • We see some protestors burning an American flag in Chicago.
  • The discussion of the difficulty in getting fingerprints off a gun.
  • Molini talking of Bush squashing civil liberties.
  • Racial profiling and whether it occurs or not (An official says they started investigating Islamic names first -- after the shooting -- but adds that it wasn't racial profiling).
  • Samir talks of his family being deported.
  • A Syrian exile says that the assassination was state sponsored by Syria (we later learn that was a lie).
  • We hear that Patriot Act III is passed, giving the executive branch even further power to detain and investigate potential terrorists.
  • Zikri's defense lawyer stating that others presumed him guilty as soon as he was associated with Al Qaeda.
  • Pearn states that he was informed by government officials to "put up or shut up" regarding linking Zikri directly to the assassination regardless of the evidence or lack thereof. He then states that's why he resigned.
  • The comment that the U.S. is home to the conspiracy theorist (in terms of how many people came forward saying they knew who killed the President or that they did it themselves).
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see some struggling between protestors and the police outside the hotel, followed by police hitting some protestors with their billy clubs, and then grabbing and pinning one protestor while arresting him.
  • Police use pepper spray or something similar on protestors and there's more struggling between the two groups.
  • We see the actual assassination attempt, but the footage is handheld and includes a lot of camera movement, so it's hard to see anything in detail. We do hear some gunshots, see brief blood on the President's clothing and perhaps another person, and then see the Secret Service agents push the President into a limo and race off. We also see one man on the ground with blood on his suit.
  • We see the aftermath of a bombing in the Middle East, with lots of property damage and a wounded person being carried off on a stretcher (we don't see the actual act).
  • We see what appears to be real footage of a terrorist preparing to shoot a rocket, but being shot, including to the head (no blood and seen from a distance).
  • We see distant footage of a roadside or vehicle bomb exploding with a massive explosion.
  • We see the aftermath of another bombing, including property damage and a wounded person on the ground.
  • We see several still photos of a body slumped over in a car, with a gun in hand and a bloody head wound (along with blood on the seat).



  • Reviewed October 25, 2006 / Posted October 27, 2006

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