josh lewis’s review published on Letterboxd:
mckay is a smart, funny guy, and this is a necessary reminder for everyone that considers trump a political anomaly and wants us to return to the "norms" and civility of past republicans. (spoiler: there were none.) but the style here, woof. could not make sense of almost any of the visual or structural choices made. i mean it's far snarkier and more obnoxious and conceited to be sure, but this is still largely a wikipedia page biopic (the most effective parts of this are quite genuinely the on-screen text), and though the critiques of american power are pointed correctly i'm just a little shocked at how little interest this has in any of the real machinations or people responsible and instead just kinda walks you through a greatest hits with maniacal glee at the fact that you, yes you, let this happen and were too dumb to see it. the real issue i guess is that scorsese is such a good filmmaker that he's convinced every other filmmaker that The Wolf of Wall Street was an effortless feat. both that movie and this one end very similarly, with a meta allusion to the power we as audience members have granted to objectively terrible people. one film caps off three hours of having you swept up in the entertaining delirium and allure of money, featuring very important digressions into its violent consequences that sneak up on you in the peripheries, with a moment that directly interrogates how willing we are to ignore that violence out of self-interest—it's a farcical movie about how the capitalist ladder is inherently evil and the last image is of an eager audience still choosing to listen to one of the con men that ruined many of their lives so that maybe they can learn to climb better. the other ends with cheney looking directly into the camera and going "you chose me" shortly before a teenage girl remarks "the new Fast and Furious movie is gonna be lit!!!" like fuck off, dude.