The Last King of Scotland (Widescreen Edition)
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Product Description

As Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, Forest Whitaker gives "one of the greatest performances of modern movie history" (Wall Street Journal), one that the Associated Press calls "nothing short of Oscar(r) worthy." This is Amin's incredible story as seen through the eyes of Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), a young Scotsman who becomes the volatile leader's personal physician, due in part to Amin's unexpected passion for Scottish culture -- Amin even proclaims himself "The Last King of Scotland". Seduced by Amin's charisma and blinded by decadence, Garrigan's dream life becomes a waking nightmare of betrayal and madness from which there is no escape. Inspired by real people and events, this gripping, suspenseful stunner is filled with performances you will never forget.

As the evil Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, Forest Whitaker gives an unforgettable performance in The Last King of Scotland. Powerfully illustrating the terrible truth that absolute power corrupts absolutely, this fictionalized chronicle of Amin's rise and fall is based on the acclaimed novel by Giles Foden, in which Amin's despotic reign of terror is viewed through the eyes of Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), a Scottish doctor who arrives in Uganda in the early 1970s to serve as Amin's personal physician. His outsider's perspective causes him to be initially impressed by Amin's calculated rise to power, but as the story progresses--and as Whitaker's award-worthy performance grows increasingly monstrous--The Last King of Scotland turns into a pointed examination of how independent Uganda (a British colony until 1962) became a breeding ground for Amin's genocidal tyranny. As Whitaker plays him, Amin is both seductive and horribly destructive--sometimes in the same breath--and McAvoy effectively conveys the tragic cost of his character's naivet¨¦, which grows increasingly prone to exploitation. As directed by Kevin Macdonald (who made the riveting semi-documentary Into the Void), this potent cautionary tale my prompt some viewers to check out Barbet Schroeder's equally revealing documentary General Idi Amin Dada, an essential source for much of this film's authentic detail. --Jeff Shannon


Beyond The Last King of Scotland

More from Forest Whitaker

General Idi Amin Dada

The Last King of Scotland (Paperback)

Stills from The Last King of Scotland







Customer Reviews:

  • Brave, accurate portrayal of a developing country and leader
    The Last King of Scotland (2006) is a work that shows a sincere
    belief in human rights and a special courage by the authors, as it
    was released only a relatively short time after the underlying
    events.

    The filming is wide-screen, of standard European quality,
    professionally made in all aspects, beyond reproach, except
    perhaps the excess musical soundtrack in some moments, and the
    folklorish portraying of the populations down there, who erupt in
    song and dance spontaneously.

    Forest Whitaker, playing Idi Amin, is impeccable and shines,
    taking on the persona of the leader. This representation is
    accurate and outstanding, with the exception of the more private
    moments, suggesting that Idi Amin was sentimental, artistic in his
    appreciation and knew how to enjoy himself. This is pure
    conjecture, as the real Idi Amin proved to be anyone else than one
    keen on pleasures and subtle with opponents.

    James McAvoy, as Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, gives an honest effort in
    this character, yet comes across much too adolescent-like in his
    demeanor, such as the hippy-length unkept hair, disorganized, and
    sexually promiscuous - all conduct that is anything but that of a
    licensed, mature, medical professional - thereby not only taking
    away from the credibility of the character, but also, of the
    British, as he's the only European in Idi Amin's tight knit social
    circle. It also seems unsound to suggest that a MD would have
    spontaneous, unprotected relations with girls on a public bus,
    when many parts of Africa have AIDS and hepatitis issues.

    In the extras of the DVD's, we learn that the MD is a fictional
    character, yet this movie attempts to be historically accurate,
    artistic liberty having been taken to weave an auto-biographical
    tale into this work, upclose to the Idi Admin. That is to say, the
    work is outstanding in showing the misconduct of Idi Amin, yet the
    fictional aspects may confuse viewers, going forward.

    Simon McBurney mixes a comical yet sinister personality as a
    combination of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickenson and the Sex Pistol's
    Johnny Rotten.

    A correct lesson, is that prejudice is eliminated by mingling
    different groups and nations, having them work together for a
    common purpose, as IDI AMIN did while in a Scottish Regiment,
    having instilled into him a deep respect and friendship with
    fellow soldiers over a period of time, while their cook, janitor,
    and army soldier.

    Accurately portrayed, as well, are guerilla factions ready to
    erupt and disturb the peace in highly populated areas, disagreeing
    with the ones in power, as well as the influence of 10 Downing
    Street in all affairs.

    The film is impressive in describing, realistically, the
    undercurrents of power, rivals, conspirators, guerillas, tanks,
    Ak-47 in the streets, the primitive nature of the country-side,
    the importance of the merchant classes, the economy, the mass
    media, etc. It also shows that IDI AMIN appreciated being advised
    on matters, so long as the advice matched his own thoughts and
    opinions, the yes men being appreciated.

    The tension of the climax, surrounding the Entebbe airline
    incident, is effective nonetheless yet contrived....more info
  • 4 stars out of 4
    The Bottom Line:

    A great story with a tremendous performance by Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland is an incisive look at the white man's role in post-colonial Africa as well as an incredibly involving film....more info
  • Good movie, scary turn of events
    I bought this movie because Forrest Whitaker is a great actor and I really enjoyed his performance here. Worth the buy....more info
  • A must see
    The Last King of Scotland is both a showcase of superb acting performances and a taught, suspensful thriller. I highly recommend adding it to your collection.

    Few people are familiar with Idi Amin, not one of the 20th Century's more famous dictators, but extremely bloody with an estimated 300,000 Ugandans killed under his regime. Forrest Whittaker deserves his oscar as the paranoid, playful despot capturing the ruthless side but also, most difficult, his playful side. There are superb moments such as when the dictator's eyes light up at the sight of Dr Garrigan's Scotland vest and he impishly declares his son is called Campbell in honour of his love of Scotland.

    McAvoy is also superb as Dr Garrigan, a naive and cocksure young Scottish doctor who becomes embroiled in the terror, paranoia and corruption of Amin's regime, and there are masterful support roles, most notably Simon McBurney as the pompous British Foreign Office official who informs the arrogant Garrigan of his mistakes.

    The final scenes featuring mutilated cadavers and meat hook torture is not for the faint hearted. But the violence is structurally necessary and not at all gratuitous.
    ...more info
  • Whitaker Worthy of HIs Oscar.
    Forest Whitaker was simply remarkable as ex-Ugandan thug and dictator Idi Amin. The screenplay was adapted from a novel centered on a fictional character, Nicholas Garrigan, a Scotsman who becomes Amin's personal physician. Two of the great aspects of this movie: Forest Whitaker and the local flavor. Whitaker justly received an Oscar for his performance. Not only does he bear an eerie resemblance to the real Amin, but he manages to create a more nuanced and deeper portrait than one might expect. Amin begins the movie as the new leader of Uganda following a coup. At first, Whitaker shows a gregarious and personable side of Amin with small flashes of his temper. As the story evolves, Whitaker deftly shifts his portrayal to the more paranoid, self-centered and ruthless tyrant.

    Another fantastic aspect of the movie was the choice to film this movie on location in Uganda. While I can't say that I would have noticed if the film was shot in another African country, but I can say the local casting and scenery were superb.

    While I thought James McAvoy delivered a strong performance as Garrigan, my biggest critique of the movie was ths screenplay. I thought certain parts of the screenplay and various aspects of McAvoy's character were poorly written. For instance, at the outset of the movie, McAvoy comes across as incredibly naive and ill-informed about the turmoil taking place in Uganda, or for that part most of post-colonial Africa at that time. Additionally, some of the elements of the plot were a bit trite and predictable. While clearly done for dramatic purposes, they were a little too expected, especially the final 15 minutes.

    In spite of my few criticisms, this is an incredibly solid movie and contains one of the best performances in recent memory. It is well worth seeing and enjoying....more info
  • viewer beware
    The beginning of the film states that it is "inspired by" true events, etc. The film makers sure have a loose interpretation of "inspired by." the main character, Dr. Garrigan, Amin's physician, is nearly completely fictional. At the end of the movie, there are statements on screen stating what happens to Amin, but there was nothing about Dr. Garrigan. My husband and I were curious, so we googled. He's a fictious character! Loosely based on an British advisor Amin had, who served 5 years imprisonment for his part in Amin's regime. We felt dooped! It is one thing to watch a movie knowing it is fictionalized, it is another to be made to believe what you are watching are real events.
    True, the movie is well acted. And the atrocities Amin commited were a background to the main story, but anything that tells the "inside story" is called into question in my mind because it all revolves around this fictional character...that you are lead to believe is true....more info
  • It's THAT good!
    It's one of the movies that is getting better every time you watch. Forest Whitaker is great (well, he won the Oscar finally). James McAvoy, in my opinion, steals the show. Let's be honest, the role of Idi Amin is made for the Oscar. The role of Nicholas Garrigan would have been easily shadowed and overpowered by Idi Amin without the great acting. James McAvoy hold himself well and equally against Forest Whitaker. There is certain danger, or bias, when an outsider portrays the so-called third world, even if s/he claims that s/he tried to tell the story from "their" perspective. This movie is not exception although with a lesser degree. It is a very emotional and sometimes violent movie that touches your heart. Enjoy. ...more info
  • What the hell happened?
    This movie may be a classic, but I never did get what was really happening because I could only understand about one word in three! Everyone has some kind of impenetrable accent. I never could follow the story because I just couldn't understand what anyone was saying- Scottish accents- British accents- Ugandan accents!...more info
  • Idi Amin in All His Nastiness and Charm
    The Scottish doctor in this film chooses to hero-worship the wrong man--Idi Amin, the Ugandan dictator played brilliantly and flamboyantly by Forest Whitaker in an Oscar-winning performance. (Of course Whitaker looks like the monster.) Amin charms and massages the ego of the star-struck physician who is insecure and incredibly na?ve. Graduating from Amin's personal doctor to his trusted advisor, he crosses the line and finds himself entrapped by his libido and his gullibility.
    The movie has an air of authenticity that makes you think you are actually in Uganda. It looks and feels very real and believable and gives a picture of Africa that rings true.
    Whitaker is extremely credible as the spellbinding leader who is also incredibly nasty to his own people. When the doctor tries to escape from Amin's clutches, he discovers firsthand the brutality of the tyrant. It's a brilliant film which uses the doctor's experience as the crucible to bring Amin's malignant dictatorship home to the viewer.
    ...more info
  • Kudos To Everyone Here, Not Just Whitaker
    I agree Forest Whitaker was very good as the famous mentally-disturbed leader of Uganda, Idi Amin, back in the 1970s but, despite the Oscar he received as "Best Actor," I thought the best thing about this film was the involving story. Once the co-star of the film, James McAvoy as "Dr.Nicholas Garrigan," became Amin's personal doctor this film, like a good book, became really difficult to put down.

    It was a very interesting story which got better and better as it went along. It's also one you won't forget about in a few days. This one stays with you!

    In real life, Amin was a brutal man and much more so than he is portrayed in this film. It's a disgrace he was able to live comfortably in exile until 2003. Whitaker's portrayal of the sociopath doesn't touch the surface of the Amin's evilness, but Amin, truth be told, was also a charmer. It's amazing how a little charm can make even a mass murderer look like a nice guy.

    In addition to the fine acting performances of Whitaker and McAvoy, I thought the camera-work in here was well above-average, too. This is a nicely-filmed movie, and credit should go to cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle. I don't hear much praise going his way but I really liked the visuals in here.
    ...more info
  • An utterly hypnotic masterpiece
    The Last King Of Scotland is not intended to be a biopic or a dramatized documentary. Although based on real events, this portrait of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is a fictional story set against a painfully real background. Still, what it lacks in factual detail it makes up for with its unnerving sense of reality, its tense (and at times terrifying) plot, and some of the most astounding acting ever filmed. The result is a harrowing tale of power, corruption, greed, the sinister danger that lurks behind charismatic politicians, and the most pitiful lows of human cruelty. At the same time, it's a genuinely engaging and darkly entertaining thriller. The film is full of suspense, with a twisting narrative and some fantastic tension-and-release dynamics.

    Now, as to those performances: As you've probably already heard, Forest Whitaker's portrayal of Amin is nothing short of pure genius: Even amid a startlingly capable cast, he manages to steal the show, dripping with charisma, wit, barely suppressed insanity, and a hypnotic sort of megalomania. He fills the screen with dangerous charm and ominous magnetism. The result is an absolutely unforgettable performance. And to think, my first introduction to this guy was when he was hosting the "new, new Twilight Zone!" Playing opposite Whitaker is James McAvoy, who portrays the film's protagonist, the young Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, and he's also fantastic- his performance is dynamic and utterly sympathetic.

    This one deserves to go down as an all-time great. You really oughtta see it....more info
  • The Truth Would Have Been Interesting
    Rather than using a fictionalized version through the eyes of a rather uninteresting (except for the Scottish accent), and utterly naive doctor as his improbable right hand man, why not writer a screenplay based upon Idi Amin's actual life and tailspin into the cliched king whose power and paranoia drives him crazy with bloodlust?

    Now, that would have been a film I may have watched to the end - not this one. It fizzled, then left one wanting.

    Yes, Forest Whitaker gave a superb performance, but not enough to save this bad screenplay....more info
  • Hype was right, Whitaker is downright scary as Amin
    Though retired, I don't wish to name any names, so I'm going to be a bit vague. The Ugandan government during the Amin era used equipment my former employer built and serviced. Amin himself used the thing. Though I was not involved in its servicing, I knew well the guys who were. Without exception, these guys would come away from the equipment and say they felt they needed a thorough shower. Indeed, a Ugandan who was trained to service the equipment, and accompanied it stateside, successfully sought asylum, and also worked at my former employer's for a number of years. The stories and "unconfirmed rumors" of what occurred during the Amin years aren't the half of what was apparent given the state of the machine. We're talking bullet holes and blood stains here.

    Knowing that, then seeing Forest Whitaker's portrayal will make your skin crawl. Though the story is likely something more akin to a "historical novel", I think it reveals the horrors of Amin even if the details may be a bit dramatized.

    Whitaker's performance is well worth the price of admission. You'll be astounded and aghast....more info
  • Great Service
    I was very pleased with the transaction. The product was delived fast and as described....more info
  • Amazing Powerful film. Whitaker is astonishing.
    A slightly fictionalized story set against the backdrop of one of the more horrific dictatorships in history, "The Last King of Scotland" proves to be a cinematic gem with one of the most outstanding performances in film history.
    Forest Whitaker portrays the notorious Ugandan dictator during his rule in the 1970's. To provide a reference angle for that time, the composite character of Nicholas Garrigan (played by Jim McEvoy) is created. Loosely based on several individuals from that time, he is reckless, bored young doctor who travels to Uganda in search of adventure and ends up becoming Idi Amin's personal physician where he is charmed, intoxicated, and eventually terrified by Amin's power. He bears witness Amin's purges of his enemies (real and imagined), his paranoid expulsion of Asian business from the country, and his involvement the Palestinian terrorists who hijacked an Air France passenger jet. While there is certain dramatic license taken with actual events, this film does a masterful job at portraying this monstrous individual.
    Whitaker gave his all to perform the role of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. He learned Swahili and was able to adopt his West African accent. In addition, he learned all the mannerisms and personality traits of Amin. His transformation was so completely that, for months after filming was completed on this film, Whitaker would still slip into his Idi Amin persona. The result was almost indescribable in its excellence. Whitaker may have been the most deserving winner of the Best Actor Oscar in history.
    "The Last King of Scotland" derives its title from Amin's obsession with Scotland. He even offered to be Scotland's King (hence the title), but the offer was understandably rejected. This movie is not a film for the faint of heart. It is unflinching in its portrayals of Amin's atrocities. But, for those who do see it, the power of this portrayal will stay with you long after you leave the theater....more info
  • "The First Place You Land, You Go"
    Introduction: The '06 drama 'The Last King of Scotland' delivers a stellar performance by Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin in a well conceptualized, fictional account of the rise and fall of the Ungandan dictator as played out in a relationship with a visiting young Scottish Doctor Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) who has come to Ugana in search of both purpose and adventure. he found both.

    Critique:
    Positives: It was fascinating watching how the charming and charismatic Amin slowly evolves from national savior and hero to murderous madman as seen through the eyes of the na?ve Scotsman. I also appreciated how the film created the presence of violence and horror without actually having all the gratuitous visuals that we see all too frequently.

    Negatives: The one drawback for me was the portrayal of Doctor Garrigan. It's not the performance of James McAvoy I'm refering to but the character itself. Garrigan is a self-indulgent, morally weak individual who simply isn't a sympathetic figure. When things start falling about and his life is threated I really didn't care whether he survived his African adventure or not.

    I consider the 'The Last King of Scotland' to be a good but not great film. However if nothing else it's worth a watch or two for Whitaker's performance alone....more info
  • Forest Whitaker-The King of Acting
    This is one of my favourite performances by a male actor in film history. Forest Whitaker is something else. He just totally embodied his character, and he gets so into his craft. He's one of the few actors left with total passion and heart. My favourite scene is when they are at the airport and Forest Whitaker finds out his assistant/doctor is trying to poison him, and had an affair with one of his wives. When he gets in his face and breaks it down to him, it was a classic cinematic moment and brilliant acting. I also love the way "Last King of Scotland" was filmed. All the technical aspects were overlooked by Forest Whitaker's oscar performance. They really made it look like the 70,s. The whole film had that 70's feel. There is also some great music in the movie too....more info
  • Utterly outstanding!
    This was a brilliant, incredibly powerful movie. The story was skilfully told, showing the rise to power of a ruthless dictator, helping the audience to understand how such a person came to be. Forest's portrayal of Idi Amin showed a character that had many different sides - likable, funny, warm, family oriented, to a man who was paranoid, ruthless, and with a moral center that would bend & twist in the most horrifying ways. Parts of the movie are very difficult to watch and rather shocking, but it shows the depravity that crept in.

    Forest Whitaker deserved the Oscar for this role, hands down. His performance was so exquistely perfect, it was like he was channeling, not acting. James McAvoy was a revelation, his performance was also very organic, layered and fascinating. Watching his reactions as Amin descended into virtual madness kept me riveted. As an actor, he is very charming on screen, and his face portrays wonderful subtleties, his eyes communicate volumes.

    The movie also provided a good sense of the country, Uganda, and helps the viewer gain insight into a pivotal period of history. Truly an outstanding movie in every possible way.

    Rai Aren...more info
  • A look at a forgotten chapter in African history
    Set in the backdrop of the east African country of Uganda, this is a fictional account of young Doctor Garrigan, a Scot who wishes to escape the promise of a humdrum life in his native country and who travels to Uganda on a whim to do humanitarian work. He arrives just as General Idi Amin Dada takes over the country in a coup, overthrowing a corrupt regime and apparantly replacing it with a populist government. Garrigan becomes Amin's personal physician and slowly begins to get sucked into the madness that overwhelms Uganda as Idi Amin brutally eliminates his enemies, real and imagined, expels the Asians who run the small country's economy and establishes an oppressive regime of his own.

    The film certainly captures the look and feel of Africa of that time, with many details you might not notice if you didn't know to look for them. The film does allow itself to reflect unnecessarily graphic violence and nudity, though. One thing I thought was interesting was how such a low-born uneducated man like Amin was able to charm the media, especially during one key TV event, and the answer is obvious: they WANTED to be charmed, they WANTED to be fooled. It is a trend that goes on today.

    The addition of actual historical footage at the end of some of the events of Idi's regime was a nice touch. It shows that yes, this really did happen or something awfully close to it....more info
  • Excellent performances all around...
    Very powerful true story, starring two excellent performances from Forest Whitacker and James McAvoy, as a doctor who travels to Uganda and becomes the personal assistant to the president, who is a brutal tyrant and a ruthless murderer. For Whitacker, this is the role that will be remembered for years to come. At once awkwardly friendly, then vicious at the drop of a hat, he creates a character that is so authentically realized, you forget that he is delivering a performance. SEE IT....more info
  • Forest deserved 2 academy awards for his performance.
    Edy Amin was so unstable and childish, but he was very charming when he wanted to be or wanted something. He also wielded a lot of power, his army was loyal and would do his bidding. He was a complex leader who's intense paranoia lead to his eventual downfall. Forest nailed the part. Excellent movie, don't miss it. ...more info
  • SAD BUT TRUE!!
    This movie is one of the strangest, but yet good cause it deals with history.
    It shows how a dictatorship gives a single person way to much power.
    It also shows me that it doesn't matter the color of your skin, we're all
    human and with that kind of power we all would let it go to our head.
    I would say this is one of the best movies I've seen whitaker in.
    It's to bad so many people died under the rule of this man.
    In my opinion if you like historic movies this is a must see.
    I rate this DVD a 9 from 1to10!!...more info
  • Mr. Whitaker Shines As Idi Amin!
    Forest Whitaker really deserved the Oscar for his performance as the evil Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin. I remember the event that brought Idi Amin to the world stage. He reveled in the spot light as the Arab terrorists were allowed, by him, to land their hi-jacked plane in his country.

    Initially I was thinking, why are they making this doctor's role so prominent? I concluded that there have been movies about those poor people who wondered if they were going to die at the hands of the terrorists (or Amin's army). In retrospect, this movie shows the viewer about the man Idi Amin. By the time the doctor, Nicholas Garrigan (played by James McAvoy) realizes what a monster this dictator is, it appears to be too late to do anyting except die.

    I probably would have given the movie a fifth star, if they didn't put in the side story of a supposed contemplated love affair with a fellow doctor (played by Gillian Anderson) who was there, like he was supposed to be, aiding the hordes of mutilated Ugandan natives.

    ...more info
  • amazon lies
    why would you say it is available as a download and then whe i go to download it says "unavailable" You guys suck...more info
  • Last King of Scotland
    Very good story line. This was a very intense film about the times surrounding the Presidency of Idi Amin. I found it to be very entertaining and somewhat educational. There was so much going on in the world at that time that it was very easy to overlook what was happening in a small country like Uganda but it had a large impact on Global History....more info
  • king whitaker
    good story, true story ! its not what i thought it would be! hey, whats in a name?...more info
  • This one is all about Forest Whitaker's performance.
    Although it is based on the true backdrop of the rule of idi Amin, this is actually a fictional account. The main protogonist who plays the doctor is fictional and so should be his portrayed affair with one of Idi Amin's wives. The performance by Forest Whitaker takes the cake. He makes Idi Amin's terror convingly real. THis movie should be just seen for the performance of Forest. The climax is also just a fictional dramatization. It's for giving a good ending to an expansive film. Great cinematography and uganda locales. But just see this for Forest whitaker's performance. It's that good.

    regards, Vikram...more info
  • Scotland
    Nice plot. Too bad the men are dipicted in this movie in such negative a light. The camera and video shots throughout the movie were great images and told the story well without words. Great performance by Forest Whitaker and the associated cast. They seemed to tackle and captivate their characters very well throughout the film. I would recommmend this video for the rave awards it has received. I would give it no more than four stars. ...more info
  • INDISPENSABLE FOR THE CURIOUS ONES
    ***** 2006. Directed by Kevin Macdonald who was already responsible for the great Touching the Void. Academy award earned by Forest Whitaker (Best Actor) and innumerable prizes throughout the world for the movie itself which is based on Giles Foden's The Last King of Scotland. Idi Amin Dada seen through the eyes of a young Scottish doctor. If you liked this film, you have to see Barbet Schroeder's General Idi Amin Dada - Criterion Collection as a good complement. ...more info
  • Wow!!
    Wow, what a great movie, this is definately a must see. I can't really write about it, because I want everyone that reads this review to buy this movie. You wont be dissapointed.

    Lynn, OKC ...more info
  • Very Good Story
    I had low expecatins when I bought this movie, but I am a fan of Whitaker's so I went a head and picked it up. I must say I pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie. Even though it was fictional you walk away being thankful for being born in the US. I do IT support for a missionary and I came away with a greater respect for the people I work with, I dont think I would be comfortable going to some of the places they do. Anyway good movie, definately worth adding to your collection....more info
  • powerful
    The Last King of Scotland started out slow with hardly any excitement for the first 35 minutes or so, but gradually you began to get into the story when you started noticing the king was an evil guy who wasn't afraid to kill someone. This is when the storyline really began to pick up and catch my interest. Forest Whitaker's acting performance was about as great as always. It's a movie you really should watch, if you can find the patience to sit through a pretty boring build up in the beginning. You should also know that a large part of the story is about a doctor from Scotland who becomes close to Forest's character. It's not all about Forest Whitaker as the king- there's more to it than that. ...more info
  • Authoritarian power
    Perhaps the best way to start this review is to praise Forest Whitaker and Gillian Anderson on their powerful performances in this movie. Both have delivered strong characters with grace and poise. Their accents are impeccable and portrayal of Ugandan leader Idi Amin is chilling to say the least. Filmed from the perspective of young Scottish doctor who ends up being Amin's personal physician this portrayal of the heartless charismatic leader from an African country is unique. It seamlessly portrays Amin's rise to power and his decline as his authoritarian regime swallows all around him, including the closest government advisors and even his family members. Narrated from the perspective of foreigner, an outsider, young and naive Scottish doctor, gives this portrayal humanity. No matter how flowed our young doctor is, there is no way to justify atrocities that surround him and torture that he personally experiences. Definitely film for young children, but absolute must for anyone interested in Africa, power and story about failed dictatorship inside an independent country trying to define itself in a new, post-colonial world. ...more info
  • Not for the squeamish
    This was beautifully done but brutal - no surprise considering its subject matter, but if your stomach is really sensitive you're better off just reading about Amin.

    ...more info
  • A Powerful Movie
    This is a powerful movie for anyone interested in history/African politics. The Last King of Scotland follows the life of a fictional Scottish man who becomes the personal doctor and adviser to Ugandan president, Idi Amin. The plot is gripping and moves quickly between action scenes and political dialogue. Forest Whitaker's performance is amazing and very frightening at times. He definitely deserved winning the Oscar for Best Actor!

    WARNING! It is correctly rated R for disturbing images, please take this into consideration....more info
  • Didn't like it as much as everyone else...
    First off let me say Forest Whitaker was AMAZING in this movie (well I've been a fan since Good Morning Vietnam!) and I loved the scenery since I've lived in Africa for 4 years, but that's about all I liked about it. I HATED the scottish doctor, i thought he was an annoying little runt and very distracting (couldn't get over the red lips and the smug smile *sudders*) I would've enjoyed seeing more of Forest Whitaker!!! ...more info
  • Best Actor
    Before this movie I had no idea who this character Amini was but after the movie I felt like I knew him. Forrest Whittaker received the Academy Award for his portrayal and it is well deserved in my opinion. He made you admire a character who is not deserving of it. From learning the language and meeting Amini's close ones he was able engross himself fully in this character and brought the level of intensity higher. It is definitely a movie in my collection....more info
  • Whitaker Shines, Writing Fades
    Forrest Whitaker is the reason to see this film, his portrayal of the jovial psychopath General Idi Amin Dada is not just a dead mimmick, but a reincarnation of the African general who made great press with his clownish antics while hiding his genocidal agenda from his adoring press corps until it was too late.
    The era was fascinating and it was hard not to root for what seemed to be legitimate nationalism and anti-imperialism by Amin.Great Britain had plundered Uganda as a colony, bringing technolgy and education to few while empowering illiterate arm breakers like Amin into their colonial armies. First the Ugandan Asians took the brunt of Amins coup, later the Ugandan people, with casualties of Amin in the hundreds of thousands.
    This film starts strong and is photgraphed vividly, capturing the Third World condition and the elites who live above it. When one of those elites speaks badly about Amin to the young naive doctor whose relationship with Amin the film is based upon,it is easy to discount his criticism as typical of selfish and racsist colonialists- neither the viewer or the doctor want to believe him.
    When it becomes apparent that Amins policies are becoming more savage by the day, it becomes too late for the doctor and too late for Uganda. This part of the film was not handled well, as the flow of the film switches to thriller as escape from Africa becomes the only option.
    Barbet Schroeder directed a great documentary on Amin, and I would recommend that to viewers seeking an historical perspective....more info
  • Farting in Uganda.
    I didnt want to watch this film because I feared having to see masses of visual atrocities like in Ruanda but there were just two and like any good horror film, they were the price of having sex. There were a lot of shootings though adding an American touch. I thought Whittiker looked rather Amrican and the many semi-nude dancers did too. Here the Brits were the bad guys similar to the Belgians in Hotel Ruwanda. Idi killed 300,000 of his countrymen in 1971 while 600,000 were slain in Ruwanda in 1994. Whittikers performance was marvelous, slipping as he did from jocularity to brutality in a flash. His appearance was perfect as well being a huge lumpy man. The doctor fellow was girlish and too incredibly stupid to be believed. He didnt deserve to be rescued and its impossible to believe he was ignorant of Idi's atrocities. He was Idi's Eva Braun so of course in order to move the story along, he had to have sex with one of Idi's wives just to prove he was not a homosexual. ...more info
  • Totally deflating...... but wait.
    When I discovered this movie was fiction or at the best a "based on" movie I was disappointed. The central character, Dr. Garrigan played by James McAnvoy never existed.
    With that I changed my perspective & it is still a very good movie. A bit of a morality play. Of course it is the oft told tale of the corrosive effects of absolute power corrupting absolutely. Forest Whitaker playing dictator Idi Amin has the performance of his career. That & the other performances elevate this movie. Real live historical figures & events, with footage are interspersed with stories behind closed doors of the palace which are not fact. A major movie to see just for the acting if nothing else....more info
  • Whitaker Worthy of HIs Oscar.
    Forest Whitaker was simply remarkable as ex-Ugandan thug and dictator Idi Amin. The screenplay was adapted from a novel centered on a fictional character, Nicholas Garrigan, a Scotsman who becomes Amin's personal physician. Two of the great aspects of this movie: Forest Whitaker and the local flavor. Whitaker justly received an Oscar for his performance. Not only does he bear an eerie resemblance to the real Amin, but he manages to create a more nuanced and deeper portrait than one might expect. Amin begins the movie as the new leader of Uganda following a coup. At first, Whitaker shows a gregarious and personable side of Amin with small flashes of his temper. As the story evolves, Whitaker deftly shifts his portrayal to the more paranoid, self-centered and ruthless tyrant.

    Another fantastic aspect of the movie was the choice to film this movie on location in Uganda. While I can't say that I would have noticed if the film was shot in another African country, but I can say the local casting and scenery were superb.

    While I thought James McAvoy delivered a strong performance as Garrigan, my biggest critique of the movie was ths screenplay. I thought certain parts of the screenplay and various aspects of McAvoy's character were poorly written. For instance, at the outset of the movie, McAvoy comes across as incredibly naive and ill-informed about the turmoil taking place in Uganda, or for that part most of post-colonial Africa at that time. Additionally, some of the elements of the plot were a bit trite and predictable. While clearly done for dramatic purposes, they were a little too expected, especially the final 15 minutes.

    In spite of my few criticisms, this is an incredibly solid movie and contains one of the best performances in recent memory. It is well worth seeing and enjoying....more info
  • Should Have Been A Great Film
    Forrest Whitaker's mesmerizingly powerful performance as one of the last century's more brutal tyrants was this movie's sole saving grace. Even the presence of James McAvoy, one of my favorite young actors, didn't do much toward salvaging what this motion picture, by its closing act, had become. The Last King of Scotland had a lot of talent behind it and the first half showed that, but the promise of its beginnings was simply annihilated in its muddled second half, which was little less than a cinematic disaster. I can't recall the last time I saw a plot go to pieces quite as badly as was the case here. A very real shame, too! Yes, Whitaker was brilliant, the scenery was impressive, the story of Idi Amin was ripe for telling, but this almost totally fictionalized would-be bio-pic was a letdown of major proportions....more info
  • The Last King of Scotland
    While Nicholas Garrigan never existed, he was the sum of several people who were close to Idi Amin. Forest Whitaker was both charming and terrifying as Amin. James McAvoy, an up and coming actor was good with the character that was given him. He was much better in the later half of the movie when it became apparent that he was no longer the trusted advisor, but a target of the man who claimed to be the father of his people and who claimed to love Garrigan. McAvoy shines in his latest roles in Becoming Jane and Wanted. Whitaker deserved the Oscar he garnered....more info
  • A truly dazzling look at a fictional truth...
    `The Last King of Scotland' opens almost childishly, kind of amateurish, as if it was going to make light of a very serious subject. Almost immediately though it shifts gears and begins its gradual decline into darker waters, submersing the audience in the stirring madness that was the reign of Idi Amin. Told through the eyes of fictitious character Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, `The Last King of Scotland' attempts to give the audience a ringside seat to the tragic events surrounding Amin's rise to power; and for the most part it succeeds very well.

    One must remember that this is not a true story. It is a fictitious account of historical events. You can liken it to `Titanic', for it is a fictional story woven around a foundation of actual events.

    The film opens with Scottish Doctor Nicholas Garrigan making his way to Uganda to help care for the sick villagers but is soon persuaded by the power behind Idi Amin (who has a soft spot for the Scottish) to leave his original plans and become Amin's personal physician. This decision proved to be devastating for Garrigan, but that realization would come at a time that was almost too late for him. As Garrigan becomes more knowledgeable of the truth behind Amin's reign, his initial admiration turns to disgust as he realizes the weight of the situation he now finds himself. Garrigan finds himself acquainted with those in Amin's circle, including one of his wives named Kay with whom he starts a very dangerous relationship.

    The film is strengthened by the phenomenal performances by the two male leads, both Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy delivering career best performances. Whitaker delves into the real man that is Idi Amin, the brutality festering beneath his surface always showing through in his eyes. (His performance reminds me a bit of Yul Brenner's Oscar winning performance in `The King and I', a portrayal of a man savage by nature who tries to justify his actions with a fa?ade of kindness. Yes, they are two different people in the end, but he similarities are obvious.) His performance garnered him award after award (a sweep to be exact) and finally got him recognized among his peers. His performance is extraordinary, but to be honest he is not as good as McAvoy who fleshes out Garrigan with expert precision, creating a character who is complete and real. As Whitaker slips Amin into savagery, McAvoy is slowing peeling away Garrigan's sanity to unveil a man scarred by his surroundings and paralyzed by his newfound predicament.

    I was a little let down by Kerry Washington, not because her performance was lacking (it was quick good) but because the script didn't allow her to become someone truly real to us. The film was so focused on Garrigan's relationship with Amin that it didn't take a few moments to really flesh out his relationship with Kay, and if it had then her performance would have seemed richer. That is really the only fault I have with the script also, that it fails to fully invest itself in the entirety of Garrigan's surroundings, targeting his interactions with Amin and allowing the rest of the events around him to become mere side-points. The film is not particularly long so it could have benefited from a few more minutes added to flesh out the entire plot.

    But, that is really just a small issue, not anything that should detract anyone from seeing this film.

    The final moments in `The Last King of Scotland' literally took my breath away (and single-handedly landed Whitaker his Oscar, when if the Academy would look at the less showy performance in the same scene they may have made a different choice). It is in those moments that the entire film comes to a traumatic and emotionally rooted climax. Many will see this film for Whitaker's lauded performance (as did I) but what you will find is a diamond in the rough; a truly outstanding fictional biopic that tantalizes every one of our senses....more info
  • The Last King of Scotland
    Very good service. The disc was excellent. The price was right and I would buy again from the seller. Thank you....more info
  • Great Title Role
    Forrest Whitaker was born to play Idi Amin, evidently. He's got him down. He's even better in this than he was being Charlie Parker in "Bird." The script is a fanciful take on an imaginary doctor who becomes the dictator's advisor. There are a few love interests. Not too much violence. An entertaining watch....more info
  • The Last King of Scotland Commands Respect
    It is a film about haggis and Highland Games that you were hoping for, then surely you will be disappointed. Because The Last King of Scotland has very little to do with the automatically assumed main topic of Scotland and instead takes us away from the Scottish land to a place a bit more remote: Uganda.

    Directed by Kevin Macdonald and written by Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock, The Last King of Scotland is a narrative interpretation of the life and power of the former military dictator and president of Uganda Idi Amin. Like many others that he bestowed upon himself, the film gets its title from a self-given name that Amin calls himself.

    Forest Whittaker plays the role of Idi Amin and his performance leaves no surprises as to how Whittaker won the 2007 Oscar for Best Performance by Leading Actor. Whittaker boldly embodies the power and demeanor of Amin who at times can seem like either your best friend or a ruthless dictator. The mannerisms of Whittaker and the voice that he uses when speaking as Amin seems to fit the role perfectly and one would be hard pressed to imagine a more perfect possible cast for this role.

    Set in the years of Amin's rule between 1971 and 1979, the film also highlights the work of Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy). Garrigan decides that living in Scotland and working in the family medical practice simply was not something that he would be able to do upon graduation from medical school. Therefore, Garrigan decides to literally spin the globe and land his finger on a location where he hoped to serve as a doctor to perhaps a population that needed him more than those back home in Scotland. Of course when he landed on Uganda even Garrigan himself likely was not ready for what was next to come.

    Garrigan plans to work in a Ugandan medical clinic run by Sarah Merrit (Gillian Anderson) and her husband. The clinic provides free care to so many in Uganda that simply cannot afford even the most basic of health care. After a run in with Amin, however, Garrigan decides eventually to leave the clinic to take a state run position as Amin's personal doctor.

    The relationship between Amin and Garrigan certainly grows as time goes on and the level of trust that Amin bestows upon Garrigan is clearly evidenced. The position of doctor quickly grows into confidant with an almost chief of staff level of seniority being reached by Garrigan in Amin's cabinet. However, as power tends to do to some people, quickly the power that Amin has garnered both by popular will and through force rapidly begins to corrupt the government that Amin has built and set out to be a change from the corrupt government that preceded him that he overthrew.

    Very quickly, as so many of the relationships of those around Amin had done before, the friendship between Garrigan and Amin begins to sour. Due largely in part to an incident involving one of Amin's purported wives, Kay (Kerry Washington) and Garrigan, Garrigan goes from being on top of the Amin leadership level to being an enemy of the Amin dictatorship and a marked man.

    There is certainly a good deal of blood and gore in this film which though at times is excessive accurately portrays the brutality inflicted by the Amin rule in Uganda. Though perhaps having a more Western frame of mind in theory, Amin certainly rules with an iron fist and ensures that his rule and authority comes at the expense of peace and due process in Uganda. Rather than having the brutality of Amin's rule simply glossed over in the film in actuality the director has done a fine job accurately transferring to film the rule that wreaked so much havoc upon Uganda.

    The Last King of Scotland is an amazingly well done film that takes a very historic and factual story and transforms it into a very watchable and interesting film. The movie has a way of holding the viewer's attention throughout and even though the nature of the film focuses on a very emotional and intense subject, the viewer can watch the film and not be lost in any complexities that are not well enough hashed out.

    Certainly after watching this film it is plain to see why The Last King of Scotland has commanded so much respect and praise amongst movie viewers. Unlike the forced appreciation of the leadership of Amin, this film is indeed worthy of all of the praise that it has and continues to receive.
    ...more info
  • Unfair treatment
    What a "FAILED" attempt to show the world what Idi Amin was. Bear in mind that this is a movie "based" on facts. The Scotsman's character is fictional and "based" on a character from a book which also like the movie is again "based" on facts during Amin's tyrannical rule. The movie should not be considered 100% historically accurate. The fictitious Scotsman's character is based on the the life of Bob Astles, an Englishman who was a close associate of Idi Amin and who after Amin's ousting fled to Kenya. He was later apprehended and was sentenced for crimes (theft, murder and corruption). He denied charges and was acquitted but it is anyone's guess what someone associated with the dreaded Amin and his security apparatus were up to.

    In the 70's the very word Amin meant terror. His big and towering 6 ft plus frame, looks and candid speech made him both a hated and dreaded personality. He was a perfect example of the phrase "Absolute Power corrupts absolutely". With a good measure of insanity, hedonistic evil and torture his reign was almost that of a modern day Caligula.

    Since many of us already know who Amin was this movie simply capitalizes on that very powerful presumption or at least expects us to have this hideous view of him and develop or possess hatred towards Amin. However, what you get in this movie is a cute, happy, chubby and cheerful Idi Amin who many would easily think, after watching Forest Whitaker play the role, could have even easily been guided from his evil ways on to a path of sanity and goodness. With his brilliant straight-from-the-heart 10,000 watt smile and innocent eyes Foresh Whitaker plays a very different Idi Amin we aren't used to. Compare videos or images of the real Amin and you'll see there's no way that smile and those eyes of Whitaker could exude evil or fear of the real dictator.

    Then comes the fictional Scotsman who by twist of fate ends up as Amin's personal physician, friend and adviser. But is everything ok with the Scotsman and did he do right?

    Here is his list of misdemeanors.

    Killing of man and beast.

    1. In one of the early scenes where he confronts Amin, a cow is involved in an accident. The scene is a total goof-up. Amin needs nursing and the Scotsman who is there to assist seems to be more irritated by the agonizing cries of the helpless animal (as he is not able to concentrate on treating Amin) that he shoots it to death in cold blood. The viewer is made to believe that the Scotsman did right by delivering the animal from its pain. But Why didn't he think of administering a sedative? He could have given it an anaesthetic and later put it to sleep or nursed it to health. Better still he could have asked his female companion (who is also a doc) to do something about it. Euthanasia is not even advocated by doctors.

    2. Wrongly tipping Amin of an innocent colleage and that which cost the colleague his life.

    3. There is yet another scene where he runs over and kills an injured man to save his life and Amin's during a failed assasination attempt on Amin.

    4. And finally the most daring of all - trying to kill Amin himself. Amin's wife and the doctor who saves his life in the end are both killed or sacrificed for the Scotsman.

    And of course not to forget the Scotsman's no.1. misdemeanor - Philandering

    5. One of his one-night-stands is shown briefly in the beginning of the movie. When you can pass that off as lightly, comes the next one.

    6. Trying to unsuccessfully seduce his friend's (another Doctor's) wife.

    7. Having an affair with one of Amin's (of all people) wives and impregnating her in the process and then desperately trying to abort the baby.

    Be he a criminal, a terror, a despot, a murderer or even a canniabal but wasn't Amin's trust in his friendship betrayed? Or is the film trying to say, "If your trusted friend is a tyrant, you can go ahead and be a lover to his wife?" Preposterous!

    With all this going against the Scotsman how can the movie expect the viewer to offer sympathy for the Scotsman and let him get away with all of this? Well you could if the movie shows the real Amin, but what you get is some chubby, cheerful and guileless looking guy for Amin in Forest Whitaker.

    Then there is the sour Scotsman - Englishman rivalry which was totally unnecessary because that too backfires on the Scotsman when the latter agrees to help the Scotsman. I really want to know if Scotland is another country totally different in thinking and evolution and views from English. When the Scotsman says "I am Scottish.", does that mean they are much better off than their cousins and neighbors, the English, who at one time in history had colonized most of the civilization on this earth.

    This movie also has a very ridiculous scene where the Scotsman meets up with Amin, who with his friends are watching a porn movie under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

    All the negative aspects hides the good Afro songs and the lovely African landscape the movie has. Only the presumption that Amin was a hated guy saves this movie to some extent.

    Sharad Patel's "The rise and Fall of Idi Amin" made soon after Amin was ousted was in many ways comical and sometimes even exaggerated but at least it showed the world why the infamous despot was so dreaded. But even for those who knew Amin well this movie misleads them....more info
  • What's wrong with this picture?
    What a wonderful first half of a movie! James MacAvoy was tremendous as the na?ve Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, a young med school grad who traded a safe career as a country doctor in his dad's practice for a life of adventure in a mission hospital in Uganda. Garrigan is a skilled doctor, but also incredibly callow. Arriving in Uganda at the time of Idi Amin's takeover in 1971, he intends to boff everything in sight, including the wife of his fellow doctor. Coming on the future dictator whose car has collided. Garrigan inadvertently finds favor with the strongman and soon finds himself the his personal physician. Amin then begins to give the doctor more and more responsibilities, until he is so enmeshed he cannot escape.

    (Note: some spoilers follow)

    First off, Garrigan is fictional, which gives the filmmakers a couple of options. They can either make him the eyes of the audience, a means for letting them see events in a naturalistic fashion. Or they can use him allegorically, making him stand for something larger than himself. In the case of "Last King," the filmmakers seemingly tried to use him as both, but without success. Large swaths of Ugandan history are kept from Garrigan's eyes, and therefore our own. Amin is portrayed as large and lovable, with only a hint of the beast within. When it comes time for Garrigan to realize what a murderous monster Amin really is, Garrigan is brought up to speed in just a few minutes. It's at this point that the movie became unbelievable. We are asked to believe that everyone but Garrigan knew what was going on in the country. But the good Doctor was hardly kept in isolation, so his continued ignorance (when surrounded by those who knew the truth and were trying to tell it to him) is incredible. Garrigan doesn't even function as an allegorical figure, represting the outside world, since Amin's brutality was well known outside his own country.

    I demur from those who admire Forest Whitaker's depiction of the dictator. FW is too much of a teddy bear to function as homicidal maniac. His sudden turn from genial, oafish strongman to brooding maniac comes too swiftly to be believable. Watch the shots of the real Amin at the end of the film and in the additional material. He was a scary guy, with cold, piercing eyes. Sorry, Forest, but I would not have voted you the Oscar.

    "Last King of Scotland" is a perplexing film that could have been much more. The final scenes, depicting the Entebbe raid in 1979, exist less for what they say about Amin or Uganda than as a convenient means for letting Garrigan escape the country. Why else the brutal scene in the room adjacent to where the hostages were kept? The film's first half promised a real classic about Africa and the forces that created a man like Amin. The failure of the film's second half, with its bloody scenes of torture, indicated a failure of nerve to follow through on that promise....more info
  • Last King of Scotland
    An extraordinary film -- not easy to watch because of the violence but well-worth the time. We should always be reminded that horrible things go on under our collective noses. Both Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy were absolutely brillient....more info
  • A Much Deserved Oscar and Golden Globe Winner
    Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin deserves all the praise and awards he has received for this stunningly rich performance. He becomes the cruel dictator for every moment he is on the screen in this two-hour film and plays Amin as an extremely complex man who has had an interesting experience in the British military, loves all things Scottish and is willing to put his complete trust in a young white physician Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) who goes to Uganda in the early 1970's to begin his practice of medicine. Young and full of optimism, he goes to Uganda to "make a difference," becomes Amin's personal physician quite by accident on his part and gradually becomes sucked into the maelstrom of the dictator's evil machinations.

    The music is beautiful-- for example, a native singer performs a soulful rendition of Kris Kristofferson's plaintive "Me and Bobby McGhee"-- and the filming comes off as completely authentic. My only concern with this must-see movie is that McAvoy looks too young to be a physician. Surely he would have had to have been approaching thirty to have just finished medical school, but he looks much younger. I heard an African American professor giving a civil rights speech shortly after Whitaker won his awards who in passing criticized this film because Amin is "saved and protected" by a white man, the physician. (Garrigan is a fictionalized character from the novel by Giles Foden.) I would argue just the opposite since Garrigan's life is saved by an African physican who loses his own for saving Garrigan's.

    The DVD version has documentary footage from Amin's life that is certainly worth seeing along with this highly suspenseful movie that is not to be missed....more info
  • better than the book
    Orson Welles had a theory that bad books make good movies, and The Last King of Scotland proves his point: from a clunky and ham-fisted novel comes a quite dazzling film, mostly notable for its great acting. It may not be a genre-defining masterpiece, but it's engaging and often beautiful. Even the soundtrack (which is mostly Nigerian, but that's besides the point) is exciting. Definitely a case when it is better to have seen the movie than read the book!...more info
  • Forest Whitaker Takes Home The Crown!
    "The Last King of Scotland" is a grim masterpice based off of the best selling book, which went a little bit differently.

    WARNING POSSIBLE SPOLIERS

    A young and very naive doctor recently graduates from medical school, and his dad is being hard on him. To get away from his idiot dad, Nicholas Garrigan (Played by James McAvoy), goes to the last place on earth anyone would want to be other then the USSR, Uganda! When he gets there he frolicks with the female natives, makes some new friends like Dr. Merrit and his wife Sarah (Gillian Anderson). Before long, Nicholas falls hard for the Sarah, but she rejects him kindly.

    Then they have a chance incounter with Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker), Nicholas helps bandge his hand up, and he takes his gun and shoots a wounded cow without his permission. Idi is impressed, and then realizes that Nicholas isn't acutally British but Scottish. What a suprise they share something in common like most friends do, Uganda and Scotland were or is under British occupation.

    After Idi becomes leader of all Uganda, he invites Nicholas into his home, as it turns out he's obsesssed with Scotland as a country. Nicholas and Idi become fast friends, and while Idi is charming, funny and charismatic, alas like most villians he too had his share of flaws.

    The British try to warn Nicholas that Idi isn't who he thinks he is and try to tell him that if he gets in his way, he could die. But Nicholas isn't worried to much, he has nice stuff that Idi gives to him. But then things turn sour when Nicholas takes notice of one of Idi's wives. Only question is, will Nicholas as stupid and naive as he is get out of Uganda alive? I'm not telling just find out for yourselves!

    Here is what I think of the movie as a whole.

    A. Music- Fantastic music by the African choirs and chants it makes you think you're in Africa yourself.

    B. Scenery- Just beautiful, makes me want to go to Uganda itself.

    C. Plot- Brillient.

    D. Acting- Brillient, Forest Whitaker plays Idi so authintically that you won't even know it's him! And anyone who says that Forset doesn't or didn't deserve that Oscar, they're wrong. He won that Oscar far and square! James McAvoy did a good job too, but it was Forest who stole the show!

    I dedicate this film to anyone interested in thriller movies, Africa, African history, historical fiction, and Forest Whitaker! Two thumbs up for "The Last King of Scotland"!...more info
  • Absorbing tale of corruption and evil....
    Forest Whitaker gives a thoroughly believable performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in this movie. James MacAvoy as the protagonist Nicholas starts as an idealistic doctor aiming to help treat villagers. Through happenstance, he becomes acquainted with Amin and is bit by bit drawn into his spider web.

    Making small concessions at first, Nicholas realizes he is compromised ethically and becomes desperate for a way out of Amin's coterie and a way out of Uganda. His problems extend to the fact that he cannot "keep it in his pants," and he has an affair with one of Amin's wives, who he impregnates. Not a smart move and perhaps indicative of a death wish. Will he survive? Will he be able to leave Uganda?

    A suspenseful film based on true life events in Africa.

    ...more info
  • The Last King of Scotland
    I enjoyed watching this dvd and felt the persona of Idi Amin was well portrayed. Having lived in Uganda prior to and during his "reign" I can say it is a true to life portrayal of the man!...more info
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes
    Forrest Whitaker can do anything. His portrayal of the sweet and gentle Nate Pope in Phenomenon is never far from my mind since I religiously watch that movie about once a year. His General-President Idi Amin, homicidal Ugandan leader during the 1970s - is alternatingly, exhaustingly charming and terrifying, endearing and repulsive.

    I didn't even recognize Gillian Anderson at first. Kerry Washington was interesting as Kay Amin, one of the President's wives. And the questions the film raises! To what degree should the West be held accountable for "creating" someone like Idi Amin?

    It wasn't until James McAvoy's Dr. Nicholas Carrigan was on his back having sex at the beginning of the movie that I recognized McAvoy as the faun from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I don't know what that means about fauns and me, but there it is. Fools blithely go where angels fear to tread. Carrigan is a fool, sweet at first, then more stupid as the movie progresses, and then "Dude, you're a dumbass" idiotic. When he descends into the hospital basement near the end of the movie, he's descending into his own Inferno. Welcome home, Doctor.

    The scene in which Amin expertly pursuades Carrigan to remain was one of my favorites. It served as an excellent showcase for the quality of the acting, direction, and photography. Was Amin actually such an excellent judge of persons and such a powerful manipulator? It's an emotional rollercoaster ride. I was soooo uncomfortable during so much of this movie. The lapses into "Dazed and Confused" cinematography were a bit much for me. I often felt that I was being manipulated much the same way the film's Amin worked Carrigan. And like Carrigan, who embraced Amin, the man who terrified him, I'll say that this is a fine film. It was also terrible. I don't imagine I'll watch it again.

    ...more info
  • Forest Whitaker shines ....
    Absolutey brilliant performance by Forest Whitaker in portraying how cruel humans can be to each other. ...more info
  • Chilling
    The performance of Forest Whitaker left me speechless. There is SO MUCH I'd wish to say for it, but I'm lost for words! A chilling film about the 70's president of Uganda, the charmer-monster Idi Amin. As a story, it could easily stand for many of the developing world's dictators. James McAvoy was superb as Amin's physician portraying the naive, impressionable youth who gradually undergoes a transformation as he discovers the sinister reality behind his boss's charms. His extremely young looks stretch the credibility of such a boy having actually graduated from medical school, but his outstanding performance makes up for it.

    Hard to watch at the end, with the brutality of Amin and his henchmen reaching monstrous proportions. But precisely because the movie was not filled with scenes of violence, but rather spread them out in gradual doses over the second half, escalating towards the end, that made them all the more harrowing. Again, as for Forest Whitaker, I cannot say enough for his performance, maybe simply that it was pure genius. ...more info
  • Excellent fact-based Thriller!
    As most reviewers have indicated, Forest Whitaker gives what is probably the most astounding performance of his career as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, the notoriously brutal dictator who plundered the country's considerable assets, expelled Asians who formed the backbone of the economy and, above all, laid waste to hundreds of thousands (some estimates range as high as 500,000) of mostly Ugandan residents--real and/or perceived dissidents and political opponents--from all walks of life, during his eight-year reign (1971-1979) of terror. Though the movie is actually a fact-based fictional account, it is nonetheless a gripping thriller that graphically communicates the horrific scope of Amin's racism, paranoia and megalomania. The core of the film spotlights the improbable coercion of a young, idealistic Scottish doctor, Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), into becoming Amin's personal physician. Though Garrigan is at first charmed, sufficiently impressed by the perks of his position, and mostly oblivious, he is ultimately sickened not only by the mounting evidence of Amin's cunning and savagery, but also by his own complicity. Director Kevin McDonald at once gradually builds the story and moves it along at a brisk pace, so that you are eventually on the edge of your seat. There are unflinchingly graphic (though mostly brief) scenes of torture, murder and mutilation that may leave some viewers queasy--all the better to underscore the inhumanity of one of history's most vicious dictators. Of course "The Last King of Scotland" is most spectacular for its two lead actors. With his drooping eye and shark-like grin, Whitaker makes you feel the full sledgehammer force of Amin's humor, charm, magnanimity and cruelty! McAvoy maintains just the right balance between innocence, wordliness, courageousness, mounting horror and revulsion. Even if not wholly factual, this excellent movie should at least inspire viewers to read up on the real events--which were far more terrifying than any fiction could ever be--that took place in Uganda during this most turbulent time. ...more info
  • amateur director
    The early years of Idi Amin's reign of terror in Uganda (1970-79) as seen by his personal physician. Intense performances, fine script and authentic-looking cinematography compromised by annoying beer commercial-style direction. Inferior to "Hotel Rwanda" (2004)....more info
  • Brutally Chilling
    I distinctly remember Idi Amin. I remember his reign of terror, his regime's genocide, his banishing the Indians and Jews who had made Uganda their home. Then I would see a clip of him on the nightly news; Amin was smiling, he was gregarious, charming--it just wasn't possible so likeable a man could be capable of such atrocities. When Idi Amin disappeared into exile, in 1979, he disappeared from my memory.

    Until I saw THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. When I saw Forest Whitaker, the way he carried himself, the way he spoke, the way he could be so calmly maniacal. . .the hairs stood up on my neck. Before my very eyes, Whitaker became Idi Amin, which is why this film is so believable--even though it's a fictional account of his regime.

    It's an account about Amin and the relationship he has with his personal physician, Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy). Nicholas wins instant points with "President" Amin because the young doctor is Scottish--and the Ugandan leader is an enthusiastic fan of Scotland and its culture. In the beginning, all is well and good; Nicholas becomes intoxicated with his newfound wealth and power--with his ever-increasing influence with Amin. But everything is an illusion; Uganda is unstable, Amin has many enemies, and when the enemies rebel, the dictator responds with an iron fist. And the relationship with his physician becomes strained; Nicholas's naivete suddenly yields to remorse, to fear, to helplessness. This thriller ends at Entebbe Airport, in one of the most brutal and disturbing cinematic scenes I've ever seen.

    Whitaker, McAvoy, and the rest of the cast furnish unforgettable roles--especially Whitaker, who won an Oscar. Kudos to director Kevin MacDonald for making a film that is beautiful yet brutal, a film that has heart-pounding suspense. THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND sends one chill after another down the spine, and brings Idi Amin back to vivid life.
    --D. Mikels, Author, The Reckoning
    ...more info
  • A true must-see
    It is importand to note that this is no a biopic but a work of fiction. With that being said, this story is truly unique and fascinating. There is not one boring scene in the entire film. Forest Whitaker plays an evil man who is so likable and charismatic that you are shocked when you find out how bad he is. You have to see this film right away, it is impossible not to like it....more info
  • Idi Amin of Scotland
    "The Last King of Scotland" is an excellent film very loosely based on historical events, or rather personalities. James McAvoy is a Scottish doctor (and a completely invented character) who is bored with his life in Scotland and wants to add spice to his life. The good doctor hence decides to go to Uganda at a time when a charismatic military Ugandan is becoming the president. Through chance, and while working in a mission, McAvoy encounters this president, Idi Amin (Forrest Whitaker) and becomes Amin's personal physician, therefore having full access to all aspects of Amin's life.

    It is no secret that Amin was a paranoid, sociopathic monster, who exterminated large numbers of his own people. Those who are not familiar with Uganda might think that Amin indeed did have a Scottish doctor, which he did not, but Amin did make a statement in which he proclaimed himself a King of Scotland. Having served in the British Army, Amin became convinced that he would do a better job at ruling the United Kingdom than Elizabeth II. Amin even offered his sexual services to the Queen of England.

    Even though a lot of the film is anecdotal at best, it is still a fact that Whitaker and McAvoy delivered unforgettable performances (and Whitaker won a well deserved Oscar for his role) and drew attention to this part of the world which is not well known by general populace. Truly a captivating film, it has stunning photography and great cinematography. Highly recommended....more info
  • With a story this dramatic...
    why revise the truth?

    This is a chance for the world to remember this complicated monster - and for us to learn something about ourselves in the process. I can see how you might pick and choose from the facts when assembling a book (or movie), but why fiddle with them?

    Great, great performances, wonderful production value... but I just couldn't get over the dramatic license.

    Do, do, do watch the special features - there are candid interviews with people who were there (both colonial types and Ugandans), and even they are shaking their heads at some of the licenses....more info
  • Eye opener
    I had no idea that this ruler was such an unstable person. This movie showed me just enough to know....more info
  • BRITISH BLOWBACK
    This is a fascinating film, dealing with a fictional Scotish doctor as witness to the horrors of Amin's Uganda. The idealistic Scot is quickly charmed by the Ugandan dictator. I think McAvoy is a perfect choice, he says so much just through his eyes, he is a witness to the horrors of this British made Frankenstein and you feel his desperation as he tries to find a way out. Whitaker is fantastic as Amin, he is at once charming at next glace an absolute horror. The brutality is sickening to watch, especially what is done to one of the central female leads, it's very graphic, but this guy was a sociopath of the first order. Filming on location in Africa really makes the film come alive. Its hard to believe that Amin lived out the rest of his days in exile in Saudia Arabia and died of natural causes in 2003, never having paid for his crimes against Uganda. ...more info
  • All Hail the King
    This movie shows Forest Whitaker at his best. Most definately worthy of the Oscar and all the other awards he received for this sterling performance....more info
  • Over rated movie
    This is a worth while flick but nothing that great. What was the big deal of the performance of Forrest Whittacker?

    What I did not like (and maybe this is not a fair comment since the movie was supposed to be historical) is that Idi Amin was not depicted as the monster that I remember publicized from 1970's. Although not a hero, for the bulk of the movie he was a little bit charming...therefore, he did not come off as a monster/evil dictator.

    The protagonist was not that innocent. His promiscuity (especially having sex with Amin's baby's mama and trying to bed his employer's wife) made him kind of deserve the enivitable wrath coming his way.

    The movie was okay but it had no more impact then a made for tv movie. I was expecting more!...more info
  • informative
    The acting was pretty good.There could have been more of his political life in the movie......more info
  • A Very Powerful Film
    A very powerful film, and I don't have to tell you why because you can read so many other reviews. This is impressive enough for me to slip it into my little collection of DVDs to watch again. Not right away, though, because there are a few gruesome spots that I expect most viewers had to turn away from....more info
  • Enthralling
    This is without doubt one of best films of 2006 and I think that is saying a lot considering what a brilliant year it was for movies. The acting in this film is definitely very good, I liked the amount of tension it builds and how it kept me engaged and concerned. Weak points, if any, could be the central character's defiance is shown with a touch too much uplomb, I felt. Not exactly riveting but definitely enthralling. Leaves a mark, one of the films you discuss with the best friend of yours especially the aspirin plus beer scene.
    I also find Last King of Scotland is particularly overlooked by audiences and movie lovers worldwide because it isn't exactly too pomp on the mainstream meter. Over look that and you have one fine exhibit of human spirit or lack of it. If you liked this film, I would recommend "Seven Years in Tibet"...more info
  • Microcosm is an Excellent Ploy
    There are many excellent reviews here and I won't rehash or redefine what's been said. I would like to make one point. One of the reviewers I read here felt a straightforward biography would have been better served. I totally disagree. Aside from the incredibly excellent portrayal by F. Whitaker, what made this movie riveting (have watched it 2x and didn't think I'd ever want to watch it again but found myself glued to the screen a second time) is the total loss of innocence of the doctor and his realization of who Amin/monster really was. We who lived through that time and remember Amin know what he was about and how he murdered innocents,his fellow countrymen. But to see it unfold with a foil, the doctor, and to see the doctor finally see inside this monster made me not able to turn away. ...more info
  • It takes a lot of pain to make a smart man into a wise man
    This is a highly entertaining film that gets more intense as the film reaches the end. Forest Whitaker does a wonderful job of playing General Idi Amin Dada, a man who rises to power in Uganda becoming the dictator of the country. He is genuinely frightening. James McAvoy plays the young immature Scottish medical doctor, Nicholas Garrigan, who finds himself in a lot of trouble in this troubled nation.

    The film and the main character, Dr. Garrigan, are fictional; however they are based on the actual history of Idi Amin Dada's genocidal tyranny and the PLO high jacking in Entebbe. Nicholas comes to Uganda on a lark and works in a mission clinic where he tries to seduce the physician's vulnerable wife with little regard for those around him. He meets the General by accident and impresses Amin. Nicholas Garrigan is at first entranced and entertained by Amin Dada's commanding personality, sarcastic wit, and unique views. However the longer Nicholas remains in the court of Amin Dada, the more complicit he becomes to the evil that is generated and the more mistakes and false steps he takes that begin to distance him from Amin Dada.

    In some ways the film is about maturity. Clever, witty, intelligent folks from privileged Western backgrounds will sometimes underestimate the level of threat and danger present in situations outside of North American culture. Dr. Nicholas Garrigan is one of those folks and his underestimation of the forces of evil bring great harm to those around him and to himself. Amin confronts him at the end of the film for being an egotistical Westerner who had decided to play with the natives for a lark. Amin shows him that the natives don't play.

    The Entebbe Airport high jacking by the PLO is relevant to the story and young Nicholas comes very close to losing his life. Will he be a wiser man due to his painful experiences? McAvoy does such a great job of portraying this flippant egotist that even after much pain and death, I doubted that he had changed his ways. This is not a very optimistic vision of human character. In fact it is darkly pessimistic. Idi Amin Dada is a rare occurrence, a homicidal tyrant who thinks nothing of genocide. But Dr. Nicholas Garrigan is not such a rare specimen, for he represents the smart young brass egotist who can do great harm because he lacks the experience and especially the wisdom to avoid danger. When his egotism involves others in exposure to danger he certainly becomes less charming and sympathetic a character.

    The film is great entertainment, great suspense, and great acting.
    ...more info
  • Charismatic performances...but a problem filled script.
    LAST KING OF SCOTLAND suffers from some of the same problems as HOTEL RWANDA. It is timid in its exploration of the atrocities committed by Idi Amin. While I have no interest in seeing horrible things happen to humans just for the sake of entertainment (I can watch HOSTEL if that's what interests me), I also feel that a true understanding of what Amin inflicted on his country is missing from this film. The way he's presented, he mostly seems like a charismatic but unstable leader, who become increasingly paranoid and blithely knocked off his inner-circle of advisors left and right. He did do these things...but he inflicted so much more agony too. If a viewer came to Idi Amin for the first time through this movie, they would wonder what much of the fuss is about. It needs to show the SCALE of the horrors this man inflicted...just like HOTEL RWANDA needed to show us the true face of those atrocities.

    A movie like SCHINDLER'S LIST made the holocaust a personal story, but also showed the horrors on a broad scale. LAST KING OF SCOTLAND could have done the same. (Although no doubt not as powerfully...that was Spielberg's finest effort, after all).

    But this disappointment aside, there is much to admire about this excellent film, starting WITH the charismatic performance by Forest Whitaker. Whitaker is never less than compelling to watch. We see many facets of Amin...from bold leader, to national hero, to simpering child, to loving father, to paranoid lunatic, to delusional monster. Whitaker makes the man likeable for much of the film...which is important, because he is viewed mostly through the eyes of a young, white British doctor (James McAvoy) who is enticed to join Amin's inner circle. If Whitaker played him as just a nut-case, why would McAvoy ever allow himself to become part of the "team?" Whitaker has always been a very good actor, with a wide range. But his Amin is the shining high point of his career thus far. He digs into this character with great intensity...I doubt the sweat that's always beading on his face was created by the makeup team. He looks like a guy always on the brink of exploding...whether in raucous laughter or frightening rage.

    The script hints at the horrible things Amin is up to...but Amin himself never references them. He hides the truth from McAvoy...and thus from us. We feel as though the good doctor is anxious to get away from Amin only because he fears for his own life...not because he's seen what is happening to the country of Uganda. While Whitaker more than delivers on his responsibilities to present Amin as the dangerous tyrant he was...the script allows few opportunities to show what Amin DID.

    So McAvoy is sometimes left looking more mildly concerned than terrified and outraged. Later in the film, he suffers a personal tragedy and this energizes him...but for a lot of the movie, I was wondering how in the world he was so oblivious. McAvoy (ATONEMENT) is a charming and capable actor...but he comes across as a bit of a lightweight in comparison to Whitaker's booming presence. But the way his character was developed (and the doctor IS the lead role), there probably wouldn't be many actors who could have made the part as interesting as Amin. (Although here's another problem with the script: McAvoy's character is fictional, so part of me felt that the filmmakers were wary of showing the story through any point of view other than that of a white person. So often the plight of minorities is depicted through the eyes of the white majority...MISSISSIPPI BURNING is the first example that pops to mind, but there are lots of others.)

    The film also offers a brief but lovely performance from Gillian Anderson, hair dyed blonde and skin deeply bronzed. At first, I just enjoyed seeing how different she looked from Dana Scully...but ultimately I was captured by her quiet charisma. Sadly, she is only in the first third or so of the film.

    The film also has beautiful cinematography. The film stock was highly saturated, making the colors richer than real life. This has the effect of conveying not only the beauty of the land, but the intense heat.

    Despite my problems with the way the script decided to tell this story, and with its assumption that we all remember the famous "Raid on Entebbe" that brought Amin to the world's attention...I still recommend the film highly. Whitaker certainly gave a performance worthy of Oscar consideration, and the story we do get is fascinating. I'm frustrated it wasn't more...but I very much was engaged in what we were given.

    This is the kind of film that will have folks hitting the internet for more information of Idi Amin. That can't be a bad thing.
    ...more info
  • See It for Forest Whitaker
    There is not much new light that The Last King of Scotland brings to the tragedy of Uganda under Idi Amin. This is not history, but fiction. Young white Scot becomes closest adviser to a brutal dictator? That's preposterous enough, but ladling on Dr. Nicholas Garrigan's naivete and philandering with one of Amin's wives brings Last King down near the absurdist level. The Africa portrayed, and very richly so with close-ups and other careful cinematography, is new only to Garrigan and those who have never had contact with the continent. To those who have, it hits all the cliches and not much more. Still, Last King has two big pluses. First, the story -- absurd as it is -- is absorbing throughout and, second, I now understand why Forest Whitaker won the Oscar last year. He nails Amin, his appeal, his brutality, and his buffoonery.

    Be warned -- some of King is very rough going. Two scenes in particular -- a dead mutilated body and torture involving grappling hooks -- are among the most disturbing I've seen in a film.

    Bottom line -- Whitaker captures Amin, but Last King does not do justice to Africa. ...more info