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Assassination of Richard Nixon, The

Director:  Niels Mueller
Year Released:  2004
Rating:  2.0

Twitchy furniture salesman (Sean Penn) gets tired of life beating him down so he decides to take out scapegoat Richard Nixon, who, like Big Brother, has apparently taken over all the channels on TV. Penn's performance - to me, at least - seems like a collection of physical and verbal tics and the one-dimensional story - with strong ties to 9/11 - owes a lot to Paul Schrader's Taxi Driver script: outcast seeks redemption through violence and self-searching. The cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki, however, is moody and haunting - giving the film an air of menace and desperation - and the supporting cast (including Don Cheadle) adds some dramatic weight.

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