Bush's War

Press Reaction

Hal Boedeker, The Orlando Sentinel

"PBS' Frontline reaffirms its indispensable status this week. Few series would attempt -- and pull off -- Bush's War, an epic look at the Bush administration, Iraq and the war on terror. ..."

John Leonard, New York Magazine

"If you'll watch only one television program on the catastrophe in Iraq, make it this one."

David Bianculli, Television Worth Watching (tvworthwatching.com)

"... Writer-producer-director Michael Kirk and producer-reporter Jim Gilmore have done fabulous work here, without pandering or sermonizing for a second. This is the sort of program PBS was made to present."

Matt Roush, TV Guide

"... Bush's War is lucid, engrossing, infuriating, timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the conflict. ... This is the sort of program network-news divisions ought to be devoting their resources to. Which is why we should be so thankful to Frontline for being there all along the way. ..."

Sam Allis, The Boston Globe

"... While we all know what has happened over there, this show ripples with tension and suspense. 'Bush's War' is far greater than the sum of its parts, and it is told in clear, linear fashion accessible to viewers. The case to watch it all again for the first time is overwhelming. ..."

Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

"... 'Bush's War' is a little late to the party; the fifth anniversary of the start of the ground war was last week, and the news media took plenty of note. But those who care less about the actual fighting and dying of warfare and more about its palace intrigues will find that this is the retrospective for them. ..."

David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun

"... Ultimately, Bush's War might also come to be judged a first-rate work of history. It certainly feels like history with its richly textured and strongly supported narrative of cause and effect helping explain a bewildering rush of events that have left thousands dead. ..."

Tony Perry, The Los Angeles Times

"... The effort has the strengths and shortcomings of the "Frontline" approach: smart interviewing and good summaries but a sometimes tediously Washington-centric viewpoint and lack of historic context. ..."

Frazier Moore, Associated Press

"... Richly told, "Bush's War" is a political thriller, all the more so for unfolding in the no-nonsense "Frontline" fashion ..."

Chuck Barney, The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

"... Though a great many programs have been devoted to pieces of the conflict, this one connects the dots and fills in the spaces with meticulous detail."

Jules Crittenden, Forward Movement (julescrittenden.com)

"... [T]his documentary is not in fact about the Iraq War, or about American interests in a new century, where circumstances have been dramatically altered by events set in motion long before George Bush took office. Nor, as I mentioned, is it actually about George Bush. "Bush's War" is a narrowly focused, warmed-over Donald Rumsfeld-Dick Cheney hatefest......."

Kevin McDonough, United Press Syndicate

"[Bush's War] is the most comprehensive look at the war you are going to get from any news source. It's a remarkable and smart refutation of the argument that TV can't tell a complicated story or that viewers don't have the attention span for long-form analysis. ..."

David Kronke, Los Angeles Daily News

"... 'Bush's War' ... offers no new revelations in the 4 1/2 hours of the film. ... But for those seeking a primer or refresher course on the events that led up to and resulted from the administration's decision to attack Iraq, interrupting and then creating a new front in the war on terror, this is a well-constructed documentary."

Joanne Ostrow, The Denver Post

"... Grueling -- but, for the sake of the future, a worthy and necessary television chronicle."

Brian Lowry, Variety

"... Producer-writer-director Michael Kirk doesn't turn over many new leafs, but he assembles the old ones in a compelling, polished manner that intelligently connects the dots to show where the Bush administration's grand aspirations went howlingly wrong. ..."

Adam Reilly, The Boston Phoenix

"... The best Frontline programs are marked by their depth and richness; they leave you feeling that every salient aspect of a subject has been explored. Bush's War doesn't quite rise to this level. Still, as an overview of how we stumbled into Iraq, it works admirably -- if you can bear to watch it."

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posted march 24, 2008

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