6.7/10
893
17 user 38 critic

Bush's Brain (2004)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 13 March 2004 (USA)
An examination of political consultant Karl Rove's influence on George W. Bush's candidacy.

Directors:

Joseph Mealey, Michael Shoob (as Michael Paradies Shoob)

Writers:

James C. Moore (book), Wayne Slater (book)

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cathy Bonner Cathy Bonner ... Herself - Richards Campaign Official
Bruce Buchanan Bruce Buchanan ... Himself - Presidential Scholar, University of Texas
Max Cleland ... Himself - U.S. Senate, Georgia (D) 1997-2003
Shirley Cuff Shirley Cuff ... Herself - Proprietor
Robert Edgeworth Robert Edgeworth ... Himself - Professor of Classics, Louisiana State University
Kent Hance Kent Hance ... Himself - Bush's Opponent for Congress 1978
Bill Israel Bill Israel ... Himself - University of Massachusetts
Molly Ivins Molly Ivins ... Herself - Author, Political Columnist
Richard Leiby Richard Leiby ... Himself - 'Reliable Source' Columnist, Washington Post
Susie Lieseke Susie Lieseke ... Herself
Wade Lieseke Jr. Wade Lieseke Jr. ... Himself - Former Nye Co. Sheriff, Tonopah, NV (as Wade Lieseke)
Ken Luce Ken Luce ... Himself - Campaign Manager for Rick Perry
Garry Mauro Garry Mauro ... Himself - Former Texas State Land Commissioner
Chuck McDonald Chuck McDonald ... Himself - Former Richards Press Secretary
Dave McNeely Dave McNeely ... Himself - Political Columnist, Austin American-Statesman
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Storyline

An examination of political consultant Karl Rove's influence on George W. Bush's candidacy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How did this happen? See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

George W. Bush's Brain See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,927, 22 August 2004

Gross USA:

$177,525
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BeBe Films Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Wolf Canyon
From the album "Moonrise"
Written and Performed by David Friedman
Published by Wandering Moose Publishing (BMI) and
Passage Jazz Publishing (BMI)
Available on Passage Records
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User Reviews

 
Interesting subject matter, but a mediocre presentation
4 October 2004 | by FilmOtakuSee all my reviews

Before seeing 'Bush's Brain', directed by Joseph Mealey and Michael Shoob, and based on the book of the same title written by James C. Moore and Wayne Slater, I had heard the name Karl Rove, but never knew what his role in the Bush Administration was. After seeing 'Bush's Brain', I have a good idea of who he is and how he operates, which I think was just one of the objectives of the filmmakers.

'Bush's Brain' examines the rise of Karl Rove, Bush's top political adviser and the head of his presidential campaign. Before working for George W., he successfully engineered the campaign of several Texas politicians, leading up to, of course, George W. Bush's election as governor. The film briefly deals with his rise to prominence, and then spends most of its time focusing on three separate campaigns that Rove worked on. Rove is portrayed as an unscrupulous man who will stop at nothing to get his candidate elected; generally a trait that you would want in a campaign director, except through eye-witness accounts and interviews with former colleagues, we learn that this does not mean only engaging in legal or moral activities. We learn of how he orchestrated 'whisper campaigns' (most notably during John McCain's 2000 bid for the Republican nomination, something that really made me scratch my head, considering McCain's seeming undying devotion to Bush now) among other tactics for all of his successful clients.

Personal politics aside, when I went to see this film I was expecting more of a Democratic lean, just based on the title alone. The film did a good job providing seemingly factual information throughout, however the last segment of the film focuses on a family who tragically lost their son in Iraq. After making the case that Rove and Bush orchestrated the recent war, Mealey and Shoob throw in this segment for obvious emotional impact. It did, of course, but it was unnecessary and preachy. I feel that they did a good job making their case already. The filmmakers also insisted on telling us who each interviewee was throughout the film, so that was also a minor distraction.

'Bush's Brain' was an interesting documentary and certainly provided a lot of food for thought, but it wasn't as effective as it could have been. It is probably important viewing, mainly for the sake of the information provided, however. 5/10

--Shelly


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