LBJ | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated R · 98 minutes · 2017

Biography, Historical drama
Director Rob Reiner and screenwriter Joey Harstone take a page from Lincoln by keeping a narrow historical focus, but stay too narrow to allow for a complete picture. Woody Harrelson plays Lyndon Johnson in a story that flashes back from the assassination of John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan) in 1963 to 1959, when Johnson is the no-nonsense Senate Majority Leader, eventually returning to Johnson’s tragic ascension to the presidency. Harrelson’s performance (under mountains of prosthetics) solidly conveys Johnson’s Texas-sized ego and talent for getting things done, though it’s unfortunately left to on-the-nose dialogue from Lady Bird (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to advance the idea that “he’s afraid people won’t love him.” Yet as efficient as LBJ is at showing that perhaps only Johnson had the skills to get the Civil Rights Bill passed, it needed more room to breathe, packing subplots like Johnson’s contentions relationship with Bobby Kennedy (Michael Stahl-David) and wrangling with a powerful Georgia senator (Richard Jenkins) into a mere 98 minutes. Relegating Johnson’s entire stormy second term to end credits title cards can’t do justice to everything that was best and worst about the man.


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Director: Rob Reiner
Producer: Matthew George, Liz Glotzer, Rob Reiner, Tim White, Trevor White, Michael Williams, Elizabeth Bell, Chris Conover, Allan Mandelbaum, Julie May, Danny Roth, Martin Shafer, Michael Tadross Jr. and Damiano Tucci
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins, Jennifer Leigh, Bill Pullman, Kim Allen, Michael Stahl-David, C. Howell, Jeffrey Donovan, Doug McKeon, Michael Mosley, Joe Chrest, Rich Sommer, Brian Stepanek, Thomas Murphy, Brent Bailey and Gary Grubbs

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