Elvis & Nixon

(2016)

Elvis & Nixon - Thumbnail
00:00
1:47:07
  • 1080p
  • 720p
  • 480p
Title:
Elvis & Nixon
Release Date:
22nd April 2016
Runtime:
87 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Liza Johnson
Writers:
Hanala Sagal, Joey Sagal
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

On a December morning in 1970, the King of Rock 'n Roll showed up on the lawn of the White House to request a meeting with the most powerful man in the world, President Nixon. Starring Academy Award® nominee Michael Shannon as Elvis Presley and two-time Academy Award® winner Kevin Spacey as Richard Nixon, comes the untold true story behind this revealing, yet humorous moment in the Oval Office forever immortalized in the most requested photograph in the National Archives.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 77%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 70%
IMDb Rating 6.6

Casts

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Thomas Drufke 1st May, 2016

Great Performances Lead a Not-So-Great Film

Michael Shannon as Elvis and Kevin Spacey (the king of impressions as Nixon? You sold me. Elvis & Nixon tells the untold 'true' story behind one of the most famous photos of all time between Elvis and Nixon at the Oval office. Shannon and Spacey deliver captivating performances as two icons in what is otherwise a very forgettable film. At only an hour and twenty five minutes, Elvis & Nixon is a rather short film that is based on a true story, but it doesn't feel like it. It takes a while for the film to get going as it decidedly focuses primarily on Elvis for the first 45 minutes or so leading up to the meeting. You get glimpses of Spacey's Nixon here and there but we don't get the two on screen together until nearly an hour in. I would have much rather watched a full hour and a half of these two guys talking to each other. The story of Elvis' friend Jerry Schilling or anybody inside the White House, I didn't care about. I understand you need to at least follow the true story to a point, but no one truly know the events that went down that day, so you might as well structure it to the strengths of your film. No matter, the time spent on screen with the two leads is a joy to watch. They are far from an SNL impression as they both create their own distinct interpretations of Elvis and Nixon. Even if it's an extremely slow burn, the last 30 minutes are definitely worth watching. If only a better movie surrounded the two great performances. +Two lead performances +Entertaining final 30 minutes -Extremely slow burn -Focus on side characters 6.6/10

Reviewed by patsworld 1st May, 2016

Quirky, Cute Movie

I really hadn't heard much about this film, and certainly wasn't going in expecting an Elvis impersonator or someone looking exactly like President Nixon. Wasn't disappointed there in regard to Elvis. Michael Shannon didn't look much like Elvis, but he did have the soft voice, the southern charm thing going for him. He did a fine job with this role. And actually, Kevin Spacey did manage to look a great deal like Nixon. Sounded like him, too. Everyone in this movie did a good job, and worked the roles of those involved in this slightly absurd moment in history to justice. So, I guess what I was, was really pleasantly surprised by this picture. Totally enjoyed myself with lots of laughs and a few poignant moments. I dimly remember this episode with Elvis showing up at the White House wanting to become an FBI Agent Abroad. With a badge. And at the time I recall thinking that only Elvis could be that naive and yet that brash at the same time. In all honesty, this picture managed to show all of that, and more. What a colorful moment in American history all wrapped up in this fine little film.

Reviewed by deltaphilly 27th April, 2016

Disappointing

I've been waiting to see this movie for a year or longer. Eric Bana was originally supposed to play Elvis, and he would have been a much better fit than Michael Shannon. Michael doesn't look anything like Elvis, and he didn't show any charisma in his performance. Elvis is one of the best looking and most charismatic men to ever live, so it was painful to see this casting train wreck. There are several scenes in the original Elvis Meets Nixon that were left out of this remake: the beginning airport scene where the airline clerk asked Elvis for payment of his ticket and he says "can you send the bill to the Colonel as he has no cash or check book, the scene where he was taken off the plane for carrying a pistol, and the taxicab scene when a Michael Jackson song was playing on the radio. Those were just 3 missed opportunities to spice the movie up. The only redeeming thing about this movie was the convincing performance that Kevin Spacey gave. He looked and played that part to the hilt. I really wanted to love this movie, and I am so disappointed that I could not do so.

Reviewed by Alex Deleon 24th April, 2016

A big long bore with a brilliant Spacey as Tricky Dick

Billed as "The untold true story behind the meeting between the King of Rock 'n Roll and President Nixon", directed by Liza Johnson, this is a wild comedic fantasy built around a brief encounter between Elvis Pressley and President Richard Nixon at the White House in 1974. The introductory credit sequence in dazzling colors and cartoon flavors serves notice that we are in for a wild ride with no holds barred. Unfortunately what the picture offers is a Frankenstein like edition of Elvis (Michael Shannon) in a long tedious buildup to the final confrontation in the Oval Office with an uncannily accurate Nixon, played with zest and four letter zeal by Kevin Spacey in a remarkable comedic turn. The final sequence in the president's office is hilarious enough to make the boring buildup worth sitting through but one wishes the first two thirds of the picture would have been highly compressed -- to maybe twenty minutes. As is, what we get is a view of a super patriotic Pressley which presents him as a very right wing anti-counter culture icon (altho in real life he was a symbol of the counter culture) who despises the Beatles and wants to save the youth of America from drugs, wanton sex and subversive politics by becoming an undercover agent for the government and infiltrating "anti-American organizations". To this end he needs a badge naming him as an official Undercover Government agent, which only the president can issue. His obsession with obtaining such a badge is the central conceit of the film and is a poor excuse for a premise around which to build an entire movie. However, as said before, the tedious introduction (which takes up most of the film) during which Elvis is desperately trying to set up a meeting with the president, and during which we see that Nixon is not interested in meeting a Rock musician and keeps turning such a proposal down, is just barely worth sitting through to get to the riotously funny conclusion in the Oval office when his assistants finally convince the president to agree to a five minute meeting with Elvis -- but just five minutes, no more -- because it will enhance his fading public image -- and on condition that Elvis takes a picture with Nixon autographed for his daughter who is a big Elvis fan. When Nixon finally meets Elvis he finds to his surprise that they have much in common and the five minutes is extended indefinitely, during which time Elvis massages the president's ego and takes off his shirt to perform a karate exhibition as many other bizarre revelations take place. Actor Michael Shannon captured much of the mannerisms and speech patterns of Pressley in a very subtle manner but his look is simply too old and too hard -- Frankenstein in long hair and black bell bottoms! Most of the dialogue of the film as written is just dull and pedestrian until we get into the Oval Office when it suddenly sparkles. Spacey's Nixon is a total riot and more convincing than the Tricky Dick rendition by Anthony Hopkins in the Oliver Stone presidential biopic. Overall I would have to say that this picture is one long bore with a final scene that is comedic genius, especially on the part of Kevin Spacey. Viewed at the Westwood Landmark in L.A. On April 23, 2016 at a special advance screening in the presence of Producer Jerry Schilling who was a lifelong friend of Elvis who avowed that much of the Elvis antics portrayed in the film were "in character" even if they didn't actually happen. Asked if Elvis would approve of this film he expressed honest reservations.

Reviewed by David Ferguson ([email protected]) 20th April, 2016

Elvis gets a badge

Greetings again from the darkness. The tagline nails the tone of the film: "On August 21, 1970 two of America's greatest recording artists met for the first time." Director Liza Johnson proceeds to tell the story of worlds colliding – an Oval Office meeting with President Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley. Of course, this is a fictionalized and satirical accounting, since Nixon didn't kickoff his recording passion until the following year. It would be pretty easy to bash the film as heavy on cheese and light on historical accuracy, but that would be missing the point. These two public figures couldn't have been much different from each other, but the script (Joey and Hanala Sagal, and Cary Elwes) finds a way to have these two icons hold a conversation … bonding over their mutual hatred of The Beatles. The terrific opening credit sequence perfectly captures the time period and is a work of art unto itself. We first see Elvis shooting out the picture tubes in the TV room at Graceland. He's disgusted with the news reports of Woodstock and drug use among America's youth. Constructing a loose plot to meet with President Nixon and offer his service as a Federal Agent-at-large, Elvis is mostly interested in adding a federal badge to his collection. Michael Shannon plays Elvis and Kevin Spacey takes on the Nixon role. Rather than a finely tuned impersonation, Shannon goes after more of an impression or re-imagining of The King. It's a perfect fit for this setting, and there is nothing like watching Shannon give an impromptu karate demonstration for the leader of the free world in the most famous room in America. Spacey, on the other hand, is spot on in capturing the posture, mannerisms, sound and essence of a man who carried much personal baggage with his political power. The chain of events leading up to the meeting plays a bit like a farcical comedy. Nixon's staff of Bud Krough (Colin Hanks), Dwight Chapin (Evan Peters) and HR Haldeman (Tate Donovan) is equal parts incredulous and opportunistic. We get two members of Elvis' "Memphis Maphia" with Alex Pettyfer playing Jerry Schilling and Johnny Knoxville adding even more humor as Sonny West. There is a nice blend of "little" comedy moments and outright laughers – Elvis impersonators confronting him in an airport, the Secret Service reaction to Elvis' gift to Nixon of collectible WWII pistols, and Elvis meeting with a DEA official played by Tracy Letts. I found myself smiling throughout, with full understanding that this satirical look at a meeting between two famous men with little common ground has no real historical importance … other than resulting in the all-time most requested photograph from the National Archives. But for 86 minutes of smiling, I say to the filmmakers and actors … Thank you. Thank you very much.