The Last King of Scotland (2006)

The Last King of Scotland (2006)

This brutal thriller hinges on a defining performance by Forest Whitaker

The Very Best

8.9

Movie

Germany, UK
English, French, German
Drama
2006
KEVIN MACDONALD
Abby Mukiibi Nkaaga, Adam Kotz, Barbara Rafferty
123 min

What it's about

Young Scottish doctor, Nicholas Garrigan decides it's time for an adventure after he finishes his formal education, so he decides to try his luck in Uganda, and arrives during the downfall of President Obote. General Idi Amin comes to power and asks Garrigan to become his personal doctor.

The take

You might have to wipe some sweat from your forehead once you've finished watching this blistering political thriller. It doesn't make any sense to us that this 2006 movie by documentary director Kevin Macdonald made less than 20 million in box office revenue when it came out, but that makes it even more A Good Movie to Watch material. In addition to being thrilling entertainment, it offers insight into an easily overlooked chapter of recent world history and taut moral dilemmas. The dramatization of Giles Foden's novel features two intense performances: James McAvoy plays the sometimes naive (and maybe a bit too enthralled by power) Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan, who becomes the personal physician of none other than Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Nicknamed “The Butcher of Uganda”, Amin is played by Academy Award-winning character actor Forest Whitaker, who perfectly captures his mood-swinging, crazy brutality. He also completely nails his Ugandan-English accent. An amazing watch!

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