Acclaimed film directer Rob Reiner’s newest movie “Shock and Awe” bombed at the box office over the weekend in spite of its all-star cast and its theme — painting doggedly persistent journalists as heroes in the face of an administration that was “hiding the truth” from the American public.
Rob Reiner’s Iraq War movie SHOCK AND AWE earned $41,000 this weekend. Not a misprint. https://t.co/RmQj0logrA
— Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith) July 15, 2018
The per-venue breakdown was even worse, showing that with a limited 100 theater release, the film earned only $410 per screen.
$410 per screen. https://t.co/JvWPrW5PvQ
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) July 15, 2018
“Shock and Awe,” which was also made available on iTunes, stars Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, James Marsden and Jessica Biel.
— Jessica Biel (@JessicaBiel) July 12, 2018
According to film review site Rotten Tomatoes, “the film is based on the true events of Knight Ridder journalists who were the only ones who ‘got it right’ in the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War when they questioned the true nature of the Bush White House’s justification for the conflict.” It received only 2 stars and a 36 percent on the tomato meter.
NBC’s Matt Laslo was even harsher, saying, “‘Shock and Awe’ is fake news, Hollywood style — terrible on its own and bad for journalists. Rob Reiner’s latest movie makes the media heroes while ignoring their complicity in spreading lies about the Iraq War.”
Rolling Stone’s David Fear tried to love it, but even he admitted that after going into the film with high hopes, it “was no’All the President’s Man.'” He began his review by saying, “Oh god, you want to love it. You really, really want to love it, or at least, y’know, like it a lot, to stand up and cheer with it. I mean, a movie about journalists, real ones, doing what they do best, pounding the pavement and searching for the truth?”