Posted at 12:24 PM (PDT) on Monday, October 16, 2006
Over one hundred reviews are available at Rotten Tomatoes.
McAvoy effectively creates a portrait of a confused young man, susceptible to Amin's charms. Nicholas likes his pleasures. Upon arriving in Uganda, he puts the moves on his colleague's wife (an arresting Gillian Anderson, who has made fascinating career choices since "The X-Files''). -- Ruthe Stein (San Francisco Chronicle)
At a rural clinic Garrigan has taken up with the medical director's wife, played movingly by Gillian Anderson, who is particularly good whenever playing a Brit of one sort or another. -- Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune)
Gillian Anderson and Kerry Washington both contribute soulful, indelible turns as women caught in unsafe places: Anderson as a lonely, knowing relief worker; Washington as one of Amin's multiple wives. (Anderson, strangely, seems to disappear from the film fairly early, but her performance is remarkable in its ability to create a character and history in just a few scenes. Her Sarah never looks at anyone straight-on; she's always peering sideways, not quite sure what to believe.) -- Moira Macdonald (Seattle Times)
Gillian Anderson co-stars with a new kind of sexy vulnerability as one of the mission workers during the film's first section. -- Jeffrey M. Anderson (Combustible Celluloid)
The four highly diverse leads are uniformly excellent, with the talented Anderson again transcending her longtime TV persona as “X-Files” agent Dana Scully, and Kerry Washington, as one of Amin's wives, likewise impeccably tackling accent and era. -- Frank Lovece (Film Journal)
Audiences no doubt will be filled with mixed emotions as Whitaker brings one of this century’s most complex public figures to the screen. Supported by a talented and superb cast which also includes a completely transformed and elegant Gillian Anderson, and Simon McBurney as the rather ambiguous British cloak- and-dagger figure, Nigel Stone. -- Jed Dreben (Hollywood.com/New York Post)
''The Last King of Scotland'' opens shortly after Amin has seized power, and his madness had yet to take at least visible bloom. After a brief spell working at a clinic run by a white British doctor (Adam Kotz) and his wife (a very fine, almost unrecognizable Gillian Anderson), Garrigan signs on with Amin. -- Manohla Dargis (New York Times)
Even at the beginning of his bumptious adventure, Nicholas' principles are never in doubt: He takes a post at a medical mission run by a harried but ferociously dedicated Dr. Merritt (Adam Kotz) and his wife, Sarah (Gillian Anderson, who, in a very small role, conveys a woman whose altruistic gravity is grazed with just a touch of loopiness). -- Stephanie Zacharek (Salon.com)
Ironically, Dr. Garrigan has no purpose at first he decides on Uganda by putting his finger on a spinning globe, and he arrives only with vague hopes of doing some good and having some adventures. He has those soon enough, too, romancing an African woman and then flirting with the lonely wife of one of his colleagues. She's played by Gillian Anderson who's reverted to her natural blond hair (and English accent) and picked up a raw, sunburnt look; she's quite good and gives this part of the movie an adult, melancholy charge. -- Stephen Whitty (The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.)
Even those with less screen time than Whitaker and McAvoy are given their rightful space and fill it fully. Kelly Washington, as one of Amin's beautiful wives who turns to the doctor for the comfort of love; Gillian Anderson, as a fellow medic's wife with a firm grasp of the limited potential for charity and hope in Amin's Uganda; and Simon McBurney, as a seedy British official with an expedient view of the folly of any and everyman's imperialism, are all strikingly on cue. Their performances, just like the two lead roles, the script and the direction, are invested with understanding of the ongoing mistakes of history, the issues manifested in this weird duet between the African tyrant and Dr. Garrigan. -- Bridget Byrne (Box Office Magazine)
And when he lands at his first destination, a rural clinic, you know he will put the moves on the top doc's decent and deceptively sensual wife, Sarah Merrit. (The never-disappointing Gillian Anderson contributes her haunting presence to the role and makes even her disapproval sexy.) -- Michael Sragow (Baltimore Sun)
The charismatic McAvoy finds an ever-shifting blend of opportunism and decency; Simon McBurney is a reptilian marvel as Idi’s English minder; and Gillian Anderson is amazingly vivid as a beaten-down do-gooder. -- David Edelstein (New York Magazine)
James McAvoy Interview
Q: What was your experience of working with Gillian Anderson like?
JM: Good. She was really cool. She was very focused and very professional. I think she has got a lot of contact with Africa. She works in Africa quite a lot, not as an actress, but her ex-husband used to work in Africa quite a lot and I think she does a lot of aid in Africa. So it was very important for her to do something, I think, working there and increasing her experience there. So no, she was good fun.
Five Minutes with: James McAvoy
By Amy Longsdorf for Impulse
Impulse: What was it like doing a love scene with Gillian Anderson?
McAvoy: Well, I'm a big fan of the "X-Files," so I got to pretend to be Mulder for a day. I didn't actually tell her that. But I did come up with a lot of "X-Files" theories, only to have her go, "That's ridiculous.' She was really great.