Christian Bale Gives an Outstanding Performance in 'Vice' - Movie Review

Updated on February 4, 2019
'Vice' Poster
'Vice' Poster | Source


Vice is an American biographical comedy-drama that is written and directed by Adam McKay (The Big Short). The movie stars Christian Bale (The Dark Knight), Amy Adams (Man of Steel), Steve Carell (Beautiful Boy) and Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2). Vice follows Dick Cheney, who is a former US Vice President and is known to be the most powerful Vice President in history. Vice is up for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. This movie is a must-see if you are a big fan of political movies. However, it has been met with controversy.


Not only does Christian Bale and Amy Adams pull off performances of a lifetime, Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell also prove themselves to be very strong supporting actors. Christian Bale is known to be a method actor, and he yet again goes to extreme lengths to play the part of Dick Cheney. Bale put on a fair amount of weight for the role. While unhealthy for him, it allowed him to give a realistic performance. If you watch the movie without knowing which actors are involved, you would find it hard to tell that Christian Bale is in the movie. His performance is so good that he has been nominated for Best Actor at the 91st Academy Awards.

Amy Adams has also been nominated for Best Supporting Actress in her role as Lynne Cheney, Dick Cheney’s wife. Amy Adams isn’t given that much to do during the movie. However, with the screen time given to her, she gives a good emotional performance.

Steve Carell brings the comedy element to this movie. He plays Donald Rumsfeld, who is a mentor to Dick Cheney. Even though this movie is said to be a comedy-drama, I would say it is more drama than comedy. Steve Carell is not in the movie for that long and so the only other way the movie brings in comedy is through editing.

Story and Character

Dick Cheney builds himself from nothing up to becoming the Vice President to George W. Bush. He is known to be a major influencer in getting America to go to war with Iraq after the 9/11 attack. This is a very manipulative man who many don’t know about, so this is a perfect movie for people who would love to get to know more about the most powerful Vice President that America has even seen.

Lynne Cheney is an instantly likeable character because she is a strong, independent women. She is smart but lives in a world that is ruled by men. But as the movie progresses, she is appreciated more and more. What also makes her more relatable is the abusive household she grows up in. This makes us feel bad for her.


The movie jumps around a lot, jumping through the key points in Dick Cheney’s life. Vice doesn’t start in chronological order. The movie starts off with the 9/11 terrorist attack and goes back to the start of Dick Cheney’s career and catches up and surpasses the 9/11 storyline. There is a lot of upbeat music during the movie which mixes in well with the fast-paced editing of the movie.

Most of the comedy in the movie comes from the way it is edited. Around half way through the movie, there is a fake end credits scene that was used for comedic effect. Also, music was edited in the movie to also provide a comedic effect.


The cinematography in this movie isn’t the best, but it isn’t the worst either. Vice doesn’t have any creative or inventive camera shots in the movie, but this is a stylistic choice. It is filmed in a documentary style as the movie uses real life clips from news broadcasts. So, the cinematography is okay, but the movie gains its success from the amazing acting in the film.


Vice is a must-see, especially for people who are interested in politics. The movie also incorporates a lot of what is happening in our current political climate. The movie, however, does come across as biased and seems to favor people like Obama and hates on Donald Trump and the Bush administration. So, if you are easily offended and like the Bush administration, I would recommend you not watch the movie. Other than that, like I said before, this movie is a must-see.


4 stars for Vice

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    © 2019 Calvin Scanlan


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