Best Of Enemies - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Best Of Enemies Reviews

December 4, 2015
This doc about the 10-night series, directed by Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville (who won an Oscar last year for Twenty Feet From Stardom), provides an entertaining and, ultimately, depressing peek into TV at a pivotal moment.
August 27, 2015
A smart, engrossing documentary about a political and media moment in the United States in the 1960s; a moment whose resonance is topical and whose reverberations have been enduring.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
August 21, 2015
What followed [in the debates] was not so much a clash of well-articulated ideas as a clash of highly articulate persons who regarded ideas as ammunition.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
August 14, 2015
Did anyone win? Most say Vidal, since Buckley descended to physical threats. But really, has anyone won in any of this endless bickering?
Full Review | Original Score: B+
August 13, 2015
There is something about the siren call of the TV camera that can turn even big thinkers into brawlers. It was true then and it's true now, and "Best of Enemies" serves as a thoroughly enjoyable reminder.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
August 13, 2015
For better or for worse, we'll never again see television quite like that documented in the compelling "Best of Enemies" ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 13, 2015
Like its two subjects, "Best of Enemies" is lively and smart. Unlike them, it's even-handed.
August 13, 2015
Best of Enemies offers a bracing view of a pivotal time in our recent history, as Vietnam and race riots scarred a nation's soul, and as the Establishment and the Counter Culture exchanged epithets and blows.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 7, 2015
New documentary explores the public intellectuals' televised spats.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 6, 2015
It's great television, but it has been available on YouTube for some time now.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
August 3, 2015
Vidal vs. Buckley-or, as I prefer to think of it, Alien vs. Predator-has not improved with age. Which combatant you cleave to is beside the point, since both of them teeter on the brink of the insufferable.
August 2, 2015
Best of Enemies leaves you with an overwhelming sense of despair. It's not just a great documentary, it's a vital one.
July 31, 2015
Best of Enemies plays not only as a lively document of an engaging - and insanely entertaining - intellectual rivalry, but as a lament for the very idea of the public intellectual in contemporary life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 31, 2015
The film positions those debates as a harbinger of the ideological sword-crossing that has become a staple of TV news. Except what we have now, as opposed to the Vidal-Buckley confrontations, is a lot more yammery than eloquent.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
July 31, 2015
Best of Enemies bowls along smartly, with clips from the tapes spiced with intelligently snarky asides from friends and adversaries of the two men, and spliced with archival footage of the tumultuous times they addressed.
July 31, 2015
A timely but unsatisfying exploration of a series of exchanges between conservative Buckley and liberal Vidal makes its case too little and too late.
Full Review | Original Score: 50/100
July 31, 2015
"Best of Enemies" is an undisciplined but still interesting look at those two men, and their extraordinary feud.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
July 31, 2015
"The Best of Enemies" provides a rich, extraordinarily fascinating account that's sure to have many viewers' minds constantly shuttling between then and now ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
July 30, 2015
Fleet, brutally funny and ultimately mournful for the lost art of informed public intellectuals brandishing wounding insights, the film is a fizzy bath of expertly organized archival footage and commentary ...
July 30, 2015
The arguments about sex, war, race and culture have hardly quieted since 1968. Buckley and Vidal may rest in peace, but the rest of us have stayed plastered.
July 30, 2015
The idea may not seem so radical, in this day and age of reality TV excess and internet outrage: giving a national broadcast forum to two highly opinionated intellectuals to argue about politics.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 30, 2015
A must-view film for our media-besotted age ...
July 30, 2015
This deliciously feisty doc contextualizes their verbal brawls and the odd love-hate (mostly hate) rivalry between two men who seemed able to regard their own sense of heroism only through the other's villainy.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
July 30, 2015
The fascination and tragedy of Best Of Enemies is that these two great minds squandered what might've been their best chance to show the broadcast media how to have a vigorous, entertaining, useful argument about where the country was headed.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
July 29, 2015
"Best of Enemies" illustrates how even literary swashbucklers can be reduced to schoolboy behavior.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
July 28, 2015
The bruises inflicted that summer are now visible daily on so many channels, but they're often inflicted by combatants who are far less mighty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 28, 2015
It's fascinating. It's horrible. It's fascinatingly horrible.
July 24, 2015
Politics: this time it's personal.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
July 23, 2015
Best of Enemies tell the story behind the gripping and often howlingly funny Sixties television debates between two American intellectuals: William Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
July 23, 2015
These debates are a fascinating, lost minuet of personal and political disdain.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
July 20, 2015
A fascinating, supremely well-judged and unexpectedly touching documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 9, 2015
Unfolding over the course of a month, these debates were a game-changing event in American politics and unscripted television, which left both men continuing to trade barbs for decades.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
March 17, 2015
Reminiscent of When We Were Kings, Neville and Gordon set up the prize fight and then let the two intellectual heavyweights deliver the blows.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
February 17, 2015
For American viewers of an intellectual/historical persuasion, there could scarcely be any documentary more enticing, scintillating and downright fascinating than Best of Enemies.
February 17, 2015
A juicy and thrilling documentary about two intellectual titans who truly loathed one another.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
February 17, 2015
The two men made serious policy discussions wickedly entertaining and decidedly personal, and Neville and Gordon knew that they had a gold mine in the debate footage that is the centerpiece of their movie.
February 17, 2015
[A] delightful account of the infamous televised debates between liberal firebrand Gore Vidal and conservative gadfly William F. Buckley, Jr., during the 1968 Republican and Democratic Conventions.
January 23, 2015
The on-camera clashes between William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal are vividly and entertainingly recounted in this fascinating documentary.