100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The movie is a satire that contains just enough realistic ballast to be teasingly plausible; like "Dr. Strangelove," it makes you laugh, and then it makes you wonder.
Full Review
91

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
If the result is often as glib as the targets it's satirizing, it's also driven by a cruelly distilled joy. Wag the Dog is an ode to the thrill of deception, a thrill embodied in Hoffman's inspired performance.
Full Review
88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
This is one of Levinson's best films, and the screenplay, co-penned by noted writer David Mamet (along with Hilary Henkin), is brilliantly on-target.
Full Review
75

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
WAG the Dog is a cozy political satire, the warm-and-fuzzy kind that is always entertaining yet never disturbing.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Levinson's sure touch keeps audiences smiling and manages to maintain an aura of good nature in a film that, at heart, offers a caustic, almost bitter vision of American institutions and contemporary politics.
Full Review
75

Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
Barry Levinson's dark comedy is sly, funny, and unnerving.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Examiner

By Walter Addiego
It's a testament to what happens when all the right ingredients come together. Wag the Dog is the best political satire in years.
Full Review
60

Empire

Written in part by David Mamet, Wag The Dog is a lovely idea, with credibility buoyed by its incredible timeliness. But, content with its initial premise, the movie lacks the necessary bite to develop the satire further, to the point where it's difficult to spot whether Washington or Hollywood is the target.
Full Review
50

Film Threat

Hoffman's electric performance carries the film beyond its banal pretext and Dennis Leary and Woody Harrelson are a scream in cameos.
Full Review
50

TV Guide

But anyone who would be inherently interested in this kind of sendup is unlikely to be surprised by anything in this film -- overall it feels like a trifle, if an entertaining one.
Full Review
73 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.