Head of State [2003]

Chris Rock writes, directs, and stars in the sassy political comedy Head of State, about Mays Gilliam, a black man who's chosen by the leaders of an unspecificed party to run for president after their previous candidates die in a plan crash. Though he initially follows his handler's instructions, Gilliam soon starts handling speeches in his own brazen, outspoken way, which starts to turn the tide--which upsets the party leaders who chose him, since they expected him to lose. While Head of State doesn't quite have the razor wit that Rock wields in his stand-up routine, it has a sharper edge than just about any other political satire in recent memory. Rock bursts with charisma, and his supporting cast (including Lynn Whitfield, Dylan Baker, Robin Givens, and especially Bernie Mac as Gilliam's brother and running mate) provide solid comic support. --Bret Fetzer

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