The Dictator

(R) ★★★☆☆

For most of its quick and extremely dirty running time, the new Sacha Baron Cohen offender The Dictator wages war with itself, crude nonsense up against crude nonsense that’s really funny. When a double for fictional North African dictator General Admiral Haffaz Aladeen (Cohen) is assassinated, the leader’s advisor (Ben Kingsley) hatches a scheme involving a new double, a visit to America and an unlikely romance with a vegan/feminist (Anna Faris).

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Lord of His Own Destiny


Lord of His Own Destiny

By Sean DeFrank

Kurt Divich always aspired to be a novelist, but it took some misfortune to get him going in the right direction. The local freelance writer and publicist conceived the premise for his debut novel in the ’90s, but he had barely written a chapter over the next several years before he blew his knee out playing soccer in 2005. Laid up following surgery, Divich wrote 140,000 words in 11 months, laying the groundwork for the political thriller Lords of Las Vegas.