Movie audiences find anti-Obama doc ‘2016’

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Although “2016” has obviously found fans, most critics haven’t been kind to the film. Newsday’s Rafer Guzman called it an “attempt at character assassination.” The Arizona Republic’s Bill Goodykoontz deemed it “an exercise in preaching to the choir.” The Los Angeles Times’ Betsy Sharkey lambasted “2016” for being a “sluggish film” whose “outrage falls flat.”

“I think `2016’ has a nice gimmick because it purports to show what the future will look like right there in the title,” said film critic Ben Mankiewicz, who dismissed the film as an actual documentary and is unsure what its unexpected success means for the film industry. “I think it is another reminder of how many people in this country find Obama so shockingly unlikesome that they are seemingly ready to believe the most nonsensical theories about him.”

Many of the assertions D'Souza makes in the film to support his point that Obama’s presidency is an expression of his father’s third-world political beliefs don’t hold up, including that Obama removed a bust of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from the Oval Office because Churchill represented British colonialism and that Obama has “done nothing” to impede Iran’s nuclear ambitions. And there are other instances where the film takes liberties with the facts.

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything that’s in the movie,” said Arthur Hobbs, a retired engineer who caught a Monday matinee of the film in Los Angeles with his wife after reading about it online. “But I do think that we really don’t know everything about Obama, even after he’s been in office for four years. I think that’s why we needed to see this movie.”

Molen said he expected the bad reviews. The filmmakers, who plan to expand the film to even more cities in the coming weeks and keep it in theaters until early October, aren’t fazed by any negative reaction. They just hope now that conservative audiences have found “2016,” perhaps left-leaning moviegoers will be curious enough to buy a ticket.

“My wish is that people see the film and make an informed decision,” said Molen. “I would love people to see the film and come out of it saying, `I need to know more. I need to find out more about this country and what we’re designing for our kids, grandkids and great grandkids.’ I just want this film to spark an interest in people to find out more.”

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

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Associated Press writer Beth Fouhy contributed to this story from Washington.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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