Few contemporary rom-coms involve a murderous despot who falls in love with a razor-averse feminist co-op owner. Baron Cohen makes a pretty good case that there should be more.
—Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News
Moments of The Dictator, which clocks in at a sketchlike 83 minutes, play out with a gleeful sense of anarchism that the Marx Brothers might appreciate.
—Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News
It's 7th-grade level shock humor written by a team with a doctorate in funny. Some of it crash lands. Some of it is achingly hilarious.
—Richard Roeper ReelzChannel
Outrageously offensive and shamefully funny. Just forgive yourself and keep laughing.
—Rafer Guzman Newsday
The Dictator is funny, in addition to being obscene, disgusting, scatological, vulgar, crude, and so on.
—Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times
It's maddeningly uneven, though a step up from the wearying Bruno.
—Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune
There is a pattern of decreasing returns on Sacha Baron Cohen's last three feature film comedies: The outrageously funny and pointed Borat, the mostly funny and slightly pointed Bruno and, now, the rude and goofy The Dictator.
—Liam Lacey Globe and Mail
Either this is the kind of meta-gag that tries to milk a laugh out of its own failure, or it represents a profound lack of confidence in both the material and the audience. Either way: So what?
—A.O. Scott New York Times
Relies on crass sexual jokes and easy fish-out-of-water hijinks. At times, it even plays like Eddie Murphy's Coming to America... [not exactly] cutting-edge comedy.
—Christy Lemire Associated Press
Even amid the hit-and-miss broadsides and laugh-free longueurs that comprise most of The Dictator, Cohen's acutehypocrisy-detector keeps on ticking, if barely.
—Ann Hornaday Washington Post