Brow Beat

Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon’s Elvis & Nixon Looks Like One Long Impression Contest

We’ve seen films based on everything from board games to theme park rides, but what about one based on a single, inexplicable photograph? That’s the premise of Elvis & Nixon, which fleshes out the events of December 21, 1970, when a King and a President met in a chance encounter that captured the popular imagination.

As Smithsonian Magazine reported in 2010, Presley and Nixon’s unlikely summit was precipitated by the former’s desire for a badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. (In short: Elvis wanted to be a spy). With Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon aping two of the most impersonated men in history, this feels less like a movie than like an elaborate, high-production-value SNL skit stretched to feature-length. Still, it’s hard not to grin at the duo bonding over a hatred for the Beatles. Elvis & Nixon is out in April.