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Overall Rating
4.54

Awesome58.33%
Worth A Look: 38.54%
Average: 2.08%
Pretty Bad: 0.52%
Total Crap: 0.52%

18 reviews, 84 user ratings


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Election (1999)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Election is Rushmore's cool twin sister."
5 stars

That's not to say that Rushmore is not an excellent movie. It is. I just kept noticing similarities in them, like plot and overall respect for the viewer. Election is subtle, but it's also quite harsh. It's nice to see a movie (or two, even) that are not completely recycled and predictable crap. The fact that they are both "high school" movies makes it that much more impressive.

Let's face it, it doesn't take a lot of brain power to make $59 million dollars with a high school movie. (I've done it three times and blown all the profits on kangaroo meat futures.) In the last 18 months or so, we've been treated to a "high-school movie" revival with the likes of Ten Things I Hate About You, Varsity Blues, Can't Hardly Wait, She's All That, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Drive Me Crazy, Jawbreaker, Disturbing Behavior, The Faculty, Cruel Intentions, The Rage: Carrie 2, and a few other I can't think of now, but that's a big enough list, so get off my back. With this resurgence in full swing, it's likely that one or two smart ones get made. Well, if I had to sit through all of those titles, Election would make it all worth it.

Just as Say Anything and The Breakfast Club occasionally raised the bar of the eighties teen movies, the same can be said for Election (yes, and Rushmore). To think that Election was produced by MTV films makes it even more amazing. (Yeah, I thought Joe's Apartment was kinda funny, but sometimes your brain gets a little hungry.) Other factors that make Election truly excellent are the performances and its sheer unpredictability.

Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon, in a truly great performance) is that girl in high school you wanted to slap, then screw. She's the little miss perfect and she knows it. She makes no bones about her cutthroat ambitions and grade grubbing. Mr. McAllister (Matthew Broderick, who should be grateful he gets casted in this stuff instead of only Godzilla or Inspector Gadget sequels) sees through Tracy's act, and truly despises her. So he recruits Paul Metzler (Chris Klein, who's great at playing slow but sweet, here and in American Pie as well) to run against Tracy in the high school presidential election. Paul's a really nice guy, and his scenes with a boiling mad Tracy are priceless. Suffice to say that the election gets a little heated, especially when Paul's little sister Tammy (Jessica Campbell, just flawless) enters the race.

Not one of Election's characters are stereotypes or unrealistic morons. (Although the school principal comes pretty close.) None of the subplots will turn out the way you expect, and the ending is simply anti-Hollywood and quite satisfying. When Election had its theatrical run, I predicted that Reese Witherspoon would earn an Oscar nomination for her performance, and I stick by that now. If her Tracy had been even a little more bitchy or a little less sympathetic, the movie simply wouldn't have worked. Although she's a selfish little bitch, you never really feel that she's the villain.

It's a tight and extremely clever movie. Although I wouldn't classify it as a 'laugh-out-loud' comedy, there are many lines of dialogue that will shock you and make you laugh. It's a subtle allegory about fair play, honesty, loyalty and the difference between morals and ethics.

You have to love a movie that works on this many levels: It's worth watching for the acting alone, but the screenplay is wonderful and it has some real depth. It has some things to say, but it doesn't beat you over the head. Most of all, it's just a damn entertaining movie that will satisfy your brain too.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=438&reviewer=128
originally posted: 01/14/00 10:43:15
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User Comments

8/01/14 kdkvzdmjxt USA 4 stars
11/22/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
9/04/07 Alan "Slap, then screw" -- is that how you relate to the female sex? 5 stars
10/03/06 Rob It should be said that the wardrobes and 'makeup' in this movie are subtly awesome. 4 stars
9/19/06 MP Bartley Genuinely brilliant. Witherspoon and Broderick are outstanding. 5 stars
2/26/06 Clubber Lang Watchable, but never really engaging. Too many characters, needed more focus. 3 stars
9/07/05 ALDO chris klein is perfect 4 stars
5/26/05 Jake Hilarious! 5 stars
3/25/05 indrid cold Surprisingly good, almost bizarrely good. 5 stars
12/07/03 Samuel A very funny film!! 4 stars
11/27/03 he a great film 5 stars
11/24/03 E. Best line "her pussy gets so wet" 5 stars
11/06/03 M. Suvajac an extraordinary film 5 stars
10/25/03 Al Baston Broderick clothes (those shirts & ties) are perfect for the fat ass dufess he plays. 5 stars
9/25/03 ILLEGALLY BLONDE The only time Reese Witherspoon ever shined; too bad it's in an overall groaner 3 stars
7/27/03 robert buizer great laugh 5 stars
4/04/03 Jack Sommersby Smart and hilariously human. Broderick and Witherspoon are outstanding. 4 stars
12/09/02 Kyle One of the greatest films I've ever seen. I don't say that lightly. 5 stars
11/03/02 Steve Kaczynski One of the last US films of the 20th century that I would call great.. 5 stars
10/17/02 Charles Tatum This sucks as bad as "Rushmore" 1 stars
8/25/02 movie guy great 5 stars
6/12/02 Millie Maelstrom Better, Kakararaniniginjia (though I was hoping for some groovy role for those enzymes!) 3 stars
5/15/02 Kakararaniniginjia Sinitraviwasanjofraz Fails urgent need of good support cast around brilliance of Reese Witherspoon's zany dliver 3 stars
3/08/02 Mo Anand A very funny movie...Matthew was better in "ferris bueller"...but still good 4 stars
3/06/02 Veronica Foxx -The Raven-Haired Temptress ELECTION deserves more credit and attention than it has received. Too bad really, good film 4 stars
3/02/02 Unagiboy Pick Flick! Witherspoon was brilliant. I loved the tribal chant music in her mind. 5 stars
2/26/02 Obi Wan Great Movie...MTv should make more flicks like this!! Instead of their PC garbage!! 5 stars
2/03/02 Allison Lafferty Reese Witherspoon's best movie (not saying much). She must really be that silly. 2 stars
1/23/02 John Wilner Note that Tracy signs her name with a star over the i in Flick. Rich detail throughout! 5 stars
11/16/01 John This deserved at least one Oscar 5 stars
11/13/01 Jake Not too shabby. 4 stars
11/03/01 Andrew Carden This Movie Was So Funny and Reese Was The Greatest Thing Ever! 5 stars
10/30/01 Gary Witty, subtle, well written and Reese Witherspoon is a star in the making. 5 stars
9/05/01 Butterbean Ferris Bueller's principal is avenged. Definantly an awesome flick! Reese rocked! 5 stars
8/07/01 E-Funk Insanely original. Broderick's best since Ferris Bueller. I loved it. 5 stars
7/24/01 bobbuttons This movie is so great. "Fuck me, Mr. M. Fuck me now" is the greatest line. 5 stars
6/10/01 Serial_Monk_the_Jawbreaker Great characters. Not too funny, but if this movie's trying to be evil, it succeeds 4 stars
5/31/01 BrainPan Yes, yes, ya'll! Me rikee!! 5 stars
4/09/01 Gary I saw it for the first time last night, and I loved it. Great flick! 5 stars
4/08/01 Will Y. it takes time to understand a lot of the underlying meaning about sexuality, but it's great 4 stars
2/06/01 Trashstar Witty, sharp, dark and very very funny. Reese shines as does Matthew. 5 stars
10/16/00 Dimmer Itch Reese proves she's better at any Sandras, Camerons or Heathers at comic acting. Fantastic. 4 stars
10/09/00 BirdBrain Very funny, if you pay attention to it. So if you're a dumbass Armageddon fan, stay away. 4 stars
7/13/00 Tom Wonderful dark comedy. Vote for Tracy Flick!!!!! 5 stars
7/06/00 Matthew Bartley Very different and funny.Reese is great 4 stars
6/26/00 stranded on the Island Best comedy I've seen in a long time; reese and matthew are perfect! 5 stars
6/02/00 Add A very good movie with some outstanding performances but just not as funny as i'd of liked. 4 stars
5/08/00 Stan Mador BEST MOVIE IVE SEEN! 5 stars
4/29/00 The Bomb 69 to intelligent for most people and that's unfortunate, great movie!!! 5 stars
4/25/00 Brian Engen The special effects were awesome!! 5 stars
2/21/00 arnold extremely funny 5 stars
2/14/00 Germanicus Good acting, a few funny bits, nice story and snappy editing but infinitely overrated. 4 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski A teenage girl in pursuit of something besides Prom Prince Charming?? PINCH ME!!! :-) 5 stars
1/26/00 Joel Harwood WHAT A FILM 5 stars
1/18/00 bullit17 Clever. Funny. Thought-provoking. Sure to remind you of high school and some kids you knew 4 stars
1/17/00 Will not to be too wordy, but all I have to say is "cool". 4 stars
11/29/99 Mic Sharp and hilarious - shows Drop Dead Gorgeous how it should be done 5 stars
11/08/99 Mark Linkson Broderick finally acts his age, Witherspoon excellent as usual, a very clever satire 4 stars
10/18/99 Tfer One of the best this year! 5 stars
8/23/99 Michael Grimm too well written for most retards watching movies nowadays, anyone with a brain loves it 5 stars
8/02/99 Jeff Hilarious and intelligent. Great acting. A should-be Best Picture nominee 5 stars
7/28/99 David Gilmour Definitely the best film of the Year, SO Far;7/99 5 stars
7/09/99 bridgette awesome. 5 stars
7/08/99 Ann Great! It's about time someone exposed the truths behind a 'little miss perfect' 5 stars
6/30/99 PhilmPhreak A welcome break from weak-ass summer flicks. 5 stars
6/29/99 Dave Rad as 5 stars
6/24/99 Tim best movie i've seen this year 5 stars
6/19/99 Michael Lewis Best film I,ve seen this year. Intelegent, well written and funny! 5 stars
6/15/99 David Really funny, and probably like nothing you've seen before, not even Rushmore. 5 stars
6/05/99 Lisa Sick and wrong on so many levels--I loved it! 5 stars
6/04/99 Mel I haven't felt this guilty laughing at a movie in a long time.... 5 stars
6/04/99 The Graduate A hilarous movie, heavy on the cruelty. Sometimes those perfectionist have to pay. 5 stars
5/28/99 pipeman If you like your humor dark, you'll love this. Great flick! 5 stars
5/26/99 GothamDK Got to be a little jaded. Type A students won't get it. Heathers is still better. 4 stars
5/25/99 Freyja Smart and FUNNY! 5 stars
5/23/99 bridgette loved it! i usually am not a reese fan, but she was great. 5 stars
5/21/99 Bob, Lord of Evil I won't say fuck Star Wars, but I'd rather see this a third time over that one... 5 stars
5/18/99 David K Fuck Star Wars 5 stars
5/11/99 Malbert It was great 5 stars
5/10/99 Katie Definately a great one, love the dark humor. 5 stars
5/08/99 BraveFan Richly satisfying - witty and engaging - saw it twice 5 stars
4/26/99 kam it'was ok 4 stars
4/26/99 Mr Showbiz A feralessly dark and funny adult comedy. 5 stars
4/12/99 the DUDE Matthew Brodrick is great-Fucking funny 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  23-Apr-1999 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  07-Oct-1999 (M)




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