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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.33%
Worth A Look: 24%
Average: 20%
Pretty Bad26.67%
Total Crap: 12%

7 reviews, 33 user ratings

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Contender, The
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by Filmnet

"Joan Allen earns my vote."
4 stars

Fans of “The West Wing”, “The Candidate” and “All the President’s Men” will enjoy this Oval Office scandal-obsessed drama.

With a strong cast including Oldman (Dracula, Lost in Space), Bridges (Arlington Road, White Squall), Elliott (The Big Lebowski, Tombstone), Slater (Heathers, Bed of Roses) and Peterson (Mulholland Falls, The Skulls), the film is a coup for Oscar-nominated Joan Allen, for whom the script was written.

As a Democrat Senator running for the recently vacated position of Vice President, Allen (The Ice Storm, Nixon) manages to exude both strength and vulnerability as stories of sexual misconduct start flying. The script by director Lurie (Deterrence) is well paced and cleverly constructed (apart from a “too good to be true” ending), giving us political intrigue wrapped in the highly topical scenario of ethics and privacy. As the compromised Laine Hanson, Allen raises the “never complain, never explain” rule that just managed to hold my interest despite the resounding call for an explanation of her conduct. Any longer, though as the “I refuse to defend myself because it lowers myself to their standards” V-P nominee, and she would have lost my vote.

Former film critic-turned-film writer/director Rod Lurie has obviously done well enough in his short filmmaking career to get Robert Redford and James Gandolfini on board for his next project “The Castle”. Considering Lurie’s attention to detail and ability to combine fact with fiction, I look forward to his next production. Another Alan Pakula, perhaps?

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originally posted: 04/07/01 02:12:18
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User Comments

1/20/09 dj waterman Silly and Fake, this movie also has a fake-out ending. Unrealistic and bombastic. 2 stars
11/25/07 Ron Patterson Best damn film I have seen all year! 5 stars
6/30/07 fools♫gold A lovable movie that I underrate about as much as I underrate the remake of The Wicker Man. 4 stars
8/18/05 ES I was honestly cheering for Hathaway, ending is a let down 2 stars
9/04/03 David Tomlin Stupid. Unsophosticated. Implausible. Good performances. Titillating sex. 2 stars
5/24/03 K.B Again This film was so bad i had to vote for it again. 1 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby Purposeless, overlong, and just plain boring. Bridges and Oldman are outstanding, though. 2 stars
3/05/03 K. B Pure left-wing bullshit propaganda. I rather watch Batman & Robin again then this trash. 1 stars
1/20/03 Joesco Excellent performances from Bridges and Allen who breathes integrity 4 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Wonderful Film. Gary Oldman deserved the Oscar nod over Bridges though. 5 stars
5/26/02 Jessica Davis Just a vanity project that fails to address anything about qualifications for a V.P. 2 stars
10/16/01 phil m. afficiando Good cast , acting, and premise; too narrow and contrived to satisfy. Missed opportunity. 3 stars
10/01/01 Bada Bing Crosby Has something to say about prejudice, the double-standard & Muenster cheese 4 stars
8/06/01 Bash . 2 stars
6/21/01 Jim Renwick democratic's good guys; republican's bad guys. Which one are u? 3 stars
5/12/01 DREDD it trys to make clinton look good, but it's full of shit 2 stars
4/29/01 The Jedi Droid so lemme see if I got this right...Gladiator was a better movie than this??? I THINK NOT!! 5 stars
4/16/01 The Bomb 69 never would happen in real life but a gripping political drama nonetheless 5 stars
4/02/01 Chuck D Eh, kinda preachy, I loved the "Big Lebowski" reference though, god that was classic 2 stars
3/28/01 Monday Morning Hey Godfather, try some Prep-H on those 'roids. This is good, smart entertainment. 4 stars
3/26/01 nowak Pro-Clinton, manipulative s**t. 2 stars
3/20/01 Kriperace Another thinly-disguised left wing diatribe. Typical of H'wood. 2 stars
3/17/01 Dracco Way to spell Satan Godfather. Now who's the retarded snail? 5 stars
3/13/01 Rhythm Blankenhorn The Godfather must be a right-winger. Very good movie for moderates 4 stars
3/13/01 tinsley7 Very Good Movie! If you pay attention that is. 4 stars
3/04/01 Suzz trite, predictable and boring 2 stars
2/02/01 Benway truly terrible example of Hollywood mythmaking at its worst and an insult to smart women 1 stars
11/18/00 Edward A Leonard Too Womens-Lib, also kisses Bill Clinton's Anus 2 stars
11/09/00 Patti Great performances, although a fairy-tale ending 5 stars
11/02/00 Ilie Agopian Below average script, implausible plot, Sam Elliot & Gary Oldman = good performance 2 stars
10/16/00 frankko good performances, crap-ass ending 2 stars
10/16/00 Politicsman Read Eric's Review, add two stars. Very timely, ranks with other great political films 5 stars
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  13-Oct-2000 (R)


  22-Mar-2001 (M)

Directed by
  Rod Lurie

Written by
  Rod Lurie

  Jeff Bridges
  Joan Allen
  Gary Oldman
  Sam Elliot
  Christian Slater
  William L. Petersen

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