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Power (1986)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1

audience

47

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 2,070

My Rating

Movie Info

A star-studded cast portrays political movers and shakers in this drama about politics and the media. Richard Gere is Pete St. John, a gilt-edged "image" advisor to the likes of powerful and often crooked politicians -- including a South American candidate for the top office in his country and, reluctantly, a conservative industrialist named Jerome Cade (J.T. Walsh). Cade is after a Senate seat vacated by Sam Hastings (E.G. Marshall), a liberal politician who fits in with the views that Pete

R,

Drama

David Himmelstein

May 18, 1999

Lorimar Home Video

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (5) | DVD (1)

There is little of the gratuitous hysteria that usually mars Lumet's work, and David Himmelstein's busy script keeps things moving, though at the price of losing track of a couple of significant subplots.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie seems to be asking us to walk out of the theater shaking our heads in disillusionment, but I was more puzzled than disillusioned.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A misfire satire that preaches against slick political practices by high-powered political consultants.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Gere is a revelation

February 7, 2006
Film Threat

Presents a provocative glimpse of the important role media experts play in the political process today.

September 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Power

In an earlier review I mentioned that corruption on the police force is a theme Lumet beats to death, but in Power he gets to beat up the media too, just as he did in Network. But as Roger Ebert says, "Network had a plot, and Power does not." The film seems to explore several issues that, in 2010, we now accept as commonplace. We realize - or at least should realize - that we basically vote on politicians based on the efficacy of their media consultants. In all honesty, I can't remember if I knew this in 1986, so I don't know if Lumet is exploring new ground.
Also, I don't think Power is structurally sound. It seems awfully episodic and stagey. I normally don't blame a film for this, but the piling on of scene upon scene with stagnant shots and relatively stagnant dialogue affects the film's pace.
Finally, Lumet gives little clues as to who the bad guy is. In Find Me Guilty, the prosecutor has a whiny, petulant moment, and I immediately knew he was going to lose. In Power, Washington's character is introduced associating with an Arab, and in Hollywood, Arabs equal "bad" and "oil." Yes, Power is more than a little bit racist.
On the bright side, it was great seeing Denzel Washington saying "fuck."
September 17, 2010
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

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Foreign Titles

  • Les coulisses du pouvoir (FR)
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