Power (1986)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: David Himmelstein
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 18, 1999
Lorimar Home Video


as Pete St. John

as Ellen Freeman

as Wilfred Buckley

as Sydnet Betterman

as Arnold Billings

as Sen. Sam Hastings

as Claire Hastings

as Wallace Furman

as Gov. Andrea Stannard

as Jerome Cade

as Irene Furman

as Lucille DeWitt

as Phillip Aarons

as Roberto Cepeda

as Interpreter

as Charles Whiting

as Frank McKusker

as David Garber

as Ralph Andropwicz

as Wilson Jacobs

as Charles Whiting

as Leonard Thompson

as Poor Woman

as The Voice

as Business Executive

as Wealthy Matron

as College Student

as Desk Clerk

as Video Technician

as 1st Senator

as Receptionist

as Commentator

as Commentator

as Commentator

as Commentator

as Commentator

as Commentator

as Commentator

as Anchorman

as Assistant

as City Clerk

as Moderator

as Assistant Director

as Assistant Director

as Stunt Cameraman

as 1st Senator
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Power

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Critic Reviews for Power

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top 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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | April 29, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Gere is a revelation

February 7, 2006
Film Threat

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."

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

I really enjoyed this movie. Excellent actors and a great storyline. That's what I look for in a movie :)

Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer

I really enjoyed this movie. Excellent actors and a great storyline. That's what I look for in a movie :)

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