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Recount (2008)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 4,107

My Rating

Movie Info

Kevin Spacey and Bob Balaban headline Austin Powers director Jay Roach's all-star docudrama examining the events surrounding the most controversial presidential election in United States history. The highest office in the country is up for grabs, and the fate of the free world may hang in the balance. When the initial tallies from Florida voting polls prove inconclusive, the decision is made to hold a recount. But it's a controversial decision to say the least, and one that caused many skeptical


Drama, Television, Comedy

Aug 19, 2008

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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (4) | DVD (5)

Recount, an efficient and relentless enactment of the strategists on both sides of the Florida controversy, shows an accident that was waiting to happen.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie doesn't embrace its potential for farce, for suspense, or for outrage. Ultimately, the filmmakers could have punched a little harder.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A splendid cast mostly just sits around watching the bad news on television, dutiful to the letter of Danny Strong's conscientious script yet insufficiently roused to righteous spirit even as, before their eyes, our republic gets banana'd.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An astute and deliciously engrossing film.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Roach gets a lot of suspenseful mileage out of these ping-ponging reversals of fortune.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Butterfly ballots and hanging chads become the stuff of great political intrigue.

May 27, 2008 | Comment (1)
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A second HBO movie has made its mark of excellence on TV. Recount probably would die at the box office in movie theaters, but it prevails on television. It's a hard sell.

February 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly
Fayetteville Free Weekly

Esquemático a ponto de mergulhar a narrative em um tom burocrático, merece créditos pela atuação de Spacey, Dern e Begley Jr., representando também uma bem-vinda (ainda que não totalmente bem-sucedida) mudança de rumo na carreira de Roach.

July 10, 2008
Cinema em Cena

A fleet-footed, conversational study of potentially very dry material well-covered by the media of the day.

June 5, 2008 Full Review Source:

Though depressing as a reminder of how George W. Bush's presidency was won by the concerted efforts of numerous Republican interests more or less working independently of each other, it's also a screechy example of liberal Hollywood condescension.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comment (1)
Slant Magazine

The movie offers easy targets and conclusions.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Audience Reviews for Recount

I was a bit reluctant for watching a movie that seemed to be based on election procedures, but having seen it, I don't regret taking the chances. Kevin Spacey is the main reason I decided to take the risk of being bored, but his performance isn't the major highlight of the film. The incredibly apt execution of such material is what made me see it through till the end. While not outstanding (in fact, a bit tedious at times), it's okay for a single viewing. Although not interested in political campaigns (or even politics in a broader sense for that matter), I found it quite watchable. Despite of the political ignorance, whether or not the film is biased is quite apparent. Its weak efforts to be impartial come off as an act of pretense. Of course, just my expert opinion!!!
September 11, 2012

Super Reviewer

The film is a good overview of the events that transpired in Florida between the 2000 election and the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore, but it lacked the depth I desired. It seems to me that dramatization is not the right way to approach covering the events--a documentary gets rid of the glitz and goes right down to the facts. The film also clearly took some dramatic licence to exaggerate some of the events, which compromised the objectivity of the film. Nevertheless, Spacey, Leary, Wilkinson, and Dern all turned in good performances, and the film was very enjoyable. It just wasn't the thorough learning experience I want and expect from historical dramatizations like this one.
November 8, 2010

Super Reviewer

"The future of the nation was hanging by a chad."

A chronicle of the weeks after the 2000 U.S. presidential election and the subsequent recounts in Florida.

Jay Roach (the "Austin Power" series, "Meet the Parents") doesn't seem the right director for a political-driven movie about one of the most controversial elections ever, but he did a good job in charge of this well-executed HBO production. "Recount" features solid performances all around, particularly Kevin Spacey as Ron Klain (Al Gore's recount point man) and Tom Wilkinson as James Baker (Bush's top recount strategist); Laura Dern seemed to have fun playing the ridiculously clueless (and potentially malevolent) Katherine Harris (Florida's Secretary of State), the woman who stopped the recount. The movie works for being wittily unbiased (Spacey's outburst scene: "You know what's funny? I don't even know if I like Al Gore... I just wanna know who actually won this f***ing election!" is pivotal, and his last conversation with Wilkinson/Baker is also a great point) and informative for those who have short-term memory (or were too young 8 years ago). We all know how it's gonna end, and the movie doesn't have the pretension of answering eternal questions like "Who really won the election and would have Al Gore been a better president?" We'll most likely never know the first, and can just wonder about the second. For better or worse, things would've been different had Bush lost, that's for sure. It might not be a solace, but that's the only truth we have, and the makers of "Recount" seem to be aware of that.
March 18, 2010
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

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