Recount - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Recount Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 11, 2012
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!!!
Super Reviewer
½ November 8, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
August 12, 2010
"Recount" is one of the best films I have ever seen about Democracy in America. It's a fast paced and utterly engrossing portrayal of the 2000 Presidential election recounts in Florida. In retrospect the events depicted are a huge storm on the horizon of things to come and really eerie to watch. The acting is great from the large ensemble and the background info into the voting process and the law that goes along with it is fascinating. Factually accurate with a pinch of satire and a whole lot of social and historical commentary (past and present), "Recount" is a triumph. It should stand as one of the defining films about the Bush Administration and that time period.
Super Reviewer
½ February 10, 2009
"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.
Super Reviewer
September 9, 2008
Ron Klain: How hard is it to punch a paper ballot?
Michael Whouley: It?s pretty God damn hard when you're eighty something years old, you're arthritic, and you're blind as a fucking bat. Unfortunately for us, blind fucking bats tend to vote Democratic.

Kevin Spacey leads an all star cast of character actors in a movie produced by HBO, chronicling the weeks after the 2000 US presidential election and the drama involving the Florida recount.

Ron Klain: The plural of "chad" is "chad"?

Along with Spacey, Dennis Leary, Tom Wilkinson, John Hurt, Ed Begeley Jr., and Laura Dern all portray various figures on either political party who had to deal with the attempts to get an official recount and legal action for the improperly handled votes down in Florida.

While there are certainly elements enhanced for the sake of drama, the film remains very accurate and true to the incidents that occurred. The film also manages to be very engaging. It is a film about men arguing over pieces of paper, but I was enjoying it very much.

It is also helpful that the movie doesn't take a stern side against Bush in favor of Gore. While the movie certainly presents the way the situation occurred for the most part, the people involved on both sides are treated with respect.

Originally to be directed by Sydney Pollack, before eventually becoming to ill, Jay Roach, best known for directing the Austin Powers series as well as the Meet the Parents movies, does a very good job with the handling of this political drama that maintained my interest.

Ron Klain: You know what I wanna know?
Michael Whouley: Nope.
Ron Klain: I wanna know who won this fucking election. Who the fuck won?
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2008
A decent movie about the complete and total catastrofuck also known as the 2000 Florida election. Or The Beginning of the End if you prefer. Recount is full of great performances as well as creepy as fuck performances--namely anyone who played a Republican (i.e. Laura Dern and Tom Wilkinson.) This movie is every bit as sad as Edward Scissorhands and Doctor Zhivago but just as anger-inducing as anything with Michael Moore's name on it.
Super Reviewer
½ June 2, 2008
A marvelous drama masquerading as a documentary... or the other way around. Unlike some others claiming the same, it is fair and balanced, while keeping what actually happened from being wiped clean of any significance. Yes, some people have egg on their face, but no noses are rubbed into it, there is no shaming. All that is left is excellent acting wrapped around a prominent (and more importantly, relevant) piece of American history.

A convoluted story to tell convincingly, let alone gracefully.
Super Reviewer
½ June 1, 2008
Hilarious, well-acted, an insightful look at the controvrsial events that took place in Florida during the 200 Presidential election. While the acting is great all around, Spacey, Leary, and especially Dern really shine.
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2008
For its intents and purposes (biases withstanding), the film succeeds with strong performances, thrilling pacing, and bluesy score. I was 16 and generally indifferent when this election occurred. Glad to open a window on this turbulent time in our political history.
Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2010
Written by Danny Strong, "Recount" is a witty and engaging dramatization of the 2000 Florida recount, ably performed by a great cast, especially by Kevin Spacey in his best performance in about a decade(not saying a lot, I know) and Laura Dern as Katharine Harris. With a cast this good, even the Treaty of Westphalia would have been fun watching.(Is it just me or would Denis Leary make a great Emperor Ferdinand III?) There really is not that much new information for anybody who was reading a daily newspaper except for the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision which I had originally thought to be just a simple cease and desist order.

The main lesson of "Recount" is that democracy is only as good as the public servants operating it. Sad as it may seem, power is usually awarded not to those deserving but to those who fight the hardest, which has always been a weakness of the Democratic Party who brought a diplomat to a street fight. In such a tight election like that of 2000(Noam Chomsky theorized that this was because of the lack of differences between the two candidates), every little bit counts.
Super Reviewer
March 26, 2011
It's clear the filmmakers have a bias, but fortunately that bias doesn't turn it in, at least completely, into a liberal fantasy-land like The Contender or The West Wing. That is to say, both sides are represented with some complexity, a rare thing for political dramas. Kevin Spacey is good, as he always is, and Laura Dern gives a strong performance. An interesting chapter in American history, to be sure. Problem is, the election itself was as meaningless as the recount attempts appeared to be.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2009
I wouldn't comment on whether this film is biased or not..cuz we might be arguing for days ahead..all I'll say is that Kevin Spacey's performances was excellent as an Al Gore Representative and I do believe that Recount is entertaining, surprisingly well made, with some pretty decent writing and I had no idea how poorly-handled the 2000 presidential election in Florida really was until seeing this movie. Alright, I am biased lol because I still feel the American public was cheated out of knowing who really should have been the President in 2000.
Super Reviewer
½ February 26, 2009
Watched it and Loved it.
Super Reviewer
November 1, 2008
Even though it is a TV movie, it's still one of the better movies of 2008. I'm always interested when HBO does these because you know they are A. unedited and B. are nearly if not the same quality of a film you'd see in the theater. The film is essentially an infuriating account of the cluster fuck that was the 2000 election. Director Jay Roach, (who is mostly known for doing the Austin Powers movies) handles the material quiet well. I'd say that it is actually fairly balanced. The cast is terrific, the best being Laura Dern as the slow witted overly cheerful Florida secretary of state katherine harris. A really fascinating film.
Super Reviewer
May 22, 2009
The cast did a fantastic job. It felt like this was a movie not based on reality - meaning it could stand on its own - but in addition was a great way for people to be expsed to some of what actually happened in the election.
Super Reviewer
June 6, 2008
Wow. This movie is paced like a thriller and both clever and funny. Laura Dern is hilarious as Katherine Harris!
Super Reviewer
½ July 3, 2008
This movie will get you fired up! Even though you know how it turns out going into it, there is a genuine feel of suspense throughout. The casting is eerily good, and Kevin Spacey in particular really shines. For a politically and historically educated mind, this is mandatory viewing. My only criticism is the absence of the proceedings that occurred in the Congress afterwards, for which the producers must have felt was beyond the scope of this movie. However, that actual footage can be seen in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11".
½ November 18, 2015
Damn those hanging chads and butterfly ballads. "Recount" recalls the controversial 2000 U.S. Presidential Election where voting ballads in Florida were not counted properly. This HBO produced movie shows both Bush and Gore's sides as their parties fight to clear up the situation and for one of them to claim Presidency. It's well done and has many great acting performances, but still has the Hollywood smell of liberalism-based agenda.
½ January 5, 2015
Although those not interested in the details of the voting process might find it a bit dry, the performances (Dern is excellent in her few scenes) and the intelligent script offer up a compelling look at the very likely victory for Al Gore that was unconstitutionally given to Bush by the Supreme Court thanks to gross partisanship, inacccurate voting procedures, and Republican voter fraud.
February 3, 2014
Nicely paced and perfectly detailed, this movie recounts the 2000 election and the crazy mess it was. The movie keeps you intrigued and there never is a dull moment where you feel the movie is drifting away.
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