Absolute Power (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Absolute Power (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this thriller, an aging cat burglar becomes a crusader embroiled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game involving murder and a government cover-up. Adapted by distinguished scenarist William Goldman from a novel by David Baldacci and featuring a powerful all-star cast, the story works at different levels, not only as a straight-forward thriller but also as an insightful look at the love between the old thief and his estranged daughter, a highly successful prosecuting attorney. The trouble begins when ex-con Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood, who also directed) decides to pull off one last heist before retiring. Just as he finishes looting the vault of a well-fortified mansion, a drunken couple enters the adjoining bedroom apparently eager to start making love. But something goes awry and a violent tussle ensues that abruptly ends when gun-wielding men bust in and shoot down the woman. During the ensuing chaos, Luther slips out. Only later does the audience learn that the would-be lovers were U.S.-President Alan Richmond (Gene Hackman) and Christy Sullivan (Melora Hardin), the young wife of the President's biggest supporter Walter Sullivan (E.G. Marshall). As the investigation and cover-up begins, Luther, who has already been contacted by hard-boiled and suspicious detective Seth Frank (Ed Harris) begins to fear that he will be blamed for the killing and prepares to leave the country. He tries to see his daughter Kate (Laura Linney) to make peace with her for having been absent in prison during most of her life, but she rejects him. Luther goes to the airport, but just before he flies, he sees a press conference in which President Richmond, without so much as a twitch, goes on a tirade concerning his stand against violence. Something inside him snaps and he abruptly decides to stay and fight for justice. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovimore
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, sex)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: William Goldman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 8, 1997
Warner Home Video


Clint Eastwood
as Luther Whitney
Gene Hackman
as President Alan Richm...
Ed Harris
as Det. Seth Frank
Laura Linney
as Kate Whitney
Scott Glenn
as Bill Burton
Dennis Haysbert
as Agent Tim Collin
Judy Davis
as Gloria Russell
E.G. Marshall
as Walter Sullivan
Melora Hardin
as Christy Sullivan
Kenneth Welsh
as Sandy Lord
Richard Jenkins
as Michael McCarty
Elaine Kagan
as Valerie
Alison Eastwood
as Art Student
George Orrison
as Airport Bartender
Charles McDaniel
as Medical Examiner
Kimber Eastwood
as White House Tour Gui...
Eric Dahlquist Jr.
as Oval Office Agent
Jack Stewart Taylor
as Watergate Doorman
Joy Ehrlich
as Reporter
Penny Johnson
as Laura Simon
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Absolute Power

Critic Reviews for Absolute Power

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (12)

The plot is a doomsday version of Bill Clinton's Paula Jones problem, but the theme is impending mortality--settling scores before time's up.

Full Review… | August 22, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Doesn't rank with Eastwood's best work as actor/director, but it's nevertheless solidly enjoyable.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Mr. Hackman languishes in the smallish role of a White House buffoon, with Judy Davis equally cartoonish as his witchy chief of staff.

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

A first-rate thriller about arrogance at the top, a showdown between two kinds of Americans: the evil, omnipotent bureaucrat and the enterprising, mind-his- own-business loner.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Ultimately, this is a thriller in vain search of credible thrills.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Almost a drawing room thriller, unhurried and genteel but enlivened with suspense and surprising bursts of sly, even biting, humor.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Absolute Power

A taunt, riveting and first-rate thriller with a twist. A compelling, well-character drawn and masterfully crafted crafted thriller from Director, Clint Eastwood. Eastwood is brilliant, he gives a great and gritty performance. Laura Linney is excellent. Ed Harris is terrific. It`s a utterly exciting and pulse-pounding thrill-ride. A fantastic movie. It delivers top-notch acting, tightly-paced plot and outstanding craftsmanship. Thrillers don`t get anymore exciting or smart than this one.

Al S

Super Reviewer

Okay movie. Didn't really stay focused....so how good could it have been? Typical 90's movie.

Martin Sahlin

Super Reviewer

This is a really fun mystery thriller. If you love Clint Eastwood and the genre, it's practically a shoe in. I really liked the idea of knowing the answers, but not knowing why they were relevant until the story unfolded. Clint Eastwood as a jewel thief is a really interesting thought. Usually he's on the other side of the law, but it turns out he can play both sides with complete ease. It's also bizarre when Gene Hackman plays evil characters because he does it so well.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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