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Absolute Power (1997)



Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 31,922

My Rating

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


Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure

William Goldman

Jul 8, 1997

Warner Home Video

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All Critics (46) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (23) | DVD (11)

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.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...Eastwood makes what he can of a nifty, though implausible, what-if idea.

May 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Eastwood films with his usual effortless pace, generating suspense practically out of thin air.

May 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

One begins to long for a good explosion.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Not one of Clint's best, but still better-than-average entertainment.

August 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Contrived and dawdling.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source:

A pretty decent suspense movie, until its last half hour or so, which ends on a flaccid note and doesn't generate the needed resolution for the solid build-up that came before.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

For all the suspense the film does generate, the fairly flat climax is a disappointing payoff.

September 17, 2005 Full Review Source:

Dunderheaded fantasy about noble thieves and corrupt commander-in-chiefs.

May 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Good actors elevate this disappointing and lame effort by a respected filmmaker.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

...suffers from the same pathology as Bridges of Madison County; a weakness of source material.

December 31, 2004 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The plot and its resolution requires simply too much disbelief to be suspended by the audience...

August 29, 2003 Full Review

You could waste your time in many worse ways than watching this ensemble of old pros shoot and scratch at each other.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

The ending of the film is rather abrupt, but most of the time this film runs as slick as oil, thanks to impeccable production standards, a solid script and good performances...

March 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Eastwood labors in a role that calls for someone far less forceful, while Hackman is positively embarassing. These were the same guys who made Unforgiven?

February 6, 2003
Flipside Movie Emporium

Can't believe William Goldman wrote this crap, or that Eastwood, Hackman, Harris, and Davis bothered to get involved with it either.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source:

Um filme inconstante que alterna bons momentos com outros muito fracos.

May 31, 2002 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Audience Reviews for Absolute Power

Clint Eastwood yet again casts himself in a role that fits him like a glove. On a foot. With a cast as strong as this you'd expect at least a couple of great performances too but alas, everyone is having a bad day in the office, I can only blame Eastwood as director. I do not think he gets the best out of his actors, including himself. This is another film in his delusional directing career between the mid 70's and early 00's. He started off great and has returned to form recently but everything in between is mostly egocentric garbage.
March 3, 2014

Super Reviewer

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.
January 17, 2013

Super Reviewer

Okay movie. Didn't really stay how good could it have been? Typical 90's movie.
February 28, 2011
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.
December 5, 2010

Super Reviewer

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