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Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore

Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore (2007)

tomatometer

88

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 1,616

My Rating

Movie Info

Using an underdog congressional bid as a springboard, director Frank Popper explores the dangers of political dynasties in this documentary that aired as part of PBS's Independent Lens series. In 2004, 29-year-old political unknown Jeff Smith decided to make a run for an open congressional seat in Missouri, and soon found himself facing off against a political Goliath. With only a passionate grassroots group of volunteers behind him, Smith's candidacy serves as a true test of the efficacy of the

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Aug 21, 2007

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (2)

Mr. Smith captures ground-level political machinations in an utterly fascinating way. The question raised by the title makes for an interesting, if possibly disheartening, debate.

February 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Comment (1)
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For all its rah-rah David-vs.-Goliath populism, Can Mr. Smith understands that even an uncorrupted outsider like Smith must master the art of campaign gamesmanship to be successful.

February 1, 2007 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? is an amusing case study in youthful enthusiasm for the electoral process, but this modest documentary skips the weighty issues posed by its namesake, the Frank Capra 1939 drama.

December 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Director Frank] Popper sticks close to the fierce campaigner and his young, mostly inexperienced staffers, capturing all the energy, idealism, dour humor, and unreasoning hope of a Cinderella candidacy.

December 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is breezy, fun and keeps comin' at ya. Politics needs more of this and less of what went on in Ohio.

December 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A rousing, sometimes funny, frequently depressing documentary.

November 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Como documentarista, Popper curiosamente reflete as virtudes e fragilidades de seu protagonista: tem o coração no lugar certo, mas demonstra inexperiência ao criar uma narrativa com certo carisma, mas claramente amadora.

January 6, 2008
Cinema em Cena

... by-the-numbers and effective, if a bit overlong ...

March 15, 2007

Warm, funny, informative, breathlessly paced and inspiring.

October 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

Very enjoyable debut feature...Popper's camera captures the angst of the grassroots crusade in its massive slog for integrity on the campaign trail.

September 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore

An underfunded documentary about how sponsership really takes a large hand in politics.
August 2, 2010
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

A heartening look into the grassroots campaign trail, and dynastic and unbreakable incumbency politics in the United States. Can actual people prevail over polls and politics?
September 23, 2007
dhetteix

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?" is a perceptive documentary about Jeff Smith, a 29-year old professor, community activist and neophyte politician who is running for Congress in Missouri's Third District comprising St. Louis and environs. There are nine other Democrats running in the primary with the odds on favorite being Russ Carnahan, if only because he is a scion of a Missouri political dynasty. To combat this, Smith heads a valiant campaign staffed with non-professionals and hard working volunteers.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]What the film is generally concerned with is the status quo as personified by political dynasties. And the best way to combat that is good old fashioned shoe leather, for which there is no substitute. The movie refutes the electability myth which is supporting a candidate only because he can win, not because he is the best candidate. [/font]
April 21, 2010
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Just like its subject, not everything goes right all the time for Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore, but the film is ultimately a fascinating, eye-opening portrait of an everyman's grab for a US Congressional seat.
April 16, 2013
Isaac
Isaac H

Super Reviewer

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