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Game Change

Game Change (2012)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,966

My Rating

Movie Info

The 2008 U.S. presidential campaign shifts into high gear after Arizona senator John McCain (Ed Harris) picks Alaska governor Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore) to be his running mate in the general election against Barack Obama. Based on the book Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. ~ Joe Friedrich, Rovi



Jan 8, 2013


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All Critics (39) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (13) | DVD (2)

Try as the filmmakers might, it just isn't the same. How could it be, really?

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Actress Moore makes one actually feel sorry for Sarah Palin at points in this wonderful film.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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The dramatic re-creations are somewhat uneven: The convention staging is quite convincing, the campaign trail less so.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The constant use of actual news footage adds a bit of verisimilitude but also constantly raises the question of why this lightly fictionalized version of the election actually needs to exist.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Game Change, which explores how smart people make dumb decisions, is a movie for all of us.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is more balanced than I expected.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a comedy, for at least 30% of its running time, leaving the rest a condensed, perplexing vision of Washington ambition and insistent ego, leaving the movie somewhere between a cartoon and a mean-spirited prank.

September 23, 2012 Full Review Source:

The reality is that HBO's Game Change makes a bad showing by arming game and gifted players with a weak and labored script.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Game Change is not one-sided, exactly. It is, instead, uneven and episodic.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: PopMatters

It plausibly lays out Palin's path from unsteady candidate to confident (or arrogant) rogue player.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

That it works is testament to an astounding, Emmy-worthy performance by Moore, who plays Palin with nuance, and without a trace of parody.

August 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Contra Costa Times
Contra Costa Times

We're no longer disappointed that Tina Fey didn't get the role that ended up going to Julianne Moore.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Game Change might have felt fresh had it hit the airwaves in 2010, but in 2012 it's just more of the same.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Television Without Pity
Television Without Pity

The most egregious fault to be found here is that Roach and Strong succumb to the same indulgences as the news media they're so happy to critique.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Game Change is a big disappointment, a broadside at a very big target, and a waste of some impressive talent in front of and behind the camera.

August 3, 2012 Full Review Source: HitFix

Audience Reviews for Game Change

This look into the political sphere surrounding the 2008 election is eye opening, very intuitive, and looks and feels like a real depiction of those seen more as celebrities than politicians. Whether or not you find the view slanted, and liberal biases threaded throughout, it was a really microscopic look into the spectrum of political punditry nowadays, how a candidate's look and youth appeal are weighted heavier than their ideology. Palin (Moore) is of course demonized as an ignorant fame whore who finds the work too difficult but the fame heartening. Harris plays John McCain as a hearty, robust American who only wants to calm the nerves of a perverse society and give order once again. He's shown as the good guy, part of the Lost Generation, and Palin is the new, the stupid, the lazy America of youth. It's almost heart breaking to watch Palin get humiliated by the public when she has a certain level of integrity and small town charm. Even if she is demonized, she's depicted as a good person thrust onto the national stage without preparedness, which leaves her looking vulnerable, if overly ambitious.
March 28, 2014

Super Reviewer

Julianne Moore scores a personal triumph in this making a woman who is basically an unqualified not terribly bright egoist at least seem human and somewhat used. Quite a feat. The rest of the production is high caliber with exemplary work from Ed Harris, Sarah Paulson and particularly Woody Harrelson. The rest of the supporting cast, Peter MacNicol, Larry Sullivan et. al, is just as strong. It's disquieting though to realize how close an uninformed puppet came to a seat of supreme power.
April 29, 2013
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

One of those political dramas that skips the red/blue dichotomy to remind you that politicians are people too. You walk away with a profound respect for Senator McCain, a deep sympathy for Governor Palin, and an overwhelming relief for the outcome of the 2008 election.

Overall, a well made movie. Julianne Moore does wonderfully in her attempt to add color to the most colorful character in recent politics, and Woody Harrelson proves again that he is one of the finest actors of the generation. Entertaining and fun, in a History channel sort of way.
March 9, 2013

Super Reviewer

During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, John McCain's running mate Sarah Palin was virtual unknown. However she became a fresh face in the campaign. Also she became much ridiculed throughout the campaign and is now infamous due to the Katie Couric interview. Game Change is a well directed and acted political drama with a great cast of actors. Julianne Moore is a great actress and she delivers one of her best performances as Sarah Palin. This is a well constructed film by director Jay Roach, who also directed Meet the Parents and Austin Powers. I thought it was nice to see him tackle something different, and he delivers a well crafted picture that chronicles this historical presidential campaign. Roach directs a stunning cast that includes Ed Harris as John McCain. Woody Harrelson and Ron Livinston also star and they all have something to offer. This is a well rounded out drama, and this is among the best made for TV films that I have seen in quite some time. The plot is terrific, and there's plenty to enjoy despite just a so-so subject. Political Dramas are at times lacking in good content, but director Jay Roach definitely pulls out something special, and he has plenty of good material here to work with. Not to mention that the cast that he directs is wonderful, and are accomplished in terms of delivering effective performances worth seeing. Julianne Moore on the other hand, steals the show and she is absolutely terrific in her part. This is a must see film for people that loves this genre of film and it is worth it alone just to watch a wonderful role played by Moore.
December 2, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Sarah Palin: I want to do what I want to do.
    – Submitted by Frances H (40 days ago)
    1. Steve Schmidt: No news story lasts more than 48 hours anymore. News is no longer remembered--it's just meant to be entertainment.
    – Submitted by Frances H (40 days ago)
    1. Steve Schmidt: This guy's raising money like he's his own ATM machine.
    – Submitted by Frances H (40 days ago)
    1. Steve Schmidt: There are unknowns with Palin, and ah, certainly it could go bad. But if it were me, I'd rather lose by ten points going for the win than lose by one point and look back and say 'Goddamn, we should have gone for the win'.
    – Submitted by Steven F (2 years ago)
    1. Rick Davis: Listen, I too wish that the American people would choose the future Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson, but unfortunately, that's not the way it works anymore. Now it takes movie-star charisma to get elected President, and Obama and Palin, that's what they are - they're stars.
    – Submitted by Steven F (2 years ago)
    1. John McCain: You're one of the leaders of the party now Sarah. Don't get co-opted by Limbaugh and the other extremists. They'll destroy the party if you let them.
    – Submitted by Steven F (2 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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