Try as the filmmakers might, it just isn't the same. How could it be, really?
Actress Moore makes one actually feel sorry for Sarah Palin at points in this wonderful film.
The dramatic re-creations are somewhat uneven: The convention staging is quite convincing, the campaign trail less so.
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.
Game Change, which explores how smart people make dumb decisions, is a movie for all of us.
The movie is more balanced than I expected.
It all feels like piling on - the campaign movie as blooper reel.
The theme of women who are unobjectionable (and even sexy) until they have real power, at which point they are labeled mentally unstable and must be shut down, isn't new.
It takes a story whose outline we know and uses backstage access to turn it into a well-paced drama.
| Original Score: 3/4
The movie is so smart and ethical that I wish it were better.
Beyond the campaign, the movie yields sobering observations about the legitimacy of cable news, modern political extremism and the shrillest voices influencing the Republican Party.
Game Change comes too soon and too raw, smack in the middle of another ugly political season.
The overall atmosphere of the film is surprisingly kind to all.
Pleasure, you may get out of Game Change. Truth will be in the eye of the beholder.
It's a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at politics - as long as you're a Democrat.
This is a sharp-edged but not unsympathetic portrait of a flawed heroine.
A compelling, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant dramatization of the behind-the-scenes machinations of the Republican side of the 2008 presidential campaign that is unlikely to sway already entrenched opinions on both sides.
While Moore's performance is riveting, the most insightful aspects of the tale are the insider reactions.
Seeing Game Change is like living again through the campaign of 2008.
Game Change does stress a theme that applies to both sides of the aisle.
| Original Score: A-
As an entertaining, briskly paced political yarn, it's right up there with HBO's Emmy-winning Recount.
A luminous and fully alive portrait by a first-rate actress.
| Original Score: A
Game Change is graced by three extraordinary performances in the leading roles, beginning with Moore's portrayal of Palin, which is both complex and entirely credible.