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Grassroots (2012)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 5.3/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 14
Rotten: 13

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 8
Fresh: 3
Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 1,369

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Movie Info

A short-tempered, unemployed music critic who likes to dress as a polar bear thinks he can harness the power of the people to ride the monorail to political victory in Seattle. And he's right. Almost. It's before Twitter, before the flash mob, before Obama. It's 2001, and political unknown Grant Cogswell decides he must take down Seattle City Councilman Richard McIver. Grant has only one dream, but it's a big one: an elegant monorail gliding silently above the city's wet streets. Grassroots is a … More

Rating:
R (for pervasive language and brief drug use)
Genre:
Drama , Comedy , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
Stephen Gyllenhaal
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Oct 2, 2012
Box Office:
$6.5k
Runtime:
Samuel Goldwyn Films - Official Site


Cast


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Critic Reviews for Grassroots

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (13)

An enjoyable, fitfully engaging but ever-so-slightly forgettable minor-key political comedy.

Full Review… | November 6, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

Grassroots is a movie where bad ideas, because they're the ones championed by the "correct" side, are king. It never acknowledges that sometimes idealism is just another kind of manipulation.

Full Review… | July 19, 2012
NPR
Top Critic

At first glance, "Grassroots" doesn't seem like much of an idea for a movie. Nor at second, third or fourth glance.

Full Review… | July 13, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

Although it only glosses the mechanics of local politics, it exudes an endearingly scruffy charm.

Full Review… | July 12, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

This is one film as misguided as the business-as-usual subject it aims to critique.

Full Review… | July 10, 2012
Time Out New York
Top Critic

Grassroots disingenuously has it both ways, reducing politics first to a David-versus-Goliath adventure, and then to an everyone-is-cool bowl of mush.

Full Review… | July 10, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

A movie populated by dislikeable characters and written/directed with no aplomb whatsoever ...

Full Review… | November 13, 2012
The List

[A] refreshing real-life political story ...

Full Review… | November 12, 2012
Observer [UK]

There's a terrific sense of righteous anger in this scruffy comedy about disenfranchised people shaking American politics to its core.

Full Review… | November 9, 2012
Contactmusic.com

Proves very likable, if a little Sorkin-lite.

Full Review… | November 8, 2012
Guardian

You'll root for the giant all the way.

Full Review… | November 8, 2012
Daily Telegraph

Engaging, enjoyable and extremely well timed political comedy/drama with a strong script and a pair of terrific performances from Jason Biggs and Joel David Moore.

Full Review… | November 7, 2012
ViewLondon

With Avatar's Moore on inspiring form, and Biggs the best he's been since early Pie, this is still worth your vote.

Full Review… | October 30, 2012
Total Film

Grassroots is so in love with its titular spirit that an underlying note of cynicism is never fully embraced... With results at the ballot so close to the line, though, one might reasonably expect a bit of a mixed message to emerge.

Full Review… | October 14, 2012
Eye for Film

For what it's worth, Grassroots features Cedric the Entertainer's best performance to date.

Full Review… | October 11, 2012
What Culture

You don't have to look too far these days to notice films abounding with jobless and financially struggling characters, in stark contrast to the recession-proof movies they inhabit. Top that off with emerging election year movies, and enter Grassroots.

Full Review… | July 21, 2012
Long Island Press

A smarter movie than you expect...It's probably na´ve, but it's also enjoyable and even a little thought-provoking.

Full Review… | July 17, 2012
Hollywood & Fine

A call to citizen participation [through a] portrait of shoe leather political organizing pre-social media is lively, but seems more enjoyably quaint than inspiring.

Full Review… | July 13, 2012
Film-Forward.com

Tale of a Seattle race for city council is strident and ultimately tiresome.

Full Review… | July 12, 2012
Film Journal International

The funny adventures of two little guys who enter the tricky world of politics with nothing but passion and a dream.

Full Review… | July 12, 2012
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Grassroots

Gyllenhaal's film is based on the true story of Grant Cogswell, an out of work music critic who ran for city council in Seattle's 2001 campaign, his ticket a promise to extend the city's monorail in an attempt to make the city more accessible for it's working classes. As portrayed by Moore, he's an unlikable but enthusiastic presence with limited social skills. Running his anarchic campaign is Biggs, an impressive performance as a journalist recently fired from The Stranger for being too political. For the most part the film relies on the usual cliches of the campaign trail with our protagonists setting out with the best intentions but resorting to more and more dirty tricks as their success grows. Cogswell's incumbent opponent is a conservative African-American with ties to big business and the issue of liberal hypocrisy is raised in a way we rarely see with many white liberals preferring to vote for a right-wing black politician than the left-wing Cogswell who best represents their views.

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Grassroots Quotes


Phil Campbell:
What happens if we do win?
– Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
Grant Cogswell:
You are going to do it with me. It's the reason you got fired!
– Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)

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