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 character-driven comedy about the power of the people and the virtues of standing up for what you believe in. Against all odds. -- (C) Samuel Goldwyn … More
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Critic Reviews for Grassroots
An enjoyable, fitfully engaging but ever-so-slightly forgettable minor-key political comedy.
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.
At first glance, "Grassroots" doesn't seem like much of an idea for a movie. Nor at second, third or fourth glance.
Although it only glosses the mechanics of local politics, it exudes an endearingly scruffy charm.
This is one film as misguided as the business-as-usual subject it aims to critique.
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.
A movie populated by dislikeable characters and written/directed with no aplomb whatsoever ...
There's a terrific sense of righteous anger in this scruffy comedy about disenfranchised people shaking American politics to its core.
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.
With Avatar's Moore on inspiring form, and Biggs the best he's been since early Pie, this is still worth your vote.
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.
For what it's worth, Grassroots features Cedric the Entertainer's best performance to date.
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.
A smarter movie than you expect...It's probably na´ve, but it's also enjoyable and even a little thought-provoking.
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.
Tale of a Seattle race for city council is strident and ultimately tiresome.
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.More
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