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Knife Fight (2013)

tomatometer

20

Average Rating: 4/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 8

No consensus yet.

audience

29

liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 228

My Rating

Movie Info

If a political candidate is personally flawed, but stands to make a positive difference in millions of lives, would you help him win? That question looms over the life of "true believer" Paul Turner (Rob Lowe), a savvy strategist sharply maneuvering politicians out of scandal and into public office. With the help of a bright young assistant (Jamie Chung) and a seedy operative (Richard Schiff), Turner spins every news cycle and a shrewd reporter (Julie Bowen) on behalf of his clients: a

R,

Drama, Comedy

Bill Guttentag, Chris Lehane

Jun 10, 2013

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (13)

Lowe's Paul is slimy, but, lo and behold, we are supposed to believe that he smells like a rose. He really wants to make the world a better place. His sentiments may be genuine but they come across as a con.

January 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Meanders aimlessly around too-familiar territory.

January 25, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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An improbable fantasy in which the people who make political advertising emerge as chisel-jawed heroes of democracy.

January 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whether playing it sleazy or noble, Mr. Lowe brings little emotional weight to his role.

January 24, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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[An] underwhelming, would-be political satire.

January 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Soulless and two-dimensional, Knife Fight is a black hole of disillusion and spin.

January 24, 2013 Full Review Source: NPR
NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fun, tack-sharp political drama with satirical underpinnings, buoyed by crisp characterizations.

February 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

It could have been an incisive counterpoint to a film like "The Ides of March." Instead, it's a forgettable series of bullet points barely strung together by charismatic performances.

January 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

For all the knowing monologues mentioning tax breaks for the rich and diet drinks for the poor, Knife Fight feels squeaky-clean -- a remedial spin class that tells more than it shows.

January 25, 2013 Full Review Source: National Post
National Post

Smart, brisk political satire, so smoothly done and performed that it overrides certain weaknesses and a climactic sentimental face change.

January 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Another clichéd story of a cynic who gets in touch with his inner idealist..Movies like this give political satire a bad name.

January 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Hollywood & Fine
Hollywood & Fine

A mixed bag, offering a few winning performances and moments of revelation, while the rest scatters aimlessly, in search of structure director Bill Guttentag doesn't provide.

January 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Blu-ray.com
Blu-ray.com

Bill Guttentag exaggerates the absurd lengths advisors go to win an election and yet ultimately aggrandizes their behavior.

January 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Cynical and savvy, it's a small film with a big message about the ends justifying the means.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: SSG Syndicate
SSG Syndicate

Audience Reviews for Knife Fight

Rob Lowe's performance is the best reason to check out this film. It's been awhile since I have seen Rob in a really good role in a good film. I am happy he is back with this one. The film reminded me of movies like Wag the Dog, Primary Colors, and Swing Vote. The film is predictable but I found it very entertaining.

Eric McCormack also does a great supporting job here. So does Carrie Anne Moss, Richard Schiff, and Jamie Chung.

I definitely recommend this film.
December 3, 2013
SC007
Sol C

Super Reviewer

This political thriller directed by Bill Guttentag and co-written with Chris Lehane is a story of a political strategist and his life. It stars Rob Lowe, Jamie Chung and Richard Schiff, all three perfectly casted in a movie which won't bring you anything new but has enough good stuff to keep you happy watching it until the end .

The drama follows a political strategist (played by Rob Lowe) and his assistant (Chung) as they navigate a trio of election campaigns rife with cheating husbands, blackmail and even an actual knife fight. Our hero is successfully juggling all three clients and very often questions whether or not to take the high road... while the ugly side of his work begins to haunt him. We can see how politics is really played... forget what you think how it should be - it is NEVER happening that way. Take any of the politicians (even Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy) and ask why are some of them the United States' most adored individuals... maybe because they were masters at the art of juggling politics and personal lives while keeping an image for the masses.

Best performance was undoubtedly given by Jamie Chung, who is competitive by nature, and has finally proven that she can handle mouthfuls of dramatic dialogue or "something smart," as she calls it. It is a movie for all her fans, but do not expect that it will puncture the balloons of political hypocrisy.
September 21, 2013
PantaOz
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

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