• R, 2 hr. 23 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Mike Nichols
    In Theaters:
    Mar 20, 1998 Wide
    On DVD:
    Sep 8, 1998
  • Universal


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Primary Colors Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Charles Cassady
Common Sense Media

Well-acted drama full of Clinton-era jabs.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 3/5

December 15, 2010
Michael Dequina

A savvy and thought-provoking look at the nature of contemporary American politics.

Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com | Original Score: 3/4

March 30, 2009
Jon Popick

Travolta is amazingly Clintonesque as Stanton, a role that I never believed he could pull off.

Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews

January 7, 2009
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The film owes a few doggie bones to "Wag the Dog," which came first in pointing out what Primary Colors only seconds.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: C+

November 3, 2008
Rob Gonsalves

Primary Colors successfully straddles the line between comedy and tragedy.

Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Original Score: 4/5

September 22, 2007
Gary Brown
Houston Community Newspapers

Primary Colors becomes a political morality play, and quite frankly, its mechanics cause it to crawl in across the finish line.

Full Review Source: Houston Community Newspapers | Original Score: 3/4

August 13, 2007
Derek Adams
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As satire, it's toothless and indulgent; as drama of conscience, it's not a patch on real life...

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Chris Gore
Film Threat

It used to be that we had to wait 20 years for the fictionalization of history -- now that gap seems to have closed to less than five years. Kinda sad. But also kinda entertaining!

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 6, 2005
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews

John Travolta has himself a good deal of fun with his take-off on President Clinton.

Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Original Score: B

April 9, 2005
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette

an alarmingly topical comedy-drama that dredges up far more issues than it can address in its two-and-a-half hours. But give Nichols, writer Elaine May and everyone else an 'A' for effort.

Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette | Original Score: 3/4

July 31, 2003
John R. McEwen
Film Quips Online

John Travolta continues to establish himself as one of the best actors of the younger generation, and this may be his best job yet.

Full Review Source: Film Quips Online | Original Score: 3.5/5

February 8, 2003
Margaret A. McGurk
Cincinnati Enquirer

Mike Nichols and screenwriter Elaine May have produced one of the smartest, funniest political movies of the past 20 years.

Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer | Original Score: 4/4

October 15, 2002
Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal

The film asks if it matters if a man's got a questionable personal life if he's good at his job, and God knows this is a relevant question.

Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal | Original Score: 3/4

September 10, 2002
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...hardly important but well-made and ultimately life-affirming

Full Review | Original Score: B

July 31, 2002
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Like the politicians it criticizes, the film loses sight of its ideals.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4

June 18, 2002
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

In this brilliant and incisive drama, the filmmakers reveal the shadow sides of American politics.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice

March 2, 2002
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

The book was explicit in its indictment of Clinton (or his clone or whatever), but the movie, while keeping most of the storyline the same and many of the scenes literally verbatim, still manages to tiptoe around the issue of personal responsibility.

Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk | Original Score: 2.5/4

February 27, 2001
Todd McCarthy
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Travolta's warmth and expansiveness effectively amplify and embellish the likable and personable side of Stanton.

Full Review Source: Variety

February 14, 2001
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A smart and savvy piece of work.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4.5/5

February 14, 2001
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

Primary Colors is one of the best film about politics I have ever seen and is director Mike Nichols best film since The Graduate, 31 years ago.

Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Original Score: 10/10

January 1, 2001
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