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The Ides of March (2011)



Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 217
Fresh: 184 | Rotten: 33

While not exactly exposing revelatory truths, The Ides of March is supremely well-acted drama that moves at a measured, confident clip.


Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 46
Fresh: 35 | Rotten: 11

While not exactly exposing revelatory truths, The Ides of March is supremely well-acted drama that moves at a measured, confident clip.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 60,231

My Rating

Movie Info

The Ides of March takes place during the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, when an up-and-coming campaign press secretary (Ryan Gosling) finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate's shot at the presidency. -- (C) Sony Pictures

Jan 17, 2012


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All Critics (222) | Top Critics (47) | Fresh (184) | Rotten (33) | DVD (4)

At its best, the film is like a political version of Sweet Smell of Success, another movie where the corruption was so rampant it gleamed.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As for Clooney, when he steps from behind the camera, his candidate exudes an easy, judicious authority.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Denver Post | Comments (5)
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is intelligent filmmaking, and a provocative moral fable. It may not be perfect, but it stands as one of the better, most realistic movies about the way we elect our leaders.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Comments (5)
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

From the film's ideological vantage point, moderate Democrats are Machiavellian devils, and Republicans are an inconceivable evil looming on a distant horizon, like the White Walkers in Game of Thrones.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: The Atlantic | Comments (18)
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Ides of March is a well-made actors showcase and fine film. But it never finds that more.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just about every other scene in the film is a simple pleasure unto itself between the equally confident writing, direction and performances.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A brilliant political thriller about strategy, loyalty and idealism that is willing to unmask candidates who build their campaigns on slogans, not policies.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

Well-produced and well-acted middlebrow entertainment, a political "expose" that will shock only pearl-clutchers and naive dopes.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

A gripping, political thriller packed with tremendous performances and supremely confident direction by George Clooney.

April 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Lyles' Movie Files
Lyles' Movie Files

George Clooney officially passes the impish matinee idol torch to Ryan Gosling in this smart, hella-cool (does Clooney waste his time on any other kind of movie these days?) political drama.

February 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

George Clooney's latest civics lesson as actor and director, is a down and dirty politics-behind-closed-doors tale...brilliantly acted

January 6, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

If the film had been able to get off the ground earlier, this probably would have been a great film. However, with its excellent performances, well-written screenplay, and engaging story, it's still a very good film.

September 19, 2012 Full Review Source:

The entire first two thirds of the film have the calm idiosyncratic qualities of a mellowed-out Mamet.

August 25, 2012 Full Review Source: CraveOnline

The Ides of March boils down to a big breast-beating session within the Democratic caucus

July 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinemania

Modern-day Game of Thrones

March 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

While the eventual awful revelations might shock liberals who believe the absurdly sunny West Wing to be a documentary, anybody with a shard of cynicism in their heart will react with an unsurprised shrug.

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Irish Times
Irish Times

Like Clooney's straightforward and unflashy directorial style, The Ides of March proves to be an effective drama.

February 16, 2012 Full Review Source:

"The Ides of March" is a solid film, but it could have been better if it challenged the audience more than it does.

February 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A rehash of a recent political phenomenon dressed up to seem more daring than it actually is.

January 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Film and Felt | Comments (4)
Film and Felt

Ironically, one ends up feeling both skeptical and cynical about this movie that wants to have it both ways but, instead, ends up just as deeply cynical and flawed as its characters and the system it seeks to expose.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Knight at the Movies
Knight at the Movies

It's clear the Ides of March is about the nuts and bolts of politics.

January 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Ebert Presents At The Movies

... A political thriller that concerns itself more with issues of loyalty and trust than advancing a particular agenda.

December 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

It's politics. How many times do we say that in our work lives or in reference to an organization with which we are involved?

December 22, 2011 Full Review Source: KWQC-TV (Iowa)
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

Yet another fantastic performance from Ryan Gosling, in what has turned out to be his breakout year that elevates him to the top rank of actors.

December 16, 2011 Full Review Source: OK! Magazine
OK! Magazine

The twists and shocks of this story are delivered with emotional precision, each one landing like a heavy punch to the stomach, making every minute crackle with intensity.

November 26, 2011 Full Review Source: The Mercury
The Mercury

I'd strongly urge you to hand over a $10 donation and support The Ides Of March. It has my endorsement!

November 26, 2011 Full Review Source: ABC Radio Brisbane
ABC Radio Brisbane

Audience Reviews for The Ides of March

August 29, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The profession of politics is a tawdry, sordid affair; the practice of which can warp one's morals and corrupt one's soul. There, I've said it. But the art of filmmaking is not so much about what is being said, but how you say it.

In "Ides of March" we get an adaptation of a stage play that comes alive with a brilliant script, wonderful, tight direction, and solid performances across the board from the likes of Evan Rachel Wood, Melisa Tomei, Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, and in particular Ryan Gosling. Of course we have to thank the co-writer of the screenplay, and the director - both embodied by George Clooney, who also steps from behind the lens and gives a terrific performance as the "perfect" candidate... I heard that Clooney was also the caterer for the project! (well, it only seems that way).

Amidst the standard plot involving a presidential race, we have Machiavellian mechinations and some snappy dialog wherein not a single character gives a straight answer to anything - holding truth (or their version of it) as power. As I previously stated, it's all in how you say it: take for example the fine scene where candidate Clooney is saying grand ideological things in front of a receptive audience, while backstage, seemingly smothered by a wall sized projection of the US flag, Hoffman and Gosling discuss the back room bargaining required to get their candidate elected. So much for idealism.

Late in the film the head of the Democratic party proclaims that he doesn't understand God's plan - of course he doesn't have the perspective of the true insiders who shape and twist fact and fiction to achieve their desired goal... from the campaign manager's point of view, God's plan is all too obvious and the morality... win at all costs as long as you believe in the cause. A nice sentiment and a convincing fairy tale to tell yourself as you sell your soul down the river.

The script also takes a nice side step in turning the vitriol onto the populace as well as on the politicians. At one point Gosling puts it all in perspective by drawling "You want to be president? You can start a war, you can lie, you can cheat, you can bankrupt the country... but you can't fuck the interns. They'll get you for that". Shades of Monica Lewinski......and it makes you wonder - how taking bribes can be condoned (see Lobbyist in the dictionary), and yet the populace takes the moral high ground when it comes to hanky panky... somehow, as usual, we miss the bigger picture.

Sure, the film doesn't tell us anything an astute person doesn't already know; however, as I earlier stated, it's not the story, but the telling. I'm not revealing hardly any plot points at all here, for I wish for you to experience this all for yourself and then reflect how seamlessly it all fits together into a concise, intelligent narrative.
December 26, 2012
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Based on some play I had previously never heard of, this is the third directorial effort from co-writer and star George Clooney.

The story concerns an idealistic young junior campaign worker (press secretary) who, just days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, finds himself involved in a scandal that could derail the whole campaign, and not only that, but forces him to realize an ancient revelation: politics is a dirty dishonest business.

So yeah, the movie's plot is unoriginal, the themes and revelations are likewise nothing new, but, you know what? I really didn't mind too much. It's well meaning, very engrossing, and yeah, quite interesting, despite being so stale and rather ho hum where the drama is concerned.

What ultimately holds the movie together is the fairly decent writing, but, more importantly, the strong performances from a solid cast. All of them, Gosling, Clooney, Hoffman, Giamatti, Wood, Tomei, Wright, and heck, even Minghella all do a fine job. This is far from the best work from any of them, but they all put in decent work nonetheless. I can see why some awards shows have a category for casts, because seriously, this lineup just rocks. It's a shame that the material couldn't have been even stronger, but at least it's not worse.

I think the best thing I can say about this movie, despite the fact that a lot of the time it is pretty routine, is that, I really don't care for politics, and for this movie to get me to care...yeah that's impressive. Nice job there. The music is good, but it kinda makes things seem more dramatic than necessary at times. It's not a slam bang thriller, so the score sticks out when it sometimes comes off that way.

All in all though, this is a pretty good movie. It's not as spectacular as it should be, or as spectacular as it thinks it is, but yes, it is worth a watch, if only for the fact that it is saved by such a great cast.
October 3, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Well done. Great acting. Great cast.....but not the most exciting movie, in my opinion.
July 23, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Stephen Meyers: You wanna be a president? You can start a war, you can lie you can cheat, you can bankrupt the country, but you can't fuck the interns.
    – Submitted by Tareq J (9 months ago)
    1. Stephen Meyers: When you make a mistake, you lose the right to play.
    – Submitted by Nikita F (18 months ago)
    1. Tom Duffy: The ability to win people's respect, by making them mistake their fear, for love.
    – Submitted by Karthik V (2 years ago)
    1. Stephen Meyers: You broke the only rule in politics. You want to be president? You can start a war, you can lie, you can cheat, you can bankrupt the country... but you cant fuck the interns. They'll get you for that.
    – Submitted by Malek S (2 years ago)
    1. Stephen Meyers: I'll do or say anything if i believe in it. But i have to believe in the cause.
    – Submitted by Brandon M (2 years ago)
    1. Governor Mike Morris: The society must be better than the individual.
    – Submitted by Jerky S (2 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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Foreign Titles

  • The Ides of March - Der Tag des Verrats (DE)
  • Les Marches du Pouvoir (FR)
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