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The Special Relationship (2010)


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 18
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 2
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 2,256



Movie Info

Screenwriter Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) explores the complex relationship that developed between former American President Bill Clinton and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair as the two progressive statesmen strived to unite their countries toward a common goal. The growing bond between President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair is later solidified by the fact that their wives, Hillary Clinton and Cherie Blair, seem to have just as much in common as their powerful … More

Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Peter Morgan
In Theaters:
Nov 30, 2010
Home Box Office (HBO)


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Critic Reviews for The Special Relationship

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (3) | DVD (3)

Very astute.

Full Review… | June 1, 2010
At the Movies
Top Critic

It's smart and believable and very well-acted.

Full Review… | June 1, 2010
At the Movies
Top Critic

The Special Relationship does indeed focus on a friendship between two (admittedly powerful) dudes, but this is more than a mere episode of Entourage. For one thing, stuff happens.

Full Review… | October 21, 2010

[The] glimpse of the real Blair was far more interesting than the clichéd version we saw throughout the film.

Full Review… | August 16, 2010
ABC Radio Brisbane

The third act in the chronicles of Tony Blair features Michael Sheen and scribe Peter Morgan in fine form, but a shaky turn by Dennis Quaid mars The Special Relationship from reaching its full potential.

Full Review… | August 11, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

A dramatically flat exploration of the friendship between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President Bill Clinton, as they navigate the personal and national challenges of high office.

Full Review… | August 7, 2010

The most unintentionally homoerotic film of the year. Eventually you start willing them to make out. Solid script. Slightly unconvincing Clinton performance from Quaid.

Full Review… | August 6, 2010
Triple J

As before, Michael Sheen is able to project a kind of toothy sincerity reminiscent of Tony Blair in the early stages of his political incumbency. There's a sweetness there, and at times, almost a naivity.

Full Review… | August 6, 2010
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

The relationship between Blair and Clinton never seems capable, dramatically speaking, of bearing the weight the film assigns to it.

Full Review… | August 6, 2010
The Age (Australia)

The film is immensely entertaining, whether fair or not. Sheen is brilliant, as we have come to expect, but Quaid's Clinton is perhaps the greater surprise because he gets well beyond the charm.

Full Review… | August 6, 2010
Sydney Morning Herald

The Special Relationship marks a worthy addition to Morgan's ever-expanding body of work as a modern historian of the big screen.

Full Review… | August 6, 2010
Courier Mail (Australia)

Still, for all its flaws there's a compelling energy in The Special Relationship.

Full Review… | August 5, 2010

Lovers of political drama will be transfixed as these two immensely ambitious and powerful men make decisions that will change the world.

Full Review… | August 4, 2010
At the Movies (Australia)

The Special Relationship almost functions as a strange sort of bromance between two men who heralded the arrival of a new approach to progressive centre-left politics.

Full Review… | August 4, 2010
Cinema Autopsy

The Special Relationship doesn't have the emotional impact of The Queen but it's a sharp examination of a brief time when the UK occupied a dynamic place on the world stage.

Full Review… | August 3, 2010
Sunday Mail (Australia)

Sheen, quite frankly, looks bored out of his mind here and Loncraine's direction is flat and technically unadventurous. "Special" is definitely the wrong word to use to describe this relationship.

Full Review… | August 3, 2010

Fine performances anchor this entertaining film which provides real insight into the dynamics of power and politics.

Full Review… | August 3, 2010
FILMINK (Australia)

It is an insightful portrait of the relationship between Blair and US President Bill Clinton that casts them as men of both action and accident, driven by ideals and petty personal proclivities.

Full Review… | August 3, 2010
Concrete Playground

Quality, but ultimately forgettable.

Full Review… | August 2, 2010
Empire Magazine Australasia

Peter Morgan manages to infiltrate the wall of privacy that shrouds some aspects of these men's private conversations with a good ear for the hypothetical

Full Review… | July 31, 2010
Urban Cinefile

We are in the hot seat, in the inner circle as we get a sense of 'the special relationship' between two 'liberal' leaders Tony Blair (Martin Sheen) and Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid), who are (in Clinton's words) 'holding the joystick at the same time'

Full Review… | July 31, 2010
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for The Special Relationship


Michael Sheen steals the show, and turns in another excellent performance. The movie itself was a little under whelming for me...decent, but nothing overly exciting.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

If you wander about the name of the movie, it comes from a phrase used to describe the close political, diplomatic, cultural and historical relations between the United Kingdom and the United States, following its use in a 1946 speech by British statesman Winston Churchill. The first drafts of the film dealt with Blair's special relationships with U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. However, screenwriter Peter Morgan excluded the Bush scenes from subsequent drafts (thus ending the narrative on January 20, 2001) because he found the Blair/Clinton dynamic more interesting. Morgan intended to make his directorial debut with the film but backed out a month before filming began and was replaced by Richard Loncraine. It is well executed movie with a real PR success... it managed to present two real war criminals as some kind of "liberators" with high moral standards...

Panta Oz

Super Reviewer


Could have been better I think but interesting. Wasn't as into Quaid's Clinton as I was the other main three actors - great performaces from them.

Sunil Jawahir

Super Reviewer

Michael Sheen reprises his role as Tony Blair from The Queen. This time we have more insight to Blair as presented through his relationship will US President Bill Clinton. Dennis Quaid is believable as Clinton, but Hope Davis shines as Hillary. Doesn't shy away from controversy and paints an even picture of Blair as an idealist, but ultimately a politician through and through.

Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

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