The Contender - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Contender Reviews

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Globe and Mail
March 22, 2002
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 8, 2001
| Original Score: 3/5
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David Ansen
Newsweek
January 1, 2000
Silly as it is, The Contender has a lurid zest that keeps you hooked, and a rambunctiously good cast.
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
January 1, 2000
Streetsmart and savvy.
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
January 1, 2000
| Original Score: B
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 1, 2000
What The Contender lacks in sophistication and subtlety, it more than makes up for with sheer verve and chutzpah.
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Bob Graham
San Francisco Chronicle
January 1, 2000
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
January 1, 2000
The film's lively twists are not too difficult to see coming down the road, but the proceedings still hold our attention and keep us wanting to know how it's going to turn out.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
January 1, 2000
An entertaining ringside seat for backroom wannabes and beltway junkies.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
January 1, 2000
An intelligent and informed look at the preposterous ways our leaders are often picked and sabotaged.
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
January 1, 2000
You don't have to be a conservative to feel pushed around by Lurie. All you have to be is a moviegoer who wants a little room to think for him- or herself.
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Charles Taylor
Salon.com
January 1, 2000
Bury itself under a steaming heap of plot contrivance, equivocation and preachiness.
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Emanuel Levy
Variety
January 1, 2000
The large, talented cast elevates the film above the trappings of its loquacious debates.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 1, 2000
The Contender booms and pontificates, full of bravado and that ineffable quality of the current political season, chutzpah.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Jay Carr
Boston Globe
January 1, 2000
Wonderfully cast and slickly directed, but so crudely written as to make its espousing of progressive principles seem crassly exploitative to the point of self-parody.
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
January 1, 2000
What makes this twisty, cautionary yarn ... delicious is a cast that chews the scenery with such obvious enjoyment.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Michael Atkinson
Mr. Showbiz
January 1, 2000
However neatly packaged, The Contender is double-dealing baloney.
| Original Score: 55/100
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Tom Keogh
Film.com
January 1, 2000
The film's very premise, while initially promising, doesn't hold up to lengthy scrutiny.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
January 1, 2000
Intelligent.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Thoroughly engrossing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Robert Horton
Film.com
January 1, 2000
The film looks horrendous, poorly composed and staged, and the rhythm staggers.
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
January 1, 2000
Cheesy.
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Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
January 1, 2000
What it lacks in credibility, it more than makes up for in energy and scandalous wit.
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 1, 2000
A vivid, juicy, thoroughly entertaining movie.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
This is one of those rare movies where you leave the theater having been surprised and entertained, and then start arguing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
January 1, 2000
A landslide winner as an emotionally rewarding drama.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
A major step forward for the director.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
January 1, 2000
Excellent performances in an entertaining if less than totally plausible story.
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 1, 2000
Smart, enjoyable.
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Steven Rosen
Denver Post
January 1, 2000
The hit Primary Colors never was.
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
January 1, 2000
No question, The Contender taps into the modern political zeitgeist. As drama, however, it flails.
| Original Score: 2/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
January 1, 2000
Inane and dishonest.
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John Hartl
Film.com
January 1, 2000
While you're watching it, The Contender lives up to its title.