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The Candidate may not get all the details right when it comes to modern campaigning, but it captures political absurdity perfectly -- and boasts typically stellar work from Robert Redford to boot.
All Critics (30)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (26)
| Rotten (4)
If this candidate doesn't prove to be a winner, I'll demand a recount.
Neither the authentic political atmosphere nor canny performances by Redford, Boyle and Porter go far to cut through the basic glibness of the film.
Much of it has a pleasing air of accuracy. But Redford's inability to suggest any irony about himself finally sinks it -- it's the only sanctimonious satire you'll ever see.
Redford fancies himself so superior to the electoral process that he ends up with a completely fatuous characterization of a politician.
Redford's superior acting talents, which not-often-enough are tapped by the scripts he decides to do, are nearly all on display herein in a virtuoso peformance.
Ritchie and Redford's follow-up to Downhill Racer is one of the more intelligent films to have been made about political machinations in America.
It is full of political insights, of ironic humor. It shows an understanding of words that mean nothing. What the script lacks is definition of people as people. It stacks its deck. McKay is too charming, too nice, his rival too much a villain.
With Redford giving one of his best comedic performances, helped by a Oscar winning script, The Candidate is witty and charming, while looking good and proving quite memorable.
Robert Redford's engaging performance here breathes fresh life into the all-power-corrupts theme, and the sharply observed situations won an Oscar for scriptwriter Jeremy Larner.
[The Candidate] is the best film about American electioneering politics since The President's Analyst.
The result is a fascinating film that sometimes feels like a documentary. Despite minor glitches, this is a prophetic glimpse of politics in the age of TV.
Good early intro to the political machinery behind the candidates, where the emphasis is clearly only focused on winning
A left-wing lawyer runs for the Senate, but the campaign forces him to make concessions in his values.
Robert Redford, with his natural sense of integrity and propriety, is at his best in this film because we get to see that integrity slowly crumble. The change is subtle -- sometimes too subtle, to the point that the film's plot isn't fully realized -- but it's there. The film's plot follows McKay's campaign, and as the process of getting elected strips McKay of his principles, the political process is appropriately satirized. The best part of the film is the famous last line: "What do we do now?" which is a quote echoed by many a modern politician.
Overall, while I think the film's subtlety worked against it at points, the overall message is ahead of its time.
A satirical and modern political chronicle.
A lot of fun. Reminds me of Bulworth, but not quite as good.
I recently re-watched this movie, and I didn't like it so much, but if you are interested in politics, unlike me, you'll like it better than I do. Redford gives a good performance, and he's even kind of funny at times. The main problem is that in most scenes there are lots of people talking all at once. Overall, it's a good story and all, though.
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