1999, Comedy, 1h 43m114 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings
What to know
Election successfully combines dark humor and intelligent writing in this very witty and enjoyable film. Read critic reviews
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Rate And Review
Cast & Crew
James T. 'Jim' McAllister
Tracy Enid Flick
Principal Walter 'Walt' F. Hendricks
Judith R. Flick
News & Interviews for Election
Critic Reviews for Election
Broderick gives a wonderfully nebbishy performance, and the filmmakers do a fine job of using visual cues to define the smallness of his world.September 30, 2019 | Full Review…
The comedy may not resonate as deeply as the well-named Payne intends, but between Witherspoon's exuberant solipsism and Broderick's talent for absorbing massive humiliation, the chuckles keep coming like poisoned darts.March 3, 2018 | Full Review…
The treatment of this touchy material is impressive, neither gratuitous nor mincing, but this 1999 satirical comedy doesn't really go anywhere.
An instant classic, Alexander Payne's 1999 high school comedy seems even more scathing now that we're losing control of our own election machinery.
Election at first has the feel of a simple work. But don't let that fool you; it's a complex, deep tale.
You've got to laugh at Witherspoon's tightly wound Little Miss Perfect, rising at dawn to do her hair and encase herself in a preppy look before baking cupcakes to pass out at school as vote-getters in her campaign for student council president.August 25, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Audience Reviews for Election
Sep 30, 2015Election is the type of satire where one is more likely to wince than laugh. It is a bit dark and edgy and is reminiscent of American Beauty. The performances are good, though a bit overwrought. Election, while not thoroughly enjoyable, is a still a remarkable film.Robert B Super Reviewer
Jan 23, 2015Yesterday was a terrible day for me, so I put off this review for a while to gather my bearings. I digress, so moving on. Now the only 90s intellectual high school comedy that I've left to watch is Rushmore. Perhaps intellectual is a wrong description for this film, it definitely very smart indeed. But I think intellectual implies that it might go over people's heads. And I don't wanna say the story is 'simple', because it's not, but this movie has a great way of telling its story. Great in the sense that it's easy to get into and it's easy to invest. This isn't exactly what I would call broad comedy, but I think it would still be enjoyed by people who don't even appreciate this kind of film. That's how well-written it is. Of course, it also helps when you have Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick as your leads. Both are perfectly cast here and they play off of each other very well. Granted, the film keeps their stories separate for the most but they, obviously, intersect. At first, McAllister pressures Paul to join the race as a hollow way of given the 'voters' some options as Tracy was running unopposed. But, as the film and election campaign progresses, and his life falling apart, McAllister starts to play a more active role in actively trying to make sure that Tracy does not win the election because of how annoying she is. And Reese Witherspoon plays the role to perfection, but she's not entirely unlikable as I believe her motivations are believable. First of all, her mother has put this enormous pressure on her to succeed in life, which can't be easy at that age, and her desire to be president is mostly due to the fact that she thinks it would bring her friends. It, obviously, didn't go that way as Tracy's personality can certainly come on a little strong sometimes. But, as mentioned, Reese plays this to perfection. Matthew is excellent as well as this mild-mannered, likable, and good teacher who, for one reason or another, finds himself obsessed with this election even as his life goes down the tubes due to an affair. There's narration from all characters involved and McAllister's was easily the best because what he said typically never matched up with what was actually going on in the film. He'll be telling a story about his affair with Linda got started and the complications that brought and he'll end it with 'You could say my life was going really well'. His cheery optimism even in the face of being forced to live in a way too expensive, yet small, apartment, a shitty job as a museum guide, being forced to move away from his city because of the scandal at the school, and losing his wife is something to behold. It's certainly funny. And, of course, the satire on the nature of politics and elections is not lost on me. It's certainly a very smart film and one with more on its mind than meets the eye. But I digress, this is a very good movie and it's certainly underrated among 90s comedies. I'd definitely recommend it if you have Netflix. And even if you don't. It's worth watching.Jesse O Super Reviewer
Jan 08, 2014An amusing satirical film that may take us more than one viewing to grasp its subtle, dark humor and the sharp irony of what it wants to say involving ethics and morality - and it benefits immensely from some very nuanced characters played by the actors in excellent performances.Carlos M Super Reviewer
Jan 31, 2013A very quirky and intelligent dark comedy with a breakout role from Reese Witherspoon, Election is as funny as it is original, and both Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick play their characters with the utmost comic precision. One of Alexander Payne's best films, although Sideways still stands out as the best of his work.Joey S Super Reviewer
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