Election - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Election Reviews

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July 13, 2017
Much like Network, Alexander Payne's satire of American politics devolved into a literal prophecy of what America was becoming. A clever criticism of both Republican and Democratic parties, with a wild card third party, Election should be required viewing not just by politicians - but by all people who fancy themselves intelligent voters. To date, Payne's least subtle film is still surprisingly his best. Later works, with the exception of Sideways, focused on adapting to midlife maturity with detached patriotism and a defeatist sense of humor. Election, for its time and still today, remains a marvelous comic book that skewered stereotypes and made a greater point about petty bipartisan feuding. All that aside, I still loved this movie because I consider it an unofficial sequel to Ferris Buehler, one where the little stinker gets his comeuppance.

I'm sure cinema purists will fault me for leaving off Hannibal Lector and The Silence of the Lambs, but I was much more terrified by an over-achieving, duplicitous high school girl in Alexander Payne's "Election" than I was at a hammy, cannibalizing version of Richard Burton. Payne's movies eschew messages in favor of dark satire, but they are filled to the brim with social commentary. Tracy Flick is the ideal United States politician. Motivated, self-aggrandizing, manipulative-and now, unfortunately, completely in control of your life. Bonus points for humbling the once great and deliciously villainous Ferris Bueller, this time reincarnated as Matthew Broderick's poor and underachieving school teacher Jim McAllister. Comeuppance is a bitch, ain't she?
½ June 28, 2017
Election is a funny, well written, and a political satire. Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon are both great. The pacing is great. This is more than just your run in the mill comedy. This film has heart and is very funny. You should definitely give this film a chance.
½ June 20, 2017
It was interesting and inteligent at times, but I was not a big fan of the execution. It had some interesting film techniques (like some of the ways the film was shot or the different narrators) but I was not a big fan of some of them, because I thought they looked cheap, but maybe it is that the movie has not aged well (in techniques at least, because in tematic it stills holds up pretty well). Also, although I thought Reese's performance was great, the rest of the cast were pretty dull, especially Chris Klein. Again, this is an interesting film with a great premise, but an execution that dissapointed me.
May 8, 2017
Very underrated comedy with good performances all around and lots of funny comedy.
May 6, 2017
Dark, yet entertaining and well made despite its adult humor.
April 7, 2017
Funny, entertaining, well cast.
½ April 3, 2017
Good acting, especially Reese Witherspoon. Dark comedy. Not a feel good movie. More dark side of human nature again.
April 2, 2017
Meh. Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick are great actors but this movie is awfully vulgar.
February 2, 2017
It's good movie to watch
January 15, 2017
funny how I come across this film 2 months after our actual election and now in the soon to be Donald trump era. Way back in 1999 Alexander Payne took a bold move in making a satire of the election process and even went as far as making the basis of this film, a high school election. While the film is its offbeat but very well done. Its both a film that young adults can enjoy but even older adult figures can find correlations with the real thing that we see today.
This 2nd film from Payne revolves around a high school teacher named Jim Mcallister and a young overachiever named Tracy Flick. the high school is getting ready to have its annual election and what seems like it will be a normal event becomes ever the more complicated due to the unusual contenders. This sets off a chain of humorous events that again makes things complicated for all involved.
Very interesting script by Payne. He has a unique style of story telling that translates into these quirky but substantial films we see on screen. the themes of morals and ethics are very prominent here in this story and it correlates with elections of all kinds. The narration was a nice addition to the story and helped with the feel of the film. The film makes you actually think back to your own student elections in high school and what some kids may have done to get a spot on the council.
matthew Broderick is exceptional here. he seemed to fit into this role like a glove. this was such a well written character and Broderick really went for it here and gave us a guy desperately trying to involve himself in a positive way in the lives of his students but things just keep getting more complicated. Reese witherspoon delivers a terrific comedic performance here. Her humorous and spunky take on this obnoxious student is incredible and makes me think twice about how funny she can be after her horrendeous role in legally blonde. she also really nails the Midwestern accent. She is the films true highlight!
His direction here is no different. the camera choices and images used all make for a different kind of political story. Very well timed editing and good lighting as well.
This is without a doubt one of the real great flicks in the career of this unique director.
Super Reviewer
½ November 26, 2016
An 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.
November 22, 2016
Nice but inconsistent, unreasonable, almost senseless plot. Porky's reminiscences
November 4, 2016
One of the funniest I've ever seen. I saw this movie years ago and I just re-watched it. I couldn't resist with what I call the Election from Hell that is happening this coming Tuesday. This is a wicked satire about a high school election. A young Reese Witherspoon plays Tracy Flick an overachiever to end all overachievers (possibly Hilary Clinton started off like this to some degree) who hopes to become student body president of her high school. But not if history teacher Jim McCallister can help it. He has a grudge against Tracy (and he also lusts after her) because she had an affair with another teacher who he was good friends, with, who lost his job because of it and wrecked his marriage because of it. McCallister's own marriage is having difficulties as well. He cons the nice but dumb injured jock to run against her. Then the jock's younger lesbian sister runs for it too causing all kinds of chaos. I recommend for those who like edgy comedies.
½ October 16, 2016
A fun, intelligent quasi-Shakespearean tragedy. You know McAllister is doomed from the start, but you have to see how the story plays out anyway.
½ October 8, 2016
I despised almost every character in this movie!
Indeed I remember a real life counterpart of almost all of them from my own school days!
So I think it's fair to say the movie did what it set out to do uncannily well!
½ July 12, 2016
Election (1999) C-103m. ??? 1/2
Excellent comedy of complicated high school teacher Broderick who has outrageous love affair with two psychotic women and has an unqualified hatred for bloviating Witherspoon, who strives to become school president. Ingenious screenplay (written by Jim Taylor and director Payne) is wickedly funny, always on-target, and somehow, given the admittedly serious ingredients, avoids mean-spiritedness. Broderick is great, but Witherspoon is the standout. Broderick's most accomplished comedy to date.
½ April 30, 2016
Man, this film is SO much sharper than I remember.
½ April 26, 2016
Political satire that uses a high school student body election as its backdrop. What ensues is a clever and genuinely tale of lust, jealousy and political correctness in middle America. Broderick delivers a career performance as a principal who despises a student and finds glory in watching her lose.
April 23, 2016
It's not very funny, but has excellent writing and direction from Alexander Payne, and an oscar worthy performance from Reese Witherspoon who completely owns her character. Matthew Broderick and Chris Klein also give great performances, but there characters are not as interesting as Reese's, and you also care about her character more. This will be a disappointment to people expecting a hilarious comedy, (especially since it was put on a list as the number one funniest screenplay of all time) but they won't be let down and will still like it.
½ April 18, 2016
"Election" is a very funny, very witty comedy with, sadly, no destination.
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