Frontrunners - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Frontrunners Reviews

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John P. McCarthy
Boxoffice Magazine
October 17, 2008
In sum, Frontrunners is like the famous New Yorker magazine cover that shows the Big Apple looming in the foreground and the rest of the country as insignificant specks in the distance.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Bill Weber
Slant Magazine
October 13, 2008
Lacking characters as cartoonishly entertaining as the bee geeks in Spellbound, director Caroline Suh doesn't dig deep enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
October 15, 2008
Without forcing comparisons, Frontrunners finds parallels between the election at Stuyvesant High and the current national election.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/5
Robert W. Butler
Kansas City Star
January 9, 2009
The film accurately captures the world of adolescence. But emotionally and intellectually the film walks down the center stripe, picking up little insights while remaining bogged down in blandness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Leo Goldsmith
August 8, 2009
Even an offhand debate between a few students late in the film about whether or not Bush is a "retard," while not exactly insightful, nonetheless portrays a student body for whom politics%u2014or at least arguing about it%u2014is essential.
Edward Douglas
October 17, 2008
A simply-made yet entertaining doc that has a similar appeal as Alexander Payne's Election while following in the vein of docs like American Teen and Spellbound.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.5/10
Top Critic
Reyhan Harmanci
San Francisco Chronicle
October 24, 2008
The film sets just the right tone: with inventive music choices and wonderfully piquant moments plucked from what must have been hundreds of hours of footage, Frontrunners is consistently entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Geoff Berkshire
October 16, 2008
If you're looking for meaningful parallels with the current monumental election don't bother, but it's hard not to enjoy a movie where the primary pundit sports a Flava Flav t-shirt.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
October 15, 2008
Tactfully [keeps] away from actual policy details and emotionally sticky stuff, cutting for punchlines, and overlaying campaigning montages with a playlist shuffle of kazoo-whimsical indie feyness.
Paul Brenner
October 17, 2008
an ebullient celebration of the arcane democratic impulse in this country
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Kim Voynar
April 12, 2008
Precious screen minutes are wasted in Frontrunners with too many scenes of students standing around handing out fliers that end up on the floor or in the trash, and with rambling dialog that goes on too long.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Erik Childress
April 9, 2008
A portrait of insulated America, FrontRunners is a political documentary that for a change doesn't pit left vs. right and invites all partisan followers to enjoy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 15, 2008
These politicians may be teens, but they grapple with constituencies, campaign strategies, and demands on their time with a spirit and seriousness of purpose suitable for the highest office in the land.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 23, 2008
Sure, it's a skewed view through adolescent eyes, but it's one that still speaks to the aspirations, agendas, image-making and spin control behind a real, grown-up political election.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 24, 2008
The kids now know how to play the game of college admissions, but they seem more jaded by their knowledge than entitled to success. And their exasperation with the process, their peers, and themselves is endlessly, illuminatingly watchable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Ronnie Scheib
October 16, 2008
Ultimately, pic's fascination lies with the personalities and strategies of the candidates themselves.
Mark Bell
Film Threat
October 21, 2008
This film couldn't come out in a better time, in a better year.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
October 24, 2008
Perhaps it's the bright, decent, appealing kids seen here, or just the idyllic portrait Suh paints of student life at Manhattan's prestigious Stuyvesant High School that gives the picture its charm.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jay Antani
March 17, 2008
[a]neatly made but, ultimately, tepid high-school election documentary
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Eric Monder
Film Journal International
October 17, 2008
Suh reassures us that democracy is alive and well (dispelling the myth of the apathetic young voter), while making us pause to consider the kind of people who emerge from the system.
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