Knife Fight (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

If a political candidate is personally flawed, but stands to make a positive difference in millions of lives, would you help him win? That question looms over the life of "true believer" Paul Turner (Rob Lowe), a savvy strategist sharply maneuvering politicians out of scandal and into public office. With the help of a bright young assistant (Jamie Chung) and a seedy operative (Richard Schiff), Turner spins every news cycle and a shrewd reporter (Julie Bowen) on behalf of his clients: a philandering Kentucky governor (Eric McCormick), a blackmailed California senator (David Harbour), and an idealistic doctor turned gubernatorial candidate (Carrie-Anne Moss). When the ugly side of Turner's work begins to haunt him, he learns that even in the bloodiest of battles, sometimes you have to fight clean. (c) IFC Films
R (for language and some sexual content/nudity)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Rob Lowe
as Paul Turner
Julie Bowen
as Peaches O'Dell
Jamie Chung
as Kerstin
David Harbour
as Stephen
Eric McCormack
as Larry Lincoln Becker
Carrie-Anne Moss
as Penelope
Richard Schiff
as Dimitris
Amanda Crew
as Helena
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Knife Fight

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (10)

Lowe's Paul is slimy, but, lo and behold, we are supposed to believe that he smells like a rose. He really wants to make the world a better place. His sentiments may be genuine but they come across as a con.

Full Review… | January 25, 2013
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Meanders aimlessly around too-familiar territory.

Full Review… | January 24, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

An improbable fantasy in which the people who make political advertising emerge as chisel-jawed heroes of democracy.

Full Review… | January 24, 2013
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Whether playing it sleazy or noble, Mr. Lowe brings little emotional weight to his role.

January 24, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

[An] underwhelming, would-be political satire.

Full Review… | January 24, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Soulless and two-dimensional, Knife Fight is a black hole of disillusion and spin.

Full Review… | January 24, 2013
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Knife Fight


In "Knife Fight," Paul Turner(Rob Lowe) is an expert political fixer based in California. Currently, he has to get Stephen Green(David Harbour), a client and current US Senator, through a sex scandal while being unaware of Kentucky Governor Larry Becker(Eric McCormack), another client, fooling around. That leaves him little time to listen to Dr. Penelope Nelson(Carrie-Anne Moss) who wants to run for governor of California. "Knife Fight" has certain things going for it, including a good cast, especially a charismatic Rob Lowe in the lead and Saffron Burrows who steals whatever brief scenes she is in. And it does make some good points about the way campaigns focus on sex instead of the issues, while admittedly not bringing up anything about campaign financing. Just as Paul lectures Penelope rightfully about politics being a knife fight, he somehow fails to bring up that unless one is really, really privileged, one should not start out one's political career on the state level. That's not to mention the movie failing to adequately juggle its three storylines nor making much sense in the end..

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Rob Lowe's performance is the best reason to check out this film. It's been awhile since I have seen Rob in a really good role in a good film. I am happy he is back with this one. The film reminded me of movies like Wag the Dog, Primary Colors, and Swing Vote. The film is predictable but I found it very entertaining. Eric McCormack also does a great supporting job here. So does Carrie Anne Moss, Richard Schiff, and Jamie Chung. I definitely recommend this film.

Sol C
Sol C

Super Reviewer


I am so glad that I gave this movie a chance. Normally political movies are things to avoid, but the cast convinced me to watch it. This story is less about the politics and more about the people. The characters were wonderful and the ending was great.

Heather Metzger
Heather Metzger

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