Primary Colors - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Primary Colors Reviews

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Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
Dramatically weak.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Garth Franklin
Dark Horizons
April 2, 2005
| Original Score: 1/5
Top Critic
Derek Adams
Time Out
June 24, 2006
As satire, it's toothless and indulgent; as drama of conscience, it's not a patch on real life...
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
June 18, 2002
Like the politicians it criticizes, the film loses sight of its ideals.
Full Review| Original Score: 2/4
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
November 3, 2008
The film owes a few doggie bones to "Wag the Dog," which came first in pointing out what Primary Colors only seconds.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
January 1, 2000
The movie loses something by downplaying the book's arresting contrast between Stanton's smooth dishonesty and Picker's raw sincerity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk
February 27, 2001
The book was explicit in its indictment of Clinton (or his clone or whatever), but the movie, while keeping most of the storyline the same and many of the scenes literally verbatim, still manages to tiptoe around the issue of personal responsibility.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
January 1, 2000
The film seldom displays much in the way of directorial hallmarks.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
January 1, 2000
A slack, tepid picture stuck in a no man's land between satire and drama.
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Film.com
January 1, 2000
There are piecemeal wonders in Primary Colors, but not the grand and resonant vision the film should have been.
Top Critic
January 1, 2000
It's hard for me fully to express how deeply rotten I think Primary Colors is. Adjectives like 'glib,' 'coarse,' and 'sour' don't fully do it.
Steve Davis
Austin Chronicle
January 1, 2000
A mush of oversimplified ethics.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
January 1, 2000
Doesn't know when to quit while it's ahead.
Top Critic
Jeff Millar
Houston Chronicle
January 1, 2000
May and Nichols may not be right for the material, especially the Searching for Jimmy Stewart component, which feels more labored as the film proceeds.
Barbara Shulgasser
San Francisco Examiner
January 1, 2000
The sad part is that while any old hack could have directed Primary Colors about as well as Nichols did, the kinds of movies that only Mike Nichols' brains and sensibility could produce hardly ever get made anymore.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
July 31, 2002
...hardly important but well-made and ultimately life-affirming
Full Review| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
The movie is endlessly inventive and involving.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
James Rocchi
Netflix
November 7, 2002
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Kevin Lally
Film Journal International
January 1, 2000
As is often the case in a Mike Nichols film, even the smallest roles are beautifully cast and performed, and production values are top-of-the-line.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
February 14, 2001
Travolta's warmth and expansiveness effectively amplify and embellish the likable and personable side of Stanton.
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