Swing Vote 2008

Swing Vote

Critics Consensus

Despite Kevin Costner providing his most charismatic performance in years, Swing Vote fails to find the right mix of political satire and heartfelt drama.

38%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 151

41%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 98,273

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Movie Info

Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner), a beer-slinging loser, has one bright spot in his life: his precocious daughter, Molly (Madeline Carroll), who takes care of them both. However, on Election Day, Molly sets off an unforeseen chain of events that results in the race for the presidency coming down to just one vote: her father's.

Cast & Crew

Kevin Costner
Bud Johnson
Madeline Carroll
Molly Johnson
Paula Patton
Kate Madison
Kelsey Grammer
President Andrew Boone
Dennis Hopper
Donald Greenleaf
George Lopez
John Sweeney
Mare Winningham
Larissa Johnson
Jason Richman
Screenwriter
Robin Jonas
Executive Producer
Ted Field
Executive Producer
Terry Dougas
Executive Producer
Shane Hurlbut
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Swing Vote

Critic Reviews for Swing Vote

All Critics (151) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (58) | Rotten (93)

Audience Reviews for Swing Vote

  • Aug 17, 2010
    Not only is the Capra-esque comedy Swing Vote overlong, it is also overdone. During one scene near the very beginning, the drunken apathetic main character literally bangs his head on a sign that reads “Vote Today.” And the audience, of course, also gets knocked over the head with such heavy-handedness…all through the picture. This overstatement proves unfortunate too—the movie has likeability in spades. If only the writer/director had extended his audience a little credit. In the PG-13 comedy Swing Vote, Costner plays a laid-back slacker who is suddenly thrust into the national spotlight when the presidential election comes down to one…single…vote. When both candidates (Hopper, Kelsey Grammer) show up in small-town New Mexico, however, this slacker must sober up and make a decision. And by Capra-esque, this reviewer meant the sentimental works of one of H'Wood’s all-time greatest Golden Age directors, Frank Capra. Not only did this man give moviegoers It Happened One Night, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, he also gave us Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a classic piece of Americana pitting one unlikely everyman against the tyranny of crooked politics. Swing Vote delivers a somewhat similar scenario, yes, but it also spoons out excessive amounts of a precocious daughter, an Afterschool Special-type lesson on the importance of voting, and a long running time. A game cast (especially Costner) almost makes this reviewer want to recast his vote. With all of these sticking points reporting, however, the prospects look grim indeed. Bottom line: Bad politics.
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 30, 2010
    The only redeeming quality of this sad, sad excuse for film is the potential of the young Carroll, however poorly the laughably puerile script may have utilized her ability.
    Jay H Super Reviewer
  • May 12, 2010
    Bud (Kevin Costner) is a lowlife drunken single parent to his young daughter, Molly whose trail of broken promises and shattered dreams comes to a head when he fails to place his vote in the Presidential election. Molly sees it as important and, while waiting for her father to not show up as usual, sneaks into the polling station and tries to cast her father's vote for him ? only to be foiled by a sudden power outage. She runs home, leaving the ballot in the machine and thinks no more of it. Problem is, the election is a perfect 50/50 split of votes cast and, with Bud's vote technically restricted by the system, he legally has the right to vote again within the next ten days ? essentially putting the result of the Presidential race in his hands. Kelsey Grammar is good as the president and Dennis Hopper plays a believable challenger. I guess this movie is a warning shot to America reminding us all how important it is that we vote and take part in the whole electoral system.
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 25, 2010
    A funny farce that is also quite touching and very Capraesque. The central gimmick is not really possible (more than likely), but the film explains it in a way that almost makes it believable. The ending is not important. The journey matters more than the destination. The large and notable cast (including numerous cameos) are terrific. Costener is great, but Madeiline Carroll gives the stand out performance. Do yourself a favor and see this funny and inspiring tale about personal responsibility, and why it matters to not be apathetic.
    Chris W Super Reviewer

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