Swing Vote


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.



Reviews Counted: 148

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 98,284


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3/5

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Movie Info

When the mischievous antics of a precocious 12-year-old girl result in the outcome of the United States presidential election hinging on the vote of her apathetic, likable loser of a father, the man who thought that life had long since passed him by is reluctantly thrust into the national spotlight in this political-themed comedy starring Kevin Costner. Bud Johnson (Costner) is your typical American -- a simple man and loving father who never would have thought he had the power to change the world. Though when election day finally arrives and Bud prepares to cast his ballot, his overachieving daughter Molly proves to be the catalyst for a stunning series of events that place the fate of the free world in the hands of a man more comfortable slinging cases of beer -- her father. The two candidates are portrayed by Dennis Hopper and Kelsey Grammer, with Nathan Lane and Stanley Tucci as their campaign managers. George Lopez also stars as a local TV-station manager who has to deal with the political factions as they set up camp in the small town.

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Dennis Hopper
as Donald Greenleaf
Kevin Costner
as Bud Johnson
Kelsey Grammer
as Pres. Boone
Madeline Carroll
as Molly Johnson
Mare Winningham
as Larissa Johnson
Nathan Lane
as Art Crumb
Paula Patton
as Kate Madison
Stanley Tucci
as Martin Fox
George Lopez
as John Sweeney
Bill Maher
as Himself
Mark Moses
as Attorney General Wyatt
Nana Visitor
as Galena Greenleaf
Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman
as Chief Running Bear
Mary Sue Evans
as Mrs. Abernathy
Adam Taylor Gordon
as Justice Brower
Bruce McIntosh
as Father in Classroom
Tom Romero
as Ad Exec
Aaron Brown
as Himself
Matt Frei
as Himself
Mary Hart
as Herself
Larry King
as Himself
Forrest Fyre
as Ted Drake
Sheila Ivy Traister
as Vermont Reporter #1
Jeremy Jojola
as Vermont Reporter
Suzanne Michaels
as Vermont Reporter #3
Cynthia Ruffin
as Boone Staffer #1
Jason Henning
as Boone Staffer #2
Les Shapiro
as Network Reporter
Chance Romero
as Pizza Delivery Guy
Charles Michael Moore
as UPS Delivery Man
Colin Jones
as KNME Techie
Trista Callander
as Commercial Director
Richard M. Dereyes
as Market Reporter #1
Shauna Clark
as Market Reporter #2
Debra-Jayne Brown
as Market Reporter #3
Price Hall
as Market Reporter #4
Olajida Kashu
as Gay Doctor
Jessica Morin
as Gay Female Cop
Tim Janis
as Gay Soldier
Scott Meyer
as Gay Partner #1
Brent Lambert
as Gay Partner #2
Christopher Dempsey
as Secret Service Agent #1
David Meeker
as Secret Service Agent #2
Janeal Arison
as TV Producer
Madelin Whelpley
as Female Student #1
Alyssa Gutierrez
as Female Student #2
David Midthunder
as Female Student #3
Taylor Warden
as Male Student #1
Angelo Martinez
as Male Student #2
Isaiah Bergert
as Male Student #3
Arron Shiver
as Greenleaf Aide #1
Kate Shroeder
as Greenleaf Aide #2
David Dalton
as Greenleaf Aide #3
Heather Hitt
as Greenleaf Aide #4
Todd Lewis
as ET Segment Producer
Dan Gerrity
as Trailer Reporter #1
Cris Ornelas
as Trailer Reporter #2
Esodie Geiger
as Trailer Reporter #3
Constance Hsu
as Trailer Reporter #4
Katalina Parrish
as Trailer Reporter #5
Joshua Michael Stern
as Commercial Director
Tony Stern
as Gospel Minister
Mara Holguin
as Waitress
John Coinman
as Bud Johnson's Band
Blair Forward
as Bud Johnson's Band
Terry Morgan
as Bud Johnson's Band
Larry Cobb
as Bud Johnson's Band
Charles Park Chisolm
as Bud Johnson's Band
Bobby Yang
as Bud Johnson's Band
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News & Interviews for Swing Vote

Critic Reviews for Swing Vote

All Critics (148) | Top Critics (39)

  • It's a sentiment Capra might well have echoed, though he would surely have punched up the gags while he was at it.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Tom Charity

    Top Critic
  • The film varies between ironic cynicism about the political process and overt whimsy and sentimentality.

    Sep 26, 2008 | Rating: 3/5
  • But away from the cutesy stuff there are some surprisingly sharp digs at the political process.

    Sep 26, 2008 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Top Critic
  • It's like a party political broadcast brought to you by the Idiot Party.

    Sep 26, 2008 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • He shoots simultaneously for 'wake up, America!' inspiration and good ol' boy charm but ends up putting both barrels through his own cowboy-booted foot.

    Sep 26, 2008 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

    Wally Hammond

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Not a bad movie, probably OK to rent on DVD, but I'm saying don't rush to the theaters.

    Aug 4, 2008

Audience Reviews for Swing Vote


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 Hutchinson
Jay Hutchinson

Super Reviewer


Not as bad as most people make it out to be. Yeah, not the best movie around, but it did have its' funny and sweet moments.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

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 Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


In spite of a pretty darned good performance by Costner, the film is pretentious, overblown, unbelievable and just plain obvious. Problems: Costner's charactor the "average Joe" (not the plummer) - an alchololic slacker has a daughter that is consciencious, overly brite and more mature than he is. Hmm, must be mom's genes? Nope, she leaves the family to persue a career as a country singer (so not a rocket scientist either). I simply did not feel it was possible for the daughter to be who she was with the kind of parenting she had. There are a few witty scenes lampooning the political process and how far we've all fallen in the media age (reminded me vaguely of "wag the dog"); where it becomes not about the issues but about who comes off better on tv. Kelsey Grammer does a good job as the reigning president, a baffoon on the surface, but revealing a deeper, weary of the games, side that is poignant. Dennis Hopper is wasted as the "opposition", and Stanley Tucci and Nathan Lane have not much room to operate as the opposing campaign managers. That a couple of 12 year old kids can go driving around, even in a small town, is absurd - as is the entire premiss of the film. When the film does finally take a detour into the darkness of humanity; having the daughter arrive on Mom's doorstep, only to find out that she is a drug addict and doesn't want her around - it takes one riviting scene and then backs out of the situation completly once Costner shows up. Sad - but even with a few more well thought out scenes like that one, the film is still a mess - trying to thrust the local hispanic reporter into the mix as a potential buddy/love interest, like so much of the film, is simply misguided.

paul sandberg
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

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