Swing Vote - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Swing Vote Reviews

Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Tom Charity
CNN.com
October 18, 2008
It's a sentiment Capra might well have echoed, though he would surely have punched up the gags while he was at it.
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 18, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Wally Hammond
Time Out
September 26, 2008
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 4, 2008
Not a bad movie, probably OK to rent on DVD, but I'm saying don't rush to the theaters.
Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The New Republic
August 2, 2008
It is neither appreciably better nor dramatically worse than its hokey, please-describe-me-as-'Capraesque' premise.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
August 1, 2008
One minute you're laughing at its sendup of the political process, and the next you're stricken by the sorry state of the sweet and brainy protagonist's family.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
August 1, 2008
One of the most surprising, politically suggestive movies to come out of Hollywood this year.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
August 1, 2008
As often happens with politics, even as Swing Vote entertains, it leaves us feeling like we've been subjected to some slick manipulation and worse, left with promises unfulfilled.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 1, 2008
Swing Vote, an oddly off-balance comedy directed by Joshua Michael Stern, feels like two movies; one much better than the other.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
August 1, 2008
The mix of comedy and drama is winning; Costner couldn't be better, and the little girl is a find.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
August 1, 2008
Stern and his lead actor do manage to pull it all together at the end.
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 1, 2008
Swing Vote nicely boils down America's political malaise to one man's awakening from a Budweiser stupor and seeing the only thing that matters when you don't pay attention and exercise the franchise on Election Day: You're letting your kid down.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
August 1, 2008
This would-be civics lesson is such an appalling view of American democracy that it could be used as a recruiting film by al Qaeda.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
August 1, 2008
The lightweight Swing Vote is a good-ol'-boy civics lesson that's too scattered to achieve its predictable goals.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
August 1, 2008
The film eventually bogs down in drama, with an unnecessary subplot involving Bud's estranged wife and an ethical dilemma for a local news reporter (Paula Patton) that never really gets off the ground.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
August 1, 2008
Swing Vote is an amiable lug of a movie, part public service announcement, part political satire and part good-old-boy comedy with a spritz of sentiment hanging over the entire enterprise.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
August 1, 2008
The filmmakers want to fashion a civics lesson but they don't bother to include anything of substance.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
August 1, 2008
The undertones of Frank Capra come bubbling to the surface in a smarmy finale complete with French horn and bags of mail from the common folk.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
August 1, 2008
It's 2008. Why are we still microwaving Frank Capra's old casseroles? The movie turns racism, class woes, and social issues into jokes instead of engaging them with intelligence, wit, or a whiff of drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic

Globe and Mail
August 1, 2008
As in so many essentially childish movies, it's an actual child who's always the smartest pants in the room.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
July 31, 2008
Under the direction of co-writer Joshua Michael Stern, it emerges as third-rate Capracorn, leaden and lumpy where it should be swift and pointed.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
July 31, 2008
Swing Vote isn't exactly a toothless political satire. It's something worse: a satire with dentures.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 31, 2008
Swing Vote captures the spirit of an election year when many once-apathetic Americans are keenly interested in the outcome. We have met the enemy and he is us. But so is the hero.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Laura Yao
Washington Post
July 31, 2008
The ridiculous setup is just the skeleton for something more substantial; the flesh of the movie is made of the funny, tender interactions between Bud and his daughter, Molly.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 31, 2008
A disarming political satire perfectly calibrated to the national mood and to its revitalized star.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
July 31, 2008
Swing Vote lopes along and is best taken as a tale of a father and a daughter coming through a rough patch to a better place, rather than anything to do with real-world politics.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 31, 2008
The movie is a genial comedy, but it has significant undertones.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 31, 2008
By the time Bud sincerely apprehends his citizen responsibilities, Swing Vote has swung irrevocably toward condescension.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
July 31, 2008
Smartly written by Jason Richman and Joshua Michael Stern (who also directed), Swing Vote isn't a realistic film -- it veers off course with a subplot involving Molly's absent mother -- but it often has the ring of truth.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
July 31, 2008
After years of misfires, Kevin Costner has hit upon a strategy to make himself likable in a movie: by playing someone completely unlikable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
July 31, 2008
Swing Vote swings wildly between spot-on satire and bold-faced parody without ever quite striking a comfortable balance, and it's nothing if not overstuffed.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 30, 2008
Swing Vote is more subtle and insightful than the dumbed-down comedy the marketing campaign would have us believe it to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
July 30, 2008
Swing Vote is guilty of being the same thing that so many political candidates accuse each other of being: a flip-flopper.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 30, 2008
Funny, animated, appealing in an aw-shucks sort of way, the star milks maximum impact from a unique body language that is refreshingly knock-kneed and bow-legged at the same time.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 29, 2008
American democracy has rarely looked worse than in this unfunny and undramatic comedy-drama.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
July 29, 2008
Graced with a gently cynical spirit and more brains than its average-Joe protagonist, Swing Vote applies a pleasing Frank Capra-esque glaze to the fanciful story of a blue-collar American whose vote ends up being the only one that counts.