The Campaign (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Campaign (2012)



Critic Consensus: Its crude brand of political satire isn't quite as smart or sharp as one might hope in an election year, but The Campaign manages to generate a sufficient number of laughs thanks to its well-matched leads.

Movie Info

When long-term congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs plot to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district. Their man: na´ve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center. At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice but, with the help of his new benefactors' support, a cutthroat campaign manager and his family's political connections, he soon becomes a contender who gives the charismatic Cam plenty to worry about. As Election Day closes in, the two are locked in a dead heat, with insults quickly escalating to injury until all they care about is burying each other, in this mud-slinging, back-stabbing, home-wrecking comedy. -- (C) Warner Bros.more
Rating: R (for crude sexual content, language and brief nudity)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Adam McKay, Shane Harwell, Chris Henchy, Shawn Harwell
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 30, 2012
Box Office: $86.9M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Will Ferrell
as Cam Brady
Zach Galifianakis
as Marty Huggins
Dylan McDermott
as Tim Wattley
Katherine LaNasa
as Rose Brady
Sarah Baker
as Mitzi Huggins
John Lithgow
as Glenn Motch
Dan Aykroyd
as Wade Motch
Brian Cox
as Raymond Huggins
Grant S. Goodman
as Clay Huggins
Kya Haywood
as Dylan Huggins
Madison Wolfe
as Jessica Brady
Jack McBrayer
as Mr. Mendenhall
Elizabeth Berkes
as Mrs. Mendenhall
Aaron Jay Rome
as Intern Jason
Bobby Tisdale
as Huggins Supporter
Wolf Blitzer
as Himself
Piers Morgan
as Himself
Bill Maher
as Himself
Willie Geist
as Himself
Ed Schultz
as Himself
Ed Schultz
as Himself
P.J. Byrne
as Rick - Ad Agency Guy
Patrick Weathers
as Old Councilman
Gerry May
as Carter Baines
Tzi Ma
as Mr. Zheng
Bill Martin Williams
as Senator Lloyd
Danny Vinson
as Elder Dan
Scott A. Martin
as Wes - Cam Brady Supp...
Rob Mariano
as Boston Rob
Randy Bachman
as Himself (Bachman & T...
Randy Bachman
as Himself (Bachman & T...
Mick Dalla-Vee
as Himself (Bachman & T...
Marc La France
as Himself (Bachman & T...
Marc La France
as Himself (Bachman & T...
Brent Howard Knudsen
as Himself (Bachman & T...
Brent Howard Knudsen
as Himself (Bachman & T...
Charles Frederick Tu...
as Himself (Bachman & T...
J.D. Evermore
as State Official
Matt Borel
as Rainbowland Moderato...
Millard Darden
as Moderator Carl Terry
Mikki Val
as Town Hall Moderator
Ramona Tyler
as Reporter Brenda Brit...
Steve Wilkins
as Reporter Darren
Rowan Joseph
as Reporter Gary
Dane Rhodes
as Working-Class Man
Trey Burvant
as Man at Debate
Joe Chrest
as Rainbowland Audience
Cranston Clements
as Pentecostal Band
Cranston Clements
as Pentecostal Band
Johnny Vidacovich
as Pentecostal Band
Tommy Malone
as Pentecostal Band
Tommy Malone
as Pentecostal Band
Peaches Davis
as Mrs. Cutler
George Young
as Choir Director
Stephanie Dotson
as Choir Soloist
Dylan DePaula
as Young Cam
Seth Morris
as Confession Husband
Tara Copeland
as Confession Wife
Frank Drank
as Biker Guy
Luka Jones
as Biker Guy
Paul Zies
as Biker Guy
Early Whitesides
as Elderly Man
Leslea Fisher
as Election Night Girl
Steve Tom
as Congressman
Catherine Shreves
as Anchor Rachel
Amber Dawn Landrum
as Punched Baby's Mothe...
Dustan Costine
as Police Officer
Tim Hickey
as Patriotic Passerby
Fred Turner
as Himself (Bachman & T...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Campaign

Critic Reviews for The Campaign

All Critics (207) | Top Critics (43)

The leads do fine work, but the screenplay bizarrely reduces Ferrell to straight man for much of the film.

Full Review… | April 9, 2016

It's the most infuriating kind of comedy, one that keeps flirting with sharp ideas, only to retreat into barn-door-broad buffoonery.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

It even has something like a brain with awareness of the world outside the film, and that is too rare of a commodity in American film comedy in the 2010s.

Full Review… | December 25, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

You keep waiting for the movie to say something, to find that extra level of inspiration we've seen each of these two guys reach. Or at least to justify making a political comedy in the first place.

Full Review… | June 23, 2013

It is meticulously bipartisan in its ridicule, from the right's embrace of God and guns, to the left's disingenuous stance against fat cats and big money.

Full Review… | May 26, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

The problem with situation comedy movies in general - and Will Ferrell vehicles such as The Campaign in particular - is that they usually fizzle out after the first 30 minutes.

Full Review… | April 21, 2013

Audience Reviews for The Campaign

An average satire of the cancerous political platform known as the campaign for public office, with two of the most powerful comedic titans of the industry (Will Ferrell, Zack Galifianakis) at the helms. It starts to head in the right direction near its conclusion, but sadly it is already too late. Ferrell sports another over the top performance that we are all used to, while Galifianakis and his silly southern accent are not as utilized. Americans need a movie with a ferocious political bite like say, "Wag the Dog", especially now, when the future of our country looks bleak. Sadly, "The Campaign" is not that beast, instead it comes across as somewhat likable but largely forgettable, and probably a film that should have been on Ferrell's "Funny or Die" website as a 5-10 minute sketch, not an hour and a half long film.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer


A real riot. This movie gets my vote. A raunchy, wild and hilarious comedy. Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell are comedy gold together. A super funny satire that packs plenty of laughs and a great cast. Dylan McDermott and Jason Sudeikis are terrific. A really funny good time. Over the top fun from start to finish.

Al S

Super Reviewer


Not Ferrell's best turn, but he's done much worse. And Zach Galifianakis isn't doing much you haven't seen before, rolling his Seth Galifianakis character into his role as bumpkin-cum-politician Marty Huggins. But what you see really is what you get: two talented comic foils going at each other for 90 minutes. The story is a bit thin but the supporting cast is also funny. There can be only one Anchorman in Ferrell's career - even if he is making a sequel - and this isn't it. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the movie. It's a comedy... laugh already.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

The Campaign Quotes

Mitch: What's it all about?
Cam Brady: America, Jesus, freedom.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Marty Huggins: Bring your brooms because it's a mess.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Marty Huggins: Dad, if you're still holdin' a grudge because I wore crocs to Mom's funeral, like I've told a thousand times, I'm sorry. Mom would have wanted it that way. She was casual.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (3 years ago)
Cam Brady: You know the difference between your Mom and washin' machine? When I dump a load in the washin' machine it doesn't follow me around for three weeks.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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