I liked it, but not nearly enough, and as such I confess myself disappointed. Aaron Sorkin has for ever set the bar way too high for any political fiction as far as I'm concerned. Good performances, and the narrative was compelling in very unexpected ways, particularly towards the end.
Once again a pretty poor play adaptation... Either you yawn through the whole movie or you sit back, frustrated by the fact that so many things just happen without any reason what so ever! Gosling is flat and Clooney is hardly in it, but Giamatti is solid as always...
It's an incredible look into the inner workings of a presidential campaign, and probably the best one ever made. It doesn't talk down to the audience, but it doesn't have as much pessimism toward Americans as it probably should.
Great performances and a gripping and well constructed script. My only complaint is that it felt too cynical. That's a little surprising coming from someone who's pretty cynical, and you have to expect it in a movie about politics, but something about the way it was handled seem off to me.
The cast are the main attraction here. Watching Giamatti, PSH and Clooney, three of my favourite actors all perform was an absolute treat. I was close to a total mangasm! Gosling leads the film well, and Clooney again proves himself to be a slick, compact and efficient director. He wisely largely focuses on politics itself rather than party ideology. It's smart, pessimistic, & well written, but this movies limitations are summed up nicely by Shebang in their review.
Well paced coming-of-age drama set in the world of American politics. Story is solid, characters and acting even more so. Transformation that Gosling's character goes through seems a bit fat fetched, but hey, I was rooting for him the same way I was rooting for that kid in Let The Right One In. Very solid middle-weight film, and way more entertaining than I expected it to be.
At the outset it seems like a story concerning idealism versus pragmatism in politics. Ultimately the idealistic campaign manager turns cynical, but it's difficult to buy the impetus for the shift in mentality. The message it imparts is still valid: an individual cannot encapsulate an ideal, so best not put people on pedestals.
I can respect Clooney and co trying to make an intelligent, unapologetically political film for an adult audience here, but there's major veracity issues. One, the implication that a presidential candidate in America could express a disbelief in god and continue to be a presidential candidate. Two, the notion that two rival campaign managers from the same political party having a conversation would be even remotely important enough to write a newspaper article about, let alone become a scandal.
Ryan Gosling is the modern version of James Dean. Handsome, clever, sweet, misunderstood... with a rage inside. He doesn't mind beating people to death, nor have sex, nor just ... be awesome and cool. Also, this is a good film in many other ways.
Despite the great performances, there are some overly-dramatized plot points that are meant to drive the film, but don't seem to be grounded in reality (which it intends to imitate, by citing and casting today's media figures). LIke user Ytadel wrote, the meeting between rival campaign managers wouldn't get a mention in today's 24/7 media. I'm already cynical about politics, but the message nevertheless fell completely flat on me.