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Absolute Power (1997)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  14 February 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 37,775 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 140 user | 76 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A career thief witnesses a horrific crime involving the U.S. President.



(book), (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Collin
Walter Sullivan
Christy Sullivan
Sandy Lord (as Ken Welsh)
Laura Simon (as Penny Johnson)
Michael McCarty
Red Brandsford
Art Student


Based on the novel by David Baldacci, Absolute Power is about the ruthlessness of people in power. The President believes that everything he does is beyond reproach, including an affair or two. That leads to murder and everyone around him is involved. There is only one witness, a thief named Luther Whitney. They are sure he'll talk, but when? The Secret Service is determined to keep him quiet, but catching a thief isn't always easy. Written by Kristie Murray <hankm@cris.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Corrupts Absolutely.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Poder absoluto  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 2,426,607,000 (Italy) (30 May 1997)


$50,007,168 (USA) (13 June 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Clint Eastwood has said of this film's development: "I was sent the script by the production team at Castle Rock and I liked it immediately. It was written by William Goldman who is one of the best screenwriters around. He had nicely tightened up the story from the book to fit into a film format while keeping the characters well defined and interesting people". See more »


While Leland is making a telephone call the line is ringing, but he is still dialing numbers. See more »


Walter Sullivan: I don't yet know who it is I'm after. Until I do, you'll have to wait in Washington for instructions.
Michael McCarty: I'm afraid that's out of the question. Mine is not particularly creative work, and I do it only because I enjoy living beyond my means. I can't afford to just sit around.
Walter Sullivan: My father died when I was nine years old. He was a miner. He died of lung disease. I became rich at twenty-five, and the first thing I did was to buy that mine, close it down, and give every miner fifty thousand dollars to ...
See more »


Kate's Theme
Composed by Clint Eastwood
Orchestrated and conducted by Lennie Niehaus
See more »

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User Reviews

tense powerful crime and brilliance from Eastwood
17 December 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Narrative.

A consistent plot involving many different types of characters in the form of organised professional robber Whitney (Marvellously portrayed by Eastwood) who is involved in a huge conspiracy involving the very uncomfortable president Hackman.

Perhaps the story gets too involved at points with a lack of realism. However the film is always tense and engaging, especially the beginning which was definitely one of my all time favourite openings to a crime film. Tense, exciting and with a few twists it presents a realistic view of a robber caught up in what will surely be a huge case.

The story justifies the genre by being focused upon murders and robberies and adds sentimental value in the form of family and friendship values. Laura Linney (The Truman Show) is terrific as Eastwood's daughter and adds a great sentimental value to a heavy crime film. She is involved in a great twists towards the end which is a must watch.

The ending surprised me. Although there were great twists, the final few scenes and the way the narrative came to never felt quite justified in my opinion but then again I may have been expecting too much from a film that was consistent and engaging from the beginning. The film is always kept exciting through the tense robbery scenes, character actions and a plot about a man and his power.


Eastwood's direction is simply breathtaking. The opening sequence where he explores the neatly kept mansion for his robbery is the best moment in the entire film; I was literally on the edge of my seat. Dark, quiet and with a grace that any director would be proud of I held my breathe from start to finish. Heavy critics may argue it conforms too much to an action styled genre with many shots appearing focusing in or around the main priority but I appreciated it for what it was, which was sheer brilliance.

Eastwood is outstanding in the whole of this film. Not only his ability to pull off a stern ageing character but this direction is also worthy of huge praise.

watch it if...you enjoy the crime genre and appreciate tense dramatic sequences.

but its simply just worth watching for the beginning.

15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
I'm confused about how the movie ended alcatab
Ridiculous Plot dmiller2000
Wonderful Scene Between Clint Eastwood and Ed Harris darrendebari
How come he did not recognize the president earlier? sunshinde
5 Star Cast. 5 Star Storyline. But does the ending let it down? chriskgee
Who is the woman watching the ending press conference? introubleagain
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