The Contender (2000)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  13 October 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 20,073 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 369 user | 134 critic | 35 from

Senator Laine Hanson is a contender for US Vice President, but information and disinformation about her past surfaces that threatens to de-rail her confirmation.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 20 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Hathaway
Oscar Billings
Paige Willomina
Fiona Hathaway
Noah Fryrear ...


A political thriller about Laine Hanson, a senator who is nominated to become Vice President following the death of the previous office holder. During the confirmation process, Laine is the victim of a vicious attack on her personal life in which stories of sexual deviancy are spread. She is torn as to whether she should fight back, or stick to her high principles and refuse to comment on the allegations. Written by Ted Johnson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes you can assassinate a leader without firing a shot. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

13 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La conspiración  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,363,900 (USA) (13 October 2000)


ESP 69,024,815 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Jeff Bridges; and three Oscar nominees: Gary Oldman, Joan Allen and Mariel Hemingway. See more »


When Runyon and Webster are speaking for the first time, they pass a room in which a chandelier that appears to have a black flag (a piece of grip equipment used to block glare from lights) attached to it. See more »


[first lines]
Jack Hathaway: Well, I bet you've been getting a lot of Churchills. Probably Mandela. Some DeGaulles. But I'd have to go with Anwar Sadat.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For our daughters See more »


Featured in The 73rd Annual Academy Awards (2001) See more »


Something Peculiar
Written and performed by Julianna Raye
Courtesy of Ziffy Music
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User Reviews

A very accurate portrayal of women in politics

The Contender is a film with the potential to take any conscientious person with even a mild interest in how governments are run , and who the leaders are through a non-stop roller-coaster ride of challenge, triumph, pain, failure, and morality. Although I intensely appreciated this movie, I do not believe this could have been an oscar-winning film because the truths it expresses with regards to the presence of women in high ranking political positions far outway its acting and directing talents, with the possible exception of Gary Oldman's role as Shelly Runyon, who was frighteningly convincing at being an absolutely awful man. I enjoyed this movie because of its intention to show what women in politics really face. The strength displayed by Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) while up for vice president is nothing short of inspirational. Gary Oldman's character provides us with a good idea of how manipulative and ruthless people can be when in a position of power and, ironically, when they have been put in a position to judge another's morality. This film seems so realistic that we tend to forget it's a movie. It makes us question, why does a person have to be surrounded by such controversy and be forced to take on such a defensive position, simply for being a woman? What I appreciated is the refusal of Hanson to succomb to the pressure of taking that defensive position, regardless of the truth. Of course, the other refreshing aspect in this movie is Jeff Bridges' role as an ideal president.

All in all, it is a long overdue account of reality, with great character development but not recommended for those with short attention spans, as it is dialogue, and lots of it.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Hanson got on my nerves with 'It's nobody's business' cborder
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Gary Oldman soxfan7
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