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The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

 -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi  -  30 July 2004 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 78,093 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 358 user | 205 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Eddie Ingram
...
Robert Baker
...
Owens
...
Villalobos
...
Wilson
Joaquin Perez-Campbell ...
Atkins
Tim Artz ...
Jameson
...
Robyn Hitchcock ...
Laurent Tokar
...
Antoine Taylor ...
Boy Scout #1
Joseph Alessi ...
Boy Scout #2
...
Scout Dad (as Ray Anthony Thomas)
...
Scoutmaster
Edit

Storyline

When his army unit was ambushed during the first Gulf War, Sergeant Raymond Shaw saved his fellow soldiers just as his commanding officer, then-Captain Ben Marco, was knocked unconscious. Brokering the incident for political capital, Shaw eventually becomes a vice-presidential nominee, while Marco is haunted by dreams of what happened -- or didn't happen -- in Kuwait. As Marco (now a Major) investigates, the story begins to unravel, to the point where he questions if it happened at all. Is it possible the entire unit was kidnapped and brainwashed to believe Shaw is a war hero as part of a plot to seize the White House? Some very powerful people at Manchurian Global corporation appear desperate to stop him from finding out. Written by A Prentiss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This summer everything is under control. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 July 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Manchurian Kandidat  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$130,275 (South Africa) (10 December 2004)

Gross:

£1,915,402 (UK) (10 December 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Rosie's bathroom there is a poster for a theatrical production of "Othello" featuring José Ferrer, the father of Miguel Ferrer who plays Colonel Garret in this film. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene where the "Lost Patrol" is ambushed, Captain Marco is shown driving the truck while Sergeant Shaw is riding in the passenger seat. This is highly unusual in Army doctrine, as the senior most ranking individual will ride as the vehicle commander, sitting in the passenger seat. This is also true as an Officer, generally, will not engage targets on the mounted machine gun. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ben Marco: So why don't we just go directly right up in this route, straight in...
Laurent Tokar: Yes, I see the Captain enjoys the road less-traveled.
Ben Marco: No, the Captain enjoys not going down the highway, draggin' his ass so every Tom, Dick, Gaddafi can take a whack at it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

This City in Darkness
by Louis Bravos & Robert Henry Adams
Performed by Sport of Kings
Courtesy of SOK Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A brilliant update of a brilliant movie
1 August 2004 | by (Parma, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Set against the Cold War and our fear of Communist infiltration, the original Manchurian Candidate(1963) revealed a significant universal theme: the misuse of power through the exploitation of paranoia and allegiance. The same theme, unfortunately, rings just as true today. Yes, the Berlin Wall has crumbled, but now we are a nation frozen with the fear of terrorist infiltration, vulnerable to the misuse of corporate and governmental powers.

The writers made believable, relevant changes to every aspect of the original story that would seem dated today, including the role of women. Rather than Janet Leigh's thankless role of arbitrary girlfriend, her counterpart in this movie is an FBI agent, as strong and significant as any of the men in the film. In the original, Raymond's mother (Angela Lansbury) worked through her husband, (how else could a woman have access to power in 1963?) Meryl Streep's Mother Shaw doesn't need to work through her man; she has direct power as a vicious, Machiavelian senator. Viewers who remember the original may pine for the chill they felt watching Lansbury's portrayal; the concept of a woman who seeks and controls power is just not shocking today. However, Streep is amazing, and I guarantee one scene between her and Shaw will raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

Mind control is made more relevant in the newer version as it is linked to "bad science," a current fear in an age of cloning, and genetic engineering.

However, the movie is still a psychological thriller and the manipulation of good men through fear and misplaced allegiance (especially to dear old mom) is as chilling as in the original.

Both movies are a cry to each of us to take control of our lives, our decisions, our futures. The hero as independent thinker runs true in both movies, spelled out in no uncertain terms in Marco (Denzel Washington's) last inner monologue about the Congressional Medal of Honor. The audience realizes as does Marco, the legitimacy of the medal in question, and exactly what it means to be a hero.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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