The Ides of March
is a movie starring
Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
It's 1949 Los Angeles, the city is run by gangsters and a malicious mobster, Mickey Cohen. Determined to end the corruption, John O'Mara assembles a team of cops, ready to take down the ruthless leader and restore peace to the city.
Stephen Meyers is a young idealist who's brilliant at communications, is second in command of Governor Mike Morris's presidential campaign, and is a true believer. In the middle of the Ohio primary, the campaign manager of Morris's opponent asks Meyers to meet; he offers him a job. At the same time, Morris's negotiations for the endorsement of the man in third place, a North Carolina Senator, hit a snag. A young campaign intern, Molly Stearns, gets Stephen's romantic attention. Republicans have a trick up their sleeve; Stephen may be too trusting, and Molly has a secret. What's most important, career, victory, or virtue?Written by
The Ides of March was the day (March 15) that Julius Caesar was assassinated. In Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" before being stabbed to death, Caesar is told by a Soothsayer: "Beware the ides of March." See more »
When Paul is sitting in the barber shop getting a haircut, the barber goes over the same spot on the back of Paul's neck. After 6 times, there are no hair clippings and the hair is no shorter. See more »
I'm not a Christian. I'm not an Atheist. I'm not Jewish. I'm not Muslim. My religion, what I believe in is called the Constitution of United States of America.
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This movie is like that joke you heard on the bus from some kid you didn't know when you were in grade school. It has a really elaborate setup, and you're really excited to get to the punchline, but when you hear it. the whole thing falls flat.
Because the setup for this movie is really good. You've got a maverick politician running against a traditional party hack, whose candidacy had energized not just the hopeful young interns on his staff, but also his jaded, faded, seen-it-all manager. And he's given a new hope to his junior campaign manager, and idealistic young man who was beginning to lose faith in the political system.
There's even a cute subplot about Our Hero getting involved with a perky little intern who is even younger and more idealistic than he is.
Of course, as soon as you see this setup, you know that the perfect candidate is going to do something perfectly awful to bring everyone's hopes crashing down. You settle in for a political thriller and wait for the bodies, literally or figuratively, to pile up.
Nothing really happens, and what little that happens is wholly unbelievable.
Without dropping any big spoilers, I can tell you that the perfectly awful thing would-be President Clooney does is the kind of rookie mistake that a man of his age, intelligence and political sophistication would never make. This is the kind of trouble high school boys get into on Friday nights.
Not only that, as perfectly awful things go, it's a pretty pedestrian mistake, and one that would be easy to sweep under the rug.
From this point on, the movie piles one unbelievable and unrealistic episode of top of another, and this great setup is lost in a farrago of events that strain our suspension of disbelief.
The most ridiculous of which is when a character that might as well have "Party-Line Sleazeball" tattooed on his forehead passes up a chance to blow his opponent's candidacy out of the water.
I can tell that this movie wants to teach me that no matter what their rhetoric is, all politicians are amoral finks; a bunch of conniving, backstabbing predators who will do and say anything to get elected and stay in power.
Yeah, I think most people got the memo on that during the Nixon Administration, and Tricky Dick's successors haven't really done much since 1974 to make us think otherwise.
Movie, even if you have nothing new to say, shouldn't you have at least said the same old thing in a better way?
It's a real shame that this movie turns out to be a whole lot of nothing going on, because the performances are very good and the actors are all extremely well cast. I'm giving it four stars for the structure and the performances.
Bottom line? I saw the first half hour of what promised to be a really great movie, and then the movie spent the last half hour breaking that promise, and delivering to me on a bright, shiny platter with the 2010's written all over it some old news from the 70's.
If you have to see everything that Ryan Gosling, or George Clooney or Phillip Seymour Hoffmann are in, because you are a big fan of one or more of them, see this movie for their performances. If not, skip it, because, trust me, you've seen this all before, and written a whole lot better.
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