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Knife Fight (2012)

R | | Drama | 28 January 2013 (USA)
2:28 | Trailer

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A political strategist juggling three clients questions whether or not to take the high road as the ugly side of his work begins to haunt him.


Bill Guttentag





Cast overview, first billed only:
Rob Lowe ... Paul Turner
Julie Bowen ... Peaches O'Dell
Saffron Burrows ... Sophia
Jamie Chung ... Kerstin Rhee
David Harbour ... Stephen Green
Eric McCormack ... Larry Becker
Jennifer Morrison ... Angela Anderson
Carrie-Anne Moss ... Penelope Nelson
Richard Schiff ... Dimitris Vargas
Amanda Crew ... Helena St. John
Michelle Krusiec ... Shannon Haung
Chris Mulkey ... Roger Fillmore
Davey Havok ... Jimmy McSorley
Eddie George ... Tony Blanchard
Brooke Newton ... Tawny Shearson


If a political candidate is personally flawed, but stands to make a positive difference in millions of lives, would you help him win? That question looms over the life of "true believer" Paul Turner (Rob Lowe), a savvy strategist sharply maneuvering politicians out of scandal and into public office. With the help of a bright young assistant (Jamie Chung) and a seedy operative (Richard Schiff), Turner spins every news cycle and a shrewd reporter (Julie Bowen) on behalf of his clients: a philandering Kentucky governor (Eric McCormick), a blackmailed California senator (David Harbour), and an idealistic doctor turned gubernatorial candidate (Carrie-Anne Moss). When the ugly side of Turner's work begins to haunt him, he learns that even in the bloodiest of battles, sometimes you have to fight clean. Written by IFC Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When it comes to getting elected, there's no such thing as going too far. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

28 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Borba noževima See more »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


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Did You Know?


2nd and last acting role of Shirley Manson. See more »


Paul Turner: You don't get the outsized talent without the outsized weakness.
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User Reviews

West Wing on a shoestring, minus the wit
8 May 2015 | by wannallSee all my reviews

As a big fan of West Wing (in spite of its heavy doses of Democratic propaganda), I recognized very soon where we were in this movie, and was happy to see West Wing alums Rob Lowe and Richard Schiff together. I thought a couple other faces might have been familiar from there, too, but nothing happened to make me care enough to go check. This is more like a fan-made "next episode" of something similar to the West Wing than like a well-developed movie project, though that's slightly more on the writing and directing end than on the acting and technical end. It isn't actually awful, but it certainly isn't that good. There's no heavy lifting to do, and perhaps as a result all of the performances seem fine but nothing rises above "fine". Nothing here challenges the performers or the director, or us, and so they, and we, just settle in for a pleasant ride.

There's no particular reason to see Knife Fight, but if you like the type of story (look at the awful things we do in election politics!) you may want to see it just for completeness. There's also no particular reason to avoid Knife Fight. Nothing in it is truly bad. However, now I wish I had just watched the far superior Ides of March (2011) again instead. Ides is an excellent modern look at the same topic also well treated in Robert Redford's The Candidate (1972). Knife Fight is not in the same league as either of those, but it is playing the same game.

If Candidate and Ides are the bookends, then Knife Fight is one of the books they hold up. I suppose that just as we have murder and romance stories written for beach reading, there could be political movies for beach watching, and this would be a fine entry there.

There's more that could be said, but honestly, how much time do you spend analyzing your beach novels?

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