11 user 34 critic

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

Campaign spin
13 January 2016 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

There have been recent political campaign movies such as The Ides of March which had a more heavyweight cast. There are classics such as Robert Redford in The Candidate. Knife Fight reminds me of Sidney Lumet's Power from 1986 which also had a high calibre cast but a tepid reception by the critics and at the box office.

Rob Lowe plays Paul a highly sought after, cynical and ruthless election strategist. He declares, 'To win in politics, you have got to be the person who is willing to bring a gun to a knife fight.' Which is something Sean Connery said in The Untouchables before being shot a 100 times!

Paul can deal with any political disaster presumably such as those handled by the campaign team who dealt with Bill Clinton when he ran for Presidency the first time round, when his team realised that their was hardly any woman left in Arkansas that he had not slept with. In fact Chris Lehane, one of the co-writers was an aide to Clinton and Gore.

Paul deals with winners and over the years he has become jaded, cynical and has little time for people who are altruistic.

Things change when he takes on a doctor who runs a free clinic as a candidate for Governor and who tweaks the last shred of idealism left in him. Otherwise there are the usual politicians running for elections who are philanderers or are caught in some embarrassing situations that Paul needs to spin out.

The film is underwhelming and never strongly registers as the script is limp. Lowe underplays his role but apart from Carrie Ann Moss's idealistic character the rest of them are shallow and mean and they are supposed to be liberals as well.

As a political satire it does not work as it is not funny or biting enough. Even with story of the doctor you can guess the twist rather easily.

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