112 user 170 critic

The Front Runner (2018)

2:19 | Trailer
In 1987, U.S. Senator Gary Hart's presidential campaign is derailed when he's caught in a scandalous love affair.


Jason Reitman
4,131 ( 350)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Jackman ... Gary Hart
Vera Farmiga ... Lee Hart
J.K. Simmons ... Bill Dixon
Mark O'Brien ... Billy Shore
Molly Ephraim ... Irene Kelly
Chris Coy ... Kevin Sweeney
Alex Karpovsky ... Mike Stratton
Josh Brener ... Doug Wilson
Tommy Dewey ... John Emerson
Kaitlyn Dever ... Andrea Hart
Oliver Cooper ... Joe Trippi
Jenna Kanell ... Ginny Terzano
RJ Brown ... Bill Martin
Alfred Molina ... Ben Bradlee
Mamoudou Athie ... AJ Parker


Gary Hart, a U.S. senator from Colorado, is the widely accepted front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. After losing the 1984 nomination to vice-president Walter Mondale, Hart decides to run for President of the United States. At one point during his campaign, against the will of his manager Bill Dixon, Hart challenges the press and public to "follow him around" while he's not campaigning on weekends. This proves to be a mistake when in 1987, photos of him and journalist Donna Rice are published by Miami Herald Reporters. In a desperate attempt to clear his name, Hart tries to fix his reputation at a news event concerning the affair but to no avail. Because of the consequences of his actions, Hart is disgraced, berated by Dixon, and forced to drop out of the campaign while his wife Oletha remains to be close with him. Donna also announces that she has personally denied sleeping with the now former senator..

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Week America Went Tabloid See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Bill Burr noted in an interview how convincingly angry Hugh Jackman looked in one particular scene that it he instantly thought he was with Wolverine and initially felt genuine fear. Murphy can be seen dropping his notebook on the ground in response, which wasn't planned in the original script. This candid reaction was left in the final cut. See more »


The airplane landing at Washington National showed a United DC-10 which needs a longer runway to land than those available at National. The exterior shot of the taxi pickup area was not at National. See more »


[repeated line]
Donna Rice: I just wanna go home.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the 1984 Columbia Pictures logo. See more »


Referenced in The Front Runner: The Unmaking of a Candidate (2019) See more »


Son La China
Written by Orlando Paz
Performed by APM (Studio Musicians)
Published by Sonoton APM, Sonoton Music GmbH Co KG
Courtesy of APM Music
See more »

User Reviews

The Front Runner
19 October 2019 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

I wonder if Gary Hart looks at Bill Clinton and thinks why Clinton managed to survive all the allegations of womanising and Hart was blown off course.

The answer is Clinton was never photographed on a boat called 'Monkey Business.'

I never got the adulation that Hart got in the 1984 Democratic primaries. I also did not see anything charismatic about him. To me he was just another middle aged politician. Hart lost the primaries to Walter Mondale, but he made a strong enough showing to be a contender for the 1988 campaign.

Although the film is called The Front Runner. Hart was just a well known name in the field of potential Democratic contenders in the early summer of 1987 and the primaries would not start until early 1988.

Hugh Jackman plays Gary Hart. Whoever did Jackman's hair should had been fired. It looks nothing like Hart's bouffant.

Setting his sights for the 1988 Presidential Nomination. Hart gets a campaign team together but he never gets off first gear. Within a few weeks there are rumours that Hart as been seeing a young model called Donna Rice. One newspaper had sent journalists following Rice who may had spent the night together with Hart.

I have no idea why Jason Reitman thinks anyone wanted to see the story about Gary Hart. This is not a compelling story. Hart is from a long line of politicians who could not keep his zipper up.

Jackman never dazzles as Hart or captures the essence of the man. He comes across as maudlin and tired rather than a chancer.

Where the film succeeds is showing the workings of the campaign room by a strategist such as Bill Dixon (JK Simmons) or the journalists going about dealing with the sex scandal story and how it was done in the old days.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

21 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Front Runner See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$51,543, 11 November 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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