The Contender

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Dreamworks Released 2000

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Movie Summary

Director:
Rod Lurie
Released:
2000
Rating:
R
The Contender is the 2000 political dramatic thriller from celebrated writer-director Rod Lurie (The Last Castle), featuring a cast full of veteran acting legends. When the Vice President dies, second-termer President Jackson Evans (Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski, King Kong) decides to make his Presidency have a lasting legacy by selecting a woman named Laine Hanson (Joan Allen, Face Off) as his new Vice President. This shocks Governor Jack Hathaway (William Petersen), who is a public hero for trying to save a girl from drowning in a car accident, but it enrages Republican leader Sheldon Runyon (Gary Oldman) who wants Hathaway in the role. Seeing that he must force Hanson out of the race to get Hathaway in, Hanson launches a private investigation that reveals evidence that suggests that Hanson had multiple sexual partners in college including an orgy with a large group of men. With Hanson sitting as chair of the confirmation committee, Hanson leaks this information to the press, condemns the allegations but at the same time sets out to bring her down with attacks on her beliefs and the trump card of her sexual indiscretions - indiscretions that she refuses to deny.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    A cast that chews the scenery with such obvious enjoyment that you're happy to put up with its tin-eared oratory and preposterous plot turns for the sake of a good ride.

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    It does move right along and it's enlivened by stronger, more enjoyable acting than this kind of picture usually provides.

  • 60

    Variety Emanuel Levy

    The large, talented cast elevates the film above the trappings of its loquacious debates, particularly Allen.

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