The Ides of March 2011

Critics score:
85 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: It pulses along like an update of The Candidate fused with a political Sweet Smell of Success - it's got that kind of noirish fizz. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: ...bringing old-school quality and tone to content that plays as both up-to-the-minute and classically timeless. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Somehow, the film is missing both adrenaline and gravity, notwithstanding some frantic early moments and a late swerve toward tragedy. It makes its points carefully and unimpeachably but does not bring much in the way of insight or risk. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: It mostly transpires in takeout-container-strewn campaign offices and hotel rooms; The Ides of March, verbal and Lumet-like, is lovably for wonks only. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: It's tempting to praise The Ides of March as a realistic depiction of how low we've sunk. But that would mean accepting the second-rate writing and third-rate melodrama and incredible shrinking characters. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: The problem is that the news the story brings may be perfectly accurate, but it isn't particularly original, and it's certainly not what we hunger for in these dispiriting, cynical times. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: The cast of George Clooney's political thriller "The Ides of March" is so good, you could probably enjoy watching this movie with the sound off. Read more

Noel Murray, AV Club: Slick and respectable, and delivering old news. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: A knowing look at the machinations of a political campaign, with its established and somewhat bizarre rituals, and the compromises and betrayals that often accompany getting someone elected. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Gosling radiates charisma, schmoozing and charming reporters and staffers with equal ease. But beneath that slick exterior, his character is a true believer. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: "The Ides of March'' rests its moral outrage on a rickety podium of glibness and coincidence. It passes the character test, but it can't go the distance. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Clooney directed with an actor's appetite for vivid star turns, and he certainly gets them from Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Paul Giamatti. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: One for the actors, plain and simple. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: At its best, the film is like a political version of Sweet Smell of Success, another movie where the corruption was so rampant it gleamed. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: The Ides of March, George Clooney's despairing political drama set against the backdrop of a bruising Ohio Democratic primary, presents us with a most unsentimental education. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: As for Clooney, when he steps from behind the camera, his candidate exudes an easy, judicious authority. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: The Ides of March is a well-made actors showcase and fine film. But it never finds that more. Read more

William Goss, Just about every other scene in the film is a simple pleasure unto itself between the equally confident writing, direction and performances. Read more

Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter: Classy and professional throughout, the technical work gracefully holds all the threads together. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Even though all the supporting elements of a superior film are here, the actual plot that everything is at the service of is disappointing. The texture of reality and the sheen of fine craft disguise this for a while, but not forever. Read more

Charlie McCollum, San Jose Mercury News: This is intelligent filmmaking, and a provocative moral fable. It may not be perfect, but it stands as one of the better, most realistic movies about the way we elect our leaders. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: So impeccably acted and grippingly paced that its lack of revelation doesn't matter. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: This film is full of great actors, but not enough people. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It's great fun for us to see an entertaining movie we can watch without guilt. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Clooney is perfectly cast as a charmer with a dark edge, and Giamatti and Hoffman are excellent as two sides of the same tarnished coin. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Smart and solidly entertaining, thanks to one of the year's top ensemble casts working at the top of its game. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Like the nonfossil fuel alternatives Mr. Clooney pushes in his campaign rhetoric, the adrenalin rush of The Ides of March provides a sexy alternative to most mainstream political movies about dirty politics. Others dip. This one soars. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: The Ides of March wields its searchlight over our political landscape and finds a battlefield: a bloody ground of cynicism and fatal compromise. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The backroom deals and dirty tricks represent politics as they are, not as they should be. This is a deeply cynical movie and, in that cynicism, it finds truth. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard "The Ides of March" is pitch perfect as we see the high-stakes gamesmanship involved in presidential campaigns. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The movie's strength is in the acting, with Gosling once again playing a character with an insistent presence. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: The Ides of March is a pulse-racing thriller that hits where it hurts. Clooney's performance is exceptional and Gosling is terrific in an all-stops-out role. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, It's another step in the intriguing mid-career reinvention of one of Hollywood's shrewdest stars. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Almost a political drama of the caliber of Gore Vidal's "The Best Man," but it's not quite. However, it is the movie to recommend to adults looking for something that's topical and intelligent and that will keep them guessing. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Beware The Ides of March. This slick political thriller, the fourth directorial effort of the velvet-voiced heartthrob and aspiring auteur George Clooney, adds up to less than it appears to be at first glance, or even the first several glances. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Clooney makes his points without preaching, directing his fellow performers with an actor's appreciation of their craft. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The institutional infrastructure of "The Ides of March" is solid, with some of the best actors in the business bringing politics to life. Gosling is a particular standout. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: From the film's ideological vantage point, moderate Democrats are Machiavellian devils, and Republicans are an inconceivable evil looming on a distant horizon, like the White Walkers in Game of Thrones. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: The dialogue is smart, crisp and witty and, given the quorum of talent, it's not surprising that the performances are superb. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: While it's not nearly as quotable as Sweet Smell of Success, Ides frequently reminded me of that earlier classic in its portrait of the corrosive nature of power, and the soul-killing acts that people will commit to get or to keep it. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Clooney sees blustering bustle and edgy familiarity - giant closeups of private conversations - as the contrasts of political campaigns, which are, at heart, all rhetoric and no accountability. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: Taken as a diverting aside on our world and with its more awkward pretensions forgiven, it's captivating enough and well-performed by a strong cast, even down to the smaller ensemble roles. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Shortcomings aside, The Ides of March does provide an impressive showcase for fine actors to explore eternal truths about trust, loyalty and accountability. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Clooney has a keen eye for a good story. With this, his fourth turn as a director, he has chosen wisely. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: [An] intriguing but overly portentous drama, which seems far more taken with its own cynicism than most viewers will be. Read more

Karina Longworth, Village Voice: For all of the timely questions rumbling through Clooney's film -- Is change even possible? Does a "good" man stand a chance once incorporated into a hopelessly "bad" system? -- The Ides of March cushions the end of idealism within noir fantasy. Read more

Jen Chaney, Washington Post: Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Clooney does a good job opening up the ideas Willimon first explored onstage, but the result is still a pessimistic truth so universally acknowledged that it doesn't bear repeating, however stylishly. Read more