Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 35
  2. Negative: 5 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Aug 8, 2012
    91
    Perhaps the best thing about the film is that it doesn't let those other players in the political process off the hook: the voters.
  2. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Aug 7, 2012
    80
    Think of it as someone making a peanut butter and chocolate swirl of Mad magazine and The New Yorker - two unique tastes making one great treat.
  3. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Aug 9, 2012
    75
    The resultant spoofery is nonpartisan, or at least vague - we never learn which of these flesh-pressing idiots is the Republican and which is the Democrat - and raucous in its send-ups of the moral, financial and sexual peccadilloes of the common political animal.
  4. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Aug 9, 2012
    75
    Still, though it's crude and juvenile in ways that makes you vaguely ashamed at laughing so much, The Campaign is versatile enough to sneak in a good shot or two at the American political system.
  5. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Aug 8, 2012
    75
    Fortunately, it's funny enough that it doesn't have to be subtle. In fact, subtlety would just get in the way.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 8, 2012
    75
    Would a Republican enjoy this movie as much as a Democrat? Possibly. Party affiliations mean nothing to the characters, nor does the plot approach them. Then why are Huggins and Brady both Republicans? I'll save you the trouble. It's because Hollywood is run by a lot of rich liberals, right?
  7. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 8, 2012
    75
    The Campaign is below-the-Beltway humor, stretching obvious targets to raunchy extremes.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Aug 5, 2012
    70
    Roach, who also counts such lowbrow laffers as "Austin Powers" and "Meet the Fockers" on his resume, manages to keep things broad without sacrificing smarts.
  9. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Aug 9, 2012
    67
    Wrapping the whole thing in a sentimental ending turns it into a fraud. The Campaign might have been truly -- and appropriately -- scabrous in other hands; those of the "South Park" guys or Mike Judge, say. But director Jay Roach and writers Shawn Harwell and Chris Henchy play it safe and down the middle. No actual political contributors or candidates need fear harm.
  10. Reviewed by: Siri Agrell
    Aug 10, 2012
    63
    A political parody that is almost as ridiculous as actual American politics.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 9, 2012
    63
    "It's a mess" is the campaign slogan of Marty Huggins, played by Galifianakis. He's referring to the state of government. But he might as well be describing the movie in which he co-stars.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 9, 2012
    63
    The jokes never go deep, the toothless bites at the system leave no marks. It's only the wild-card energy of Ferrell and Galifianakis that keeps you on the ticket.
  13. Reviewed by: Simon Braund
    Sep 24, 2012
    60
    The Campaign gets by on its stars' comic compatibility and a relentless stream of jokes, many of which are laugh-out-loud funny. The only real downer is the ending, which feels tacked on like a hanging chad.
  14. Reviewed by: Ken McIntyre
    Sep 1, 2012
    60
    Although only slightly more outrageous than reality, The Campaign is a funny, pacy peek behind the political curtain.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 10, 2012
    60
    No, it's not a perfect movie, given how dangerously close it comes to running out of quality third-act punchlines before you're liable to have run out of Sno-caps and Raisinettes. Also, some of the biggest names in the supporting cast -- John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd, specifically -- are all but wasted.
  16. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Aug 9, 2012
    60
    Rude, rowdy and raunchy, The Campaign gleefully skewers the current sad state of American politics. With a target that tempting, it's not surprising that this cynical and funny film hits more often than it misses.
  17. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 9, 2012
    60
    Like the politicians it skewers, it knows the real winner is the stupidity, stupid.
  18. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Aug 8, 2012
    60
    Ferrell and Galifianakis both do what they've proven they can do so well in the past, while McDermott, clad in all black, is surprisingly good in a comedic role.
  19. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Aug 7, 2012
    60
    There's no suspense, even as Galifianakis's bone-dry earnestness sometimes kicks the movie into a realm of stealth drama.
  20. 50
    Roach is too stiff a director to give Ferrell room to romp. Bits like the one in which he's challenged to recite "The Lord's Prayer" needed extra zigs and zags instead of variations on the same joke. A looser director like Adam McKay (Step Brothers) might have created a happier climate for improv.
  21. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    Too soft and silly to be satire, too upbeat to be a cautionary tale, the film is a fun-house fable that both exaggerates and understates the absurdities of our democracy in this contentious election year.
  22. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    Relying on improv-y riffing and watch-them-coming-from-down-the-block-and-around-the-corner sight gags, The Campaign is intermittently amusing, but more often just interminable.
  23. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    Tends toward the broadest possible takes on slapstick, sophomoric sexuality and post-"Hangover" raunch.
  24. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    It's just another happily idiotic Will Ferrell comedy, ably directed by Jay Roach ("Meet the Parents," "Dinner for Schmucks") and tossing its bawdy jokes at the side of the barn.
  25. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    As with nearly everything else in The Campaign, a little goes a long way, until it finally just goes on too long, period.
  26. Reviewed by: Bill Weber
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    A lumpy spoof of electoral mudslinging that offers some bracing bipartisan contempt amid the lowbrow, labored slapstick.
  27. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Aug 7, 2012
    50
    Like past-his-peak Perot, The Campaign is basically a footnote, a goof on our broken political system that's good for a certain novelty, but as a challenge to the dominant order? It's ultimately impotent.
  28. 50
    While leads Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are amusingly on point as a pair of mud-slinging contenders for Congress, the platform is a wobbly political satire that flip-flops chaotically between clever and crass, never finding a sturdy comedic footing.
  29. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 12, 2012
    42
    Potty jokes and bawdy gross-outs predominate, and the few good laughs are swamped by the overall laughlessness.
  30. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Aug 9, 2012
    40
    Four minutes of Bush on SNL is just right, but 85-minutes of Cam Brady feels like a lot, even with a strong supporting cast that includes Jason Sudeikis as Cam's campaign manager and Katherine LaNasa as Cam's picture-perfect, but mean-as-nails wife.
  31. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 9, 2012
    38
    Because The Campaign tries to say something about truth vs. hogwash in election season, it's doubly sad the efforts of screenwriters Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell come to so little.
  32. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Aug 9, 2012
    20
    Instead of biting wit, though, the movie settles for sketch humor, standard-brand raunch and toothless slapstick that trivializes everything it touches.
  33. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Aug 8, 2012
    20
    If ever America needed Hollywood to crank out a comedic antidote to the toxic political madness that has engulfed our nation, now is the time. Unfortunately, this loopy, muddled, and ultimately insulting Campaign isn't it. It feels more like an extended Saturday Night Live-meets-FunnyOrDie.com castoff than an actual comedic commentary on American politics.
  34. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Aug 10, 2012
    12
    Put it this way: Jimmy Carter was funnier than this movie.
  35. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Aug 8, 2012
    0
    The Campaign is insidiously stupid, a laugh-free water balloon lazily tossed at the institution of politics, and one that makes "Semi-Pro" look like a lost Robert Altman film.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 153 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 53
  2. Negative: 5 out of 53
  1. Aug 13, 2012
    1
    This movie could have been so good BUT it really wasn't! Galifinakis was the only funny spot but the really getting very predictable and old Will Ferrel vulgar slapstick never landed. Had so much potential if you could have let the comedy work for itself instead of some need to make it feel like a Saturday Night Live Skit that would never end. Full Review »
  2. Aug 12, 2012
    8
    I found this movie to be absolutely hilarious. It's filled with the obvious sex jokes that you'd expect, but the not to subtle digs against the current political climate was spot on. They go after the Koch brothers, campaign finance reform, both Republicans and Democrats... just way funny. Full Review »
  3. Oct 26, 2012
    5
    With 2 comedy stars and a very strong supporting cast of experianced comediac actors leading this movie, You would have expected it to be a lot funnier then what it was. Plot was generic and got too corny at the end. I am a bit disapointed with it to be honest. Full Review »