Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. With Election, Payne announces himself as one of the keenest purveyors of the scattered pieces that once was an American morality.
  2. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    100
    An invigoratingly mordant comedy that proves that Alexander Payne's rambunctious debut, "Citizen Ruth," was no fluke.
  3. Alexander Payne's scathing, subtle, and complexly funny tragicomedy builds a perfect, off-kilter universe--it's a first cousin to "Rushmore."
  4. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    100
    One of the funniest, shrewdest, smartest movies in recent memory.
  5. 100
    This is a nearly flawless little film, a cheerful nightmare that knows just where it wants to go and uses precisely calibrated comic effects to get there.
  6. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    100
    American satire rarely comes more winning than Election, an exuberantly caustic comedy that shows the symbiotic relationship between political go-get-'em-ism and moral backsliding.
  7. 100
    The satire of the season, a hilarious, razor-sharp indictment of the American Dream.
  8. 100
    A wonderful, piercing and hilarious examination of high school politics and how bitter and ruinous it can become.
  9. 90
    Election is a bracingly intelligent adult comedy that shrewdly captures adolescence.
  10. 90
    Resonates with the fluorescent horror of real-life high school, something few movies about this generation have managed to successfully capture.
  11. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    90
    Wickedly funny, scathingly original new comedy.
  12. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Brandishes the sort of intelligent wit and bracing nastiness that will make it more appealing to discerning adults than to teens who just want to have fun.
  13. 88
    Alexander Payne is a director whose satire is omnidirectional. He doesn't choose an easy target and march on it. He stands in the middle of his story and attacks on all directions.
  14. The actors are solid at every position, but Broderick, who seems to get better with each performance, is especially good at playing the impulsively self-destructive yet sympathetic loser.
  15. A terrific work of political and social satire set in a Nebraska high school that has the intelligence of (the less coherent) "Rushmore," while painting a much darker picture of politics and human relationships.
  16. 88
    When it comes to eloquently telling it like it is, Election puts the nation's political pundits to shame.
  17. 88
    Election has the sharpest satire of any teen movie made in years. Like the best lampoons, it attacks by exaggerating reality ever-so-slightly and targeting a broad range of subjects.
  18. Wickedly funny, an ode to youthful overachievers that's as blackhearted as "Rushmore" was gently sentimental.
  19. 80
    Witherspoon's broad, obsessive comic performance is bound to get the most attention, but Broderick does the best work of his career, finding an affecting spot between the all-purpose defiance of Ferris Bueller and the put-upon foil of his recent work.
  20. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    80
    Election is a deft dark comedy with a resemblance to "Rushmore." It's smart no matter what.
  21. 78
    A fine, near-seamless film that finally suffers slightly from an inability to wrap up its tale.
  22. The screenplay by Payne and Jim Taylor, based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, sees the lives of these suburban students and teachers through a prism of absurdity that refracts more truth than any straightforward telling.
  23. At best, the humour in Election is perceptive, nasty, pointed, and lets no one off its barbed hook, not even the audience. In other words, it's a lovely piece of satire, made all the more relevant by the setting.
  24. 70
    Surprise! An intelligent, well-written high school story.
  25. 70
    Election is finally, necessarily, as much about sex as it is about politics -- wanting it, getting it, losing it.
  26. 70
    Happily, this irreverent, sharply observant comedy sweeps us into the maelstrom too. Amid the glut of teen movies rolling out of the studios every week, Election deserves special attention.
  27. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    Director Payne, who adapted Tom Perrotta's novel with Jim Taylor, has an authentically dire view of human behavior, which he expresses in crisp, edgy and sometimes startlingly raunchy style.
  28. 70
    The treatment of this touchy material is impressive, neither gratuitous nor mincing, but this satirical comedy doesn't really go anywhere.
  29. Reviewed by: Marc Caro
    63
    Entertaining but frustratingly uneven.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Feb 7, 2014
    8
    Acerbic humor and subtly brilliant performances highlight Alexander Payne's "Election," a brilliantly dark film with mirthfully unlikable characters and some playfully indelible imagery. Full Review »
  2. Jun 7, 2013
    7
    Having been involved in a scandal resulting in a high school teacher losing his job and family Tracy Flick (Witherspoon) is determined to win the election for student-body president. When her teacher, Mr. McAllister (Broderick), realises he may be forced to spend the next year working closely with a girl he can't stand he convinces the popular, but not particularly bright, Paul Meltzer to run against her.

    A satirical comedy of the American electoral process Election has a dark sense of humor throughout with much of the comedy arising from the gradual unraveling of Mr. McAllister's life and it is largely thanks its more subtle nature that it managers to differentiate itself from the endless string of high-school movies of the late nineties. Resisting the temptation to utilise the usual cliched high school characters Election fully explores the motivations of each of the, very well cast, main characters with Reece Witherspoon in particular playing her role to perfection. As relevant now as it was when released Election would make an excellent addition to any movie collection.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 4, 2013
    8
    Excelente pelicula de comedia, con una buena historia y un buen guion.Es una pelicula divertida, graciosa e hilarante.Esta pelicula es para verla en familia. Full Review »