Our Brand Is Crisis

Our Brand Is Crisis Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: For decades, U.S. strategists-for-hire have been quietly molding the opinions of voters and the messages of candidates in elections around the world. They have worked for presidential candidates on every continent. Without the noise of tanks or troops, these Americans have been spreading ourFor decades, U.S. strategists-for-hire have been quietly molding the opinions of voters and the messages of candidates in elections around the world. They have worked for presidential candidates on every continent. Without the noise of tanks or troops, these Americans have been spreading our brand of democracy from the Middle East to the middle of the South American jungle. This documentary is an astounding look at one of their campaigns and its earth-shattering aftermath. [Koch Lorber Films] Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. It's hard to know whether to marvel or weep when James Carville goes into his Bill Clinton–meets–Looney Tunes act in Rachel Boynton's knockout documentary Our Brand Is Crisis--the context is so morally topsy-turvy.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    It’s a galling and provocative experience to viewers of any political persuasion, and a reminder to the left of how easily idealism can run amok.
  3. 80
    Our Brand Is Crisis manages to be remarkably suspenseful.
  4. 70
    Rachel Boynton's painfully timely film is actually a full-court tragedy - the sorry tale of a battle won and a war lost; of a country decimated by 500 years of colonialism and poverty; of globalization and America's losing battle to export market democracy to the developing world.
  5. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    70
    Proves as entertaining as the earlier "The War Room," which also featured Carville, but is more somber.
  6. Our Brand Is Crisis well demonstrates the international efficacy of the methods used to twice elect Bill Clinton. Unlike in "The War Room," the charismatic Carville makes but fleeting appearances in this docu, and it suffers as a result.
  7. 38
    Boynton isn't interested in telling a story, only in the atmosphere of political consultancy.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. SoniaC.
    Mar 27, 2006
    10
    Excellent documentary!
  2. DavidKing
    Jun 20, 2006
    6
    If you're already cynical about politics and the campaign world, this movie will feed right into your impulses. The Carville team gave a If you're already cynical about politics and the campaign world, this movie will feed right into your impulses. The Carville team gave a film crew deep access to discussions with "Goni," as the 2002 presidential campaign heated up. Much of the advice is exactly as we teach it: find a message, keep it simple, stick to it, define your adversaries, and so on. Carville's team was coming off of victories in England, Ireland, Israel and Germany... and their formula -- for the most part -- works. But was it best for Bolivia in the long run? The movie falls short in several areas. First, viewers are left with no clear picture of Bolivia as the lovely country that it is. The movie could have been made almost anywhere, but what ultimately "matters" in the movie is the fact that the Carville devices did not match Bolivia's history or needs. Would have been much better if viewers were given a sense for what that history was... Second, the role of the MNR party in Goni's election is entirely missing -- and that fact makes Carville's efforts seem more important than they really were. Third, Evo Morales is portrayed as a frightening populist -- which misses the point that Carville and friends should have noticed. Namely that the greatest deficit in Bolivia is not fiscal but moral -- and that Evo Morales touched the soul of the nation. Expand
  3. MikeG.
    Apr 11, 2006
    5
    I saw this at the Philadelphia Film Festival last weekend and was underwhelmed. The subject matter was certainly very intriguing but the I saw this at the Philadelphia Film Festival last weekend and was underwhelmed. The subject matter was certainly very intriguing but the filmmaker couldn't seem to decide whether to center her documentary on Bolivia's problems or on GCS. The result is a sometimes disjointed movie that doesn't do a very good job explaining what, exactly, Bolivia's problems are, who Evo Morales is, or why the United States cares enough to comment on Morales through its ambassador. There are a couple of telling scenes in the film - Gani shaking his head and saying "ours is not to question why, ours is just to do or die" when he's being pulled around by the nose by the consultants - but there aren't enough of these moments. I would like to have known what the Bolivian poltical culture thought of GCS and seen more of a comparative thrust. The movie didn't have this and, as a result, lacked balance. Expand

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