Swing Vote

User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 32
  2. Negative: 7 out of 32

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User Reviews

  1. EvanC.
    Aug 7, 2008
    7
    This was not a great movie, but it certainly was enjoyable with excellent acting. I think the critics were too harsh. Admittedly it is unplausible, but certainly not more unplausible than a lot of other inane action and sophomoric slapstick flicks this summer, which the critics seem to like better.
  2. ColinG.
    Aug 4, 2008
    9
    Great premise, good film. A Capra-esque story that will appeal to those who like a little hokey and heart-warming in their entertainment. For those who complain this is unrealistic or absurd I would ask if it would improve the realism if Costner ran around in a latex bat suit.
  3. JessE
    Aug 7, 2008
    8
    Whether you like the movie or not depends on whether you like Costner or not. In this film he delivers a charming performance along with newcomer 12yr old Madeline Carroll. The film is funniest when it depicts the two campaigns trying to fit into Costner's character political opinions. No new ground broken here but it is a delightfullight hearted comedy that is worth seeing if you Whether you like the movie or not depends on whether you like Costner or not. In this film he delivers a charming performance along with newcomer 12yr old Madeline Carroll. The film is funniest when it depicts the two campaigns trying to fit into Costner's character political opinions. No new ground broken here but it is a delightfullight hearted comedy that is worth seeing if you can break away from seeing the current Special effects action flicks over and over and over and over again. Don't people ever get tired of seeing a film so many times so soon. Evidently not. Catch Swing vote. It deserves an audience. Expand
  4. ChadS.
    Aug 1, 2008
    8
    When Bud Johnson(Kevin Costner) draws the curtain in his voting booth, "Swing Vote" leaves you in limbo; you're left wondering as to which party ideology that this ordinary man will endorse with his cast ballot. But this inconclusive scene is double-edged. Unless you're post-cynical, the matter at hand has more to do with the validness of Bud's right in determining the next When Bud Johnson(Kevin Costner) draws the curtain in his voting booth, "Swing Vote" leaves you in limbo; you're left wondering as to which party ideology that this ordinary man will endorse with his cast ballot. But this inconclusive scene is double-edged. Unless you're post-cynical, the matter at hand has more to do with the validness of Bud's right in determining the next leader of the free world. "Swing Vote" hides its shrewdness behind Capraesque manipulation, but it's only a facade. "Swing Vote" implicates the public at-large, not just the candidates and their respective parties, as being culprits of our flawed, some say, broken, voting system. Molly Johnson(Madeline Carroll) is not only Bud's daughter, she functions on an extra-diegetic level; the girl is like a campaign manager for the apathetic-minded American people. Bud may be the moderator during a presidential debate, but it's Molly's words, Molly's passion for the issues, that her father delivers into the cameras. In a cameo, which reveals that this sentimental film has some teeth, Bill Maher proclaims that Americans are dumb-asses. By making her father look smart on national television, the young girl tries to prove the former-"Politically Incorrect" host wrong in creating the illusion that regular joes like her dad cares about policies and initiatives. But since Molly is growing up in such morally ambiguous times, she doesn't understand that her good intentions(and the journalist's good intentions) are as corrupt as the people who orchestrated the Florida recount(and the journalists who helped enable the coup on Al Gore) in 2000, the year of the hanging chad. Bud needs to step out of that voting booth and teach his daughter how to be ethical in an unethical world. Expand
  5. JeffH.
    Aug 2, 2008
    7
    Sort of predictable but very fun anyway.Madeline Carroll is a very talented newcomer. Costner plays the good ol redneck very well.
  6. KathleenG.
    Aug 2, 2008
    8
    I was surprised that this movie was as good as it was. I know there were some absurd parts, but I really enjoyed seeing Kostner at his best. What a great job he did! And his daughter was superb. Really worth seeing - a fun and contemplative way to spend a couple of hours.
  7. MarkB.
    Aug 14, 2008
    8
    Making imitation Alfred Hitchcock movies isn't all that hard to do (and many of us who have watched Brian DePalma's career over the last decade wish to God he'd go back to doing them), but making imitation Frank Capra movies...well, that's tough. Those who try to do so often forget that the final quarter of It's A Wonderful Life is really one of the darkest movies Making imitation Alfred Hitchcock movies isn't all that hard to do (and many of us who have watched Brian DePalma's career over the last decade wish to God he'd go back to doing them), but making imitation Frank Capra movies...well, that's tough. Those who try to do so often forget that the final quarter of It's A Wonderful Life is really one of the darkest movies ever made (the better, more powerful and more radiant when Capra finally turns on the light), and so for every effort that works (like last year's lovely, fanciful The Astronaut Farmer from the Polish brothers, or the 1980 John Ritter gem Hero At Large, a charming unofficial redo of Meet John Doe) you get ten or so like 2001's The Majestic, which triple Capra's speechifying and sugar content while slowing his unerring sense of pace, which in the 1930s rivaled that of Howard Hawks' screwball comedies, to a near-comatose crawl. One reason Swing Vote works so well is that it doesn't sentimentalize its hero (if you can call him that), Bud Johnson; in the film's early scenes, his job loss is clearly not that of the economy or the system, but his own damn fault. (This movie is far more honest in its discussion of the immigration issue than this year's heavily manipulative indie smash The Visitor.) This gives Kevin Costner the opportunity to do what he does best: here, as in Bull Durham and The Upside of Anger, he plays a fundamentally OK but deeply flawed good guy, with the emphasis on flawed. His personal Jiminy Cricket (whom, thanks to his very heavily liquid diet, he's usually too woodenheaded to pay much heed to) is his conscientious, civic-minded daughter Molly (newcomer Madeleine Carroll, who, had this movie gotten better reviews or box office, would have been instantly set up as the next Abigail Breslin). She begs him to vote for the next President, but since he's busy proving why maybe the old practice of closing the bars on Election Day wasn't such a bad idea after all, she takes matters into her own small hands,with resulting complications that, while totally impossible to conceive 10 years ago, subsequent history has made just amusingly improbable now. The Electoral College renders Bud's one mere do-over vote the deciding factor in who takes the White House; as a result, the Republican incumbent (Kelsey Grammer) and his Democratic challenger (Dennis Hopper) and their respective campaign managers (Stanley Tucci, Nathan Lane) go to absurd, often hilarious and occasionally chilling lengths to suck up to Bud and secure his loyalty. Those who slam Swing Vote's satire as being toothless forget that Claude Rains in Capra's Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, while the villain, wasn't a bad person but a decent, idealistic one who got corrupted along the way...sadly, in almost 70 years the more things change the more they remain the same (a hard lesson for those of us who thought that John Edwards was the greatest guy in American politics only to recently learn that he's as human as the rest of us). That's why the evenhanded Swing Vote, in true Capra fashion, works as nicely as it does, even if, like me, you have issues with what it chooses to do and not do in its final 10 minutes; neither candidate (or campaign manager, somewhat surprisingly) is evil at all. Thus, even though Swing Vote scores some of its biggest points and laughs by parallelling Hopper's inability to relate to the so-called "common man" with John Kerry's, Michael Dukakis's and Walter Mondale's similar ineptitude, Grammer's GOP antagonist is, unlike the current office holder, charming, intelligent and silver-tongued (if a bit patronizing). In the Swing Vote universe there are no equivalents to Karl Rove, Dick Cheney or George W. you-know-who. Works for me! Expand
  8. DougR.
    Aug 2, 2008
    7
    If you can buy the premise and like Kevin Costner, then you'll like this movie. It had a lot of funny scenes with a GREAT cast. The reviewers are much too hard of this movie, no it isn't rocket science, but it doesn't pretend to be.
  9. BobW
    Aug 5, 2008
    7
    Too long and with an annoying soundtrack, but I still liked it. The little girl is terrific.
  10. AllyW
    Aug 8, 2008
    8
    I did not have high expectations, but my wife and I loved this movie. Despite the outrageous premise, the movie was smart, funny, and had moving moments of profound depth. Good performances by the actresses playing Bud's daughter and ex-wife.
Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 30
  2. Negative: 5 out of 30
  1. Costner (who's also a producer) plays to his middle-aged strengths in a role that exaggerates male weaknesses.
  2. 50
    The longer Swing Vote hangs around, the more engaging it becomes. It's twice as smart as you have any reason to expect but still only half as smart as you wish it were.
  3. 75
    The movie is a genial comedy, but it has significant undertones. Like some of Frank Capra's pictures.