Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Oct 6, 2011
    100
    This taut cautionary tale explores the dark side of American politics. And leaves the viewer to wonder - if anyone's still wondering - is there a bright side?
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Oct 5, 2011
    91
    Clooney certainly brings out the best in his actors, but his driving trait as a filmmaker is that he knows what plays - he has an uncanny sense of how to uncork a scene and let it bubble and flow.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Oct 7, 2011
    88
    Both taut and satisfyingly relevant, it presents a portrait of a compromised elections system -- one that should give the left wing, the right wing and the fringe-dwelling nutjobs something they can all agree on. Namely: We're in deep doo-doo.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 6, 2011
    88
    A big, bruisingly funny moral fable etched in acid and Obama disillusion.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Oct 5, 2011
    88
    It isn't a great film. But it is a smart and high-minded one, wonderfully cast, with understated direction. Clooney is good enough in the lead to stir talk of a political future.
  6. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Oct 5, 2011
    88
    A cynical, polished and deeply disturbing look at the kind of camera-ready liberal dreamboy who gets elected in 60-second sound bites, it is one of the most important films of the year.
  7. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 4, 2011
    88
    This is a deeply cynical movie and, in that cynicism, it finds truth.
  8. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Oct 6, 2011
    83
    A harsh self-examination of the cynicism that has crept into every cranny of the political landscape. As such, it's absolutely a story of our times.
  9. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 5, 2011
    83
    As a director, Clooney makes his most straightforward movie yet, although it's static at times due to the stage origins of Willimon's material.
  10. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 10, 2011
    83
    The title suggests a dramatic Shakespearean twist, but Clooney's aims are much simpler. As he builds to a western showdown divorced from political specificity, the Manchurian-like manipulation turns Ides of March into an allegorical monster movie in which everyone's competing for the role of the monster and most people can't see it.
  11. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 6, 2011
    80
    The Ides of March doesn't cut as deeply or as sharply as Clooney might like, but at least he found the right actor to navigate its dark emotional twists and turns.
  12. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 6, 2011
    80
    An ingenious construction, much cleverer in psychological and symbolic terms than the story it tells, which mixes a schematic thriller and an on-the-nose fable about the corruption of American politics.
  13. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 5, 2011
    80
    Some elements of the film are too melodramatic, but there's not a bad performance in it -- look at the cast and that's not surprising -- and Gosling is outstanding.
  14. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Oct 5, 2011
    78
    Ranks as one of the season's most intelligent and polished films.
  15. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Oct 7, 2011
    75
    It's not up to the high standard of the Clooney-Heslov script for "Good Night, and Good Luck,'' or what you'd imagine that, say, Aaron Sorkin could have done with this premise (for starters, sharper dialogue). Or what Elaine May did with the similarly themed "Primary Colors" 13 years ago.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Oct 7, 2011
    75
    The film is actually fairly entertaining once you get past its overweening desire to be the bearer of bad tidings. A more adventuresome movie would have treated the down-and-dirty world of politics as its starting, not its ending, point.
  17. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 6, 2011
    75
    There is no point in discounting smart, engrossing entertainment like The Ides of March, though it's hard not to notice when a film that could have been great falls short.
  18. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 6, 2011
    75
    Political scandals are standard movie fare, and this one, which hinges on sex and power, doesn't offer a new take. But that's the point: The all-too-familiar blend of hubris and lust for power makes the machinations no less poisonous and perhaps more regrettable for their sad predictability.
  19. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 6, 2011
    75
    If you want to see a great movie about a political campaign, starring the smartest heartthrob of his era, rent "The Candidate." If you want see a very good one, buy a ticket for The Ides of March.
  20. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Oct 6, 2011
    75
    Ides can't be said to enlighten any but the naive, and it's not likely to shock us into positive political action So what pleasure can we get from this movie? Quite a bit, as it happens.
  21. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Oct 6, 2011
    75
    I would see The Ides of March again just for the way Jeffrey Wright takes command of the screen in the secondary role of a senator who is either a cipher, a sphinx, a two-faced sphinx, a lying sack of D.C. dung or a steely man of principle.
  22. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Oct 6, 2011
    75
    Gosling continues to prove he may the best actor of his generation. His performance in The Ides of March, following his comedic turn in "Crazy, Stupid Love" and his portrayal of a stoic loner in "Drive," proves this actor is capable of practically anything.
  23. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 5, 2011
    75
    The movie's strength is in the acting, with Gosling once again playing a character with an insistent presence.
  24. Reviewed by: Jaime N. Christley
    Oct 5, 2011
    75
    Clooney's films as director often begin with a familiar point A and conclude at a less-familiar point B, deriving much of their interest from the circuitous path required to navigate the shift.
  25. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Oct 6, 2011
    70
    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.
  26. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Sep 10, 2011
    70
    Classy and professional throughout, the technical work gracefully holds all the threads together.
  27. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Sep 10, 2011
    70
    The Ides of March says that American politics, no less than Italian, is a beachfront property with sharks surfing the waves. That makes this skeptical, savory movie a fitting offering from Hollywood's suavest ambassador to Venice and the world.
  28. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Sep 10, 2011
    67
    The Ides Of March goes down easily, with a sophisticated bustle and a strong third act twist to test the hero's mettle. But it all feels a bit inconsequential - perhaps by design.
  29. 63
    Initially, the quick dialogue and strong cast obscure, at least partly, the fact that the plot is itself a dirty trick, a bit of a con game. Once the deception is seen through, the movie ends up inadvertently mimicking its subject matter: Like politics, it too leaves you disillusioned.
  30. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Oct 6, 2011
    63
    The Ides of March is cynical when, with political figures and institutions at all-time lows in public opinion, cynicism is the last thing we need; worse, that cynicism isn't spiked with any new or incisive insight.
  31. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Oct 6, 2011
    63
    The filmmaking is shallow but assured, the star charisma thoughtful but undimmed. As for the character, I'd vote for Mike Morris. Actually, I wish I could.
  32. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Oct 24, 2011
    60
    Entertaining while you're watching it but, as deceptive as a party's election promises, there's less to it than meets the eye.
  33. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Oct 6, 2011
    60
    He's (Clooney) got the makings of a great movie here: one that represents our politically surreal times with keen insight and appropriate cynicism. It's only when he veers off the path, suddenly worried he'll lose our attention, that he falters.
  34. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 4, 2011
    60
    Philip Seymour Hoffman and a ratlike Paul Giamatti are the competing spin doctors - you wish the whole movie were about them. And Marisa Tomei brings a hungry sense of scoopmaking to the (unavoidable?) role of a New York Times journalist who's seen it all.
  35. 60
    Surprisingly, George Clooney's direction is somewhat underwhelming with crucial conversations oddly lacking in tension.
  36. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Oct 6, 2011
    50
    Despite across-the-board bravura performances (especially by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti as dueling campaign managers), The Ides of March somehow remains static and lifeless, like a civics-class diorama.
  37. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 6, 2011
    50
    That's one of the puzzles of this piece. You'd think a film with talent to burn - would provide some electrifying encounters at the very least. No such luck. Words fly, some of them medium-witty, but lightning doesn't strike.
  38. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Oct 6, 2011
    50
    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.
  39. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Oct 6, 2011
    50
    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.
  40. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Oct 4, 2011
    50
    Compelling enough as a methodic moral inquiry, a step-by-step account of how lines in the sand move, Ides is less successful when attempting to capture the feeling of the times.
  41. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Oct 3, 2011
    50
    Clooney and company could have used Sturges - or, even better, Clifford Odets - when it came to rewrites. With all the betrayals and gassy ambitions swirling around here, we badly need dialogue to ignite the film, instead of which even the most aggressive spirits keep firing the dampest of lines.
  42. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Sep 10, 2011
    50
    Intriguing but overly portentous drama, which seems far more taken with its own cynicism than most viewers will be.
  43. 40
    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.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 252 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 73
  2. Negative: 7 out of 73
  1. Oct 13, 2011
    8
    The Ides of March is not only relevant for the times we live in, but it shows the madness behind the politics and how our leaders get elected (and it isnâ Full Review »
  2. Apr 12, 2012
    0
    I'm pretty sure this entire film was made just so George could expose his left wing liberal views anymore than he already has. The movie was bland and very boring just like all the acting. Full Review »
  3. Oct 26, 2011
    10
    With only one word am going to describe this film - AMAZING. I must admit that it is absolutely fantastic. From George Clooney directing to Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Paul Giamatti acting. It will definitely gonna be a strong contender at the upcoming award season. Full Review »