User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 122 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 85 out of 122
  2. Negative: 23 out of 122
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  1. MK
    Aug 2, 2004
    10
    Meryl streep is awesome!!! Oscar race is over for best actress.
  2. ArthurF.
    Sep 9, 2004
    10
    This movie was awsome it creeped the s... out of me.
  3. MaryM.
    Jul 27, 2004
    10
    Top thriller. The cast is great. A must-see.
  4. mk
    Nov 19, 2004
    10
    Magnificent streep.
  5. BenjaminA.
    Aug 10, 2004
    9
    This is the second best movie I've seen in the theaters this year. Its the best this summer. This movie makes you think. You really have to keep your eyes open and be ready for anything. This is a great story, and it is told very well.
  6. PeterJ.
    Feb 3, 2005
    9
    Now this is my kind of movie. I love a good conspiracy theory. Denzel once again does a great job. I love everything about this movie. Those who gave it a low rating probably does not have the mental capacity to watch a movie like this.
  7. LayneW.
    Jan 6, 2005
    9
    Great above all is Streep, who continues to steal every scene she is in. What is so fascinating about her are the details she includes in her mannerisms, her speech, her hand gestures; she drops words when she feels that an impact might be made, or her volume will rise if she feels that emphasis needs to be included. In one part, it even seems like she changes thought in the middle of Great above all is Streep, who continues to steal every scene she is in. What is so fascinating about her are the details she includes in her mannerisms, her speech, her hand gestures; she drops words when she feels that an impact might be made, or her volume will rise if she feels that emphasis needs to be included. In one part, it even seems like she changes thought in the middle of saying something and moves onto a better, more fluid way of getting her point across. I am continually amazed to find these small details. I already knew Meryl Streep was the most talented of all actresses, but this movie made me appreciate her even more (if that's possible.) I loved the movie as a whole, but I will always remember it for Magnifescent Meryl's powerhouse, acid-tongued, endlessly intriguing performance. Expand
  8. RRR.
    Nov 1, 2004
    9
    God forbid a movie makes you think! No, it's not as good as the original, but it stands on its own as thought-provoking, frightening, and intelligent. Liev Schrieber (first of his movies I've seen) was outstanding! Only the very end (back to the island, anyone?) kept it from a higher rating.
  9. PatG.
    Jul 30, 2004
    9
    The ending was a bit puzzling, but it is a powerful movie. See it for great performances if nothing else: Streep, Washington, and Schreiber are all excellent. I predict at least several Oscar nominations. Two-hours well spent.
  10. tylern.
    Jan 9, 2005
    9
    The Manchurian Candidate is a gritty and often disturbing could-be-real cliffhanger. Most of the movie is spent trying to figure out fact from fiction while the rest is bits of the main character's memories. The only draw backs are the gut-wrenchingly slow scenes carelessly placed between the most important parts.
  11. SamC
    Dec 24, 2004
    9
    Though a bit far-fetched in its sci-fi concept, the storyline was creepy and entertaining. The star-studded performances were amazing, as was expected!
  12. DanB.
    Jul 31, 2004
    9
    Good movie, and actually relevant - if you strip away the fantastical stuff, it's really just about the public process being co-opted by private concerns. Like a lot of sci-fi or otherwise outlandish fiction, it exagerrates its points. But that shouldn't diminish them. (Ok maybe a little but anyway it was a good movie.)
  13. IlirC.
    Jul 30, 2006
    8
    great movie with a great ending...highly recommended.
  14. RB
    Aug 5, 2004
    8
    I am extremely surprised by the low rating on this movie. Most people are obviously comparing it to the original and sometimes that can be a good or bad thing. Comparing the new Ocean's 11 to the old one helped it. But that was a mediocre film. This one is not. It's superb across the board. All of the acting is brilliant, especially Meryl Streep who deserves an Oscar for this I am extremely surprised by the low rating on this movie. Most people are obviously comparing it to the original and sometimes that can be a good or bad thing. Comparing the new Ocean's 11 to the old one helped it. But that was a mediocre film. This one is not. It's superb across the board. All of the acting is brilliant, especially Meryl Streep who deserves an Oscar for this role. While at times, slow and poorly written, on the whole it deserves the majority of its good reviews while most of the negative ones are purely nostalgic for the old movie. Expand
  15. Tony
    Aug 9, 2004
    8
    Entertaining, but of course not without flaws. It's just a movie; sit back and enjoy. Ranking a movie like this a 1 or 2 is reactionary and insubstantial.
  16. Blowhouse
    Oct 10, 2005
    8
    Well-made political thriller. A good adaptation that adds a lot to the franchise.
  17. JimM
    Dec 6, 2005
    8
    The reviewers who call this the "worst movie of 2004" must work for the devious Manchurian Global Corp. as portrayed in the film. Overall, Manchurian Candidate is an interesting political thriller and is competently filmed, but lacks the emotional connectedness required to call it "memorable." Draws many parallels to actual events and subterfuge in current geopolitics and the enormous The reviewers who call this the "worst movie of 2004" must work for the devious Manchurian Global Corp. as portrayed in the film. Overall, Manchurian Candidate is an interesting political thriller and is competently filmed, but lacks the emotional connectedness required to call it "memorable." Draws many parallels to actual events and subterfuge in current geopolitics and the enormous power wielded by many corporations (Halliburton, Enron?). Streeps performance is the highlight -- positively chilling! Expand
  18. GregA
    Jul 31, 2004
    8
    Did not plan on seeing this - could not believe that they would do a remake of a near perfect movie - but the good reviews won me over. A very well done and different take on the classic.
  19. [Anonymous]
    Jul 9, 2005
    8
    Good political connotations, and Denzel's issues are well portrayed, and it makes you feel somewhat paranoid about your life: are you being controlled? Some clunkier scenes are around, but they don't hurt the movie badly. The mom/son relaitonship was a little disturbing. The bad mom was sinister (doing that to her kid was quite disturbing), but she delivered such a good line at Good political connotations, and Denzel's issues are well portrayed, and it makes you feel somewhat paranoid about your life: are you being controlled? Some clunkier scenes are around, but they don't hurt the movie badly. The mom/son relaitonship was a little disturbing. The bad mom was sinister (doing that to her kid was quite disturbing), but she delivered such a good line at the beginning: "We can pretend to deceive the people, or we can arm them and help them face the truth". Now that's good scriptwriting! Expand
  20. MichaelM.
    Oct 21, 2004
    8
    One of the best political thrillers I've ever seen. It truly does do the original justice. The film packs great performances from Denzel Washington, Jon Voight and Liev Schrieber and Meryl Streep who I think both deserve Oscar nominations for their work in this. It ranks as one of my Top 5 summer films -- along with Collateral, Napoleon Dynamite, The Village and Harry Potter and the One of the best political thrillers I've ever seen. It truly does do the original justice. The film packs great performances from Denzel Washington, Jon Voight and Liev Schrieber and Meryl Streep who I think both deserve Oscar nominations for their work in this. It ranks as one of my Top 5 summer films -- along with Collateral, Napoleon Dynamite, The Village and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Expand
  21. PaulD.
    Jul 29, 2004
    8
    OK, I'm punching myself right now. I've been one of those who thought that it was completely stupid to remake the Manchurian Candidate, and I even wanted to boycott it - until I got free tickets for the premiere. I thought they would just make a quick-remake-quick-bucks; man was I wrong. This film is nearly as good as the original. The acting is great and Liev Schreiber (Raymond OK, I'm punching myself right now. I've been one of those who thought that it was completely stupid to remake the Manchurian Candidate, and I even wanted to boycott it - until I got free tickets for the premiere. I thought they would just make a quick-remake-quick-bucks; man was I wrong. This film is nearly as good as the original. The acting is great and Liev Schreiber (Raymond Shaw) is a really great actor. I remember him in RKO 281, Ransom and the TV series about Hitler with Robert Carlyle as the Fuhrer. Anyway, to come back to Candidate, see it now. It's a must see. It will definitely be remembered as one of the only remakes that didn't suck. Expand
  22. Jul 21, 2014
    8
    The remake of The Manchurian Candidate is one of the few Denzel Washington films I've never seen. To be honest, the story just didn't interest me that much, but it started streaming this month, so I gave it a shot. As expected, it's a someone complex story, that at times was difficult to understand, however an all-star cast manages to pull it together at the end. The story begins in IraqThe remake of The Manchurian Candidate is one of the few Denzel Washington films I've never seen. To be honest, the story just didn't interest me that much, but it started streaming this month, so I gave it a shot. As expected, it's a someone complex story, that at times was difficult to understand, however an all-star cast manages to pull it together at the end. The story begins in Iraq during the Gulf War, when a U.S. Army platoon goes missing for three days. Even they were unaware of what happened to them, until one of the men starts having nightmares, and bodies start turning up. Denzel Washington plays the commanding officer, who takes it upon himself to investigate the strange deaths of his men, almost a decade later. As always, Washington is at the top of his game, giving off that infectious intensity, that keeps you on the edge of your seat through every step of the investigation. Washington is paired with Liev Schreiber who is one guy that has always just rubbed me the wrong way. It's not that he's a bad actor, there is just something about him and the characters he plays that is inherently unlikeable. He wasn't bad in this film, but being a similarly intense actor, meant that the chemistry with Washington was almost non-existent. The story is complicated and in the beginning of the film, it's going to be somewhat hard to watch. As the film proceeds and the elements become more clear, the film gets easier to watch, and the ending really pulls everything together. The Manchurian Candidate is one of those films that you think is going to be a bust, some people may even turn it off, but those who stick with it will see that it just gets better and better until a surprise ending brings it all together. If I were the writer of this film, I would have made the beginning of the film more intense and less confusing. The truth is the most important parts of a film are the beginning and the end, and without a strong opening, a lot of people will be turned off to the film and have the wrong attitude throughout. If you manage to stick with it, The Manchurian Candidate is great, but it does take a while to get there. Expand
  23. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    Jonathan Demme's reimagining of the classic political thriller proves to be a harrowing, powerfully acted, and solidly written piece of cinema.
  24. SamR.
    Aug 10, 2004
    7
    As good as it is, it still doen't match the subversive genius of the original. The original held no gore, just a creeping realization that in our world it's all possible. The acting is great with Denzel and Meryl doing extrordinary work. I regret the ending of this version. It seems tacked on, put there to placate the audience into thinking that all is right with the world, when As good as it is, it still doen't match the subversive genius of the original. The original held no gore, just a creeping realization that in our world it's all possible. The acting is great with Denzel and Meryl doing extrordinary work. I regret the ending of this version. It seems tacked on, put there to placate the audience into thinking that all is right with the world, when we all know in our heart's it isn't. Expand
  25. Triniman
    Jul 31, 2004
    7
    3.5/5 This film doesn't top the 1962 original, however, it stands on its own as an exciting political conspiracy thriller. Denzel Washington plays a psychologically troubled 1991 Gulf War veteran. One evening, his platoon was ambushed, resulting in a firefight. Knocked unconscious, he still has a vivid memory of what happened. One of his troops, Sgt Raymond Shaw, ends up performing 3.5/5 This film doesn't top the 1962 original, however, it stands on its own as an exciting political conspiracy thriller. Denzel Washington plays a psychologically troubled 1991 Gulf War veteran. One evening, his platoon was ambushed, resulting in a firefight. Knocked unconscious, he still has a vivid memory of what happened. One of his troops, Sgt Raymond Shaw, ends up performing some heroic actions that saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. All but two survive and the Sgt ends up winning a medal of honour. Upon returning to the US, the Sgt., son of a senator, ends up becoming a congressman. Oddly enough, the way they are touting John Kerry's military record for saving his boat crew is similar. The problem is, that Washington obtains discovers that his one and only dream, a nightmarish recollection as a result of brainwashing, is shared by another of his former platoon mates. Mentored by his controlling Senator mother, played superbly by Meryl Streep, Raymond Shaw ends up as possible candidate for Vice President. In the first film, the would-be President is a Communist sleeper. In this film, the conglomerate Manchurian Global serves as the conspiring organization. They are protrayed not unlike Dick Cheney's old employer, Halliburton. The spectre of corporate greed is a credible replacement for a much diminished political ideology. There is a possible continuity error in the film. After VP candidate Shaw votes in an elementary school, his is ushered upstairs for a meeting with the Washington character. Moments later, one of the Secret Service men hides a gun in an air duct in the same building. We see the gun re-appear later in the film, but it appears to be a totally different building. While likely not a blockbuster, this is an entertaining film nonetheless. Review by Triniman. Expand
  26. ChadS.
    Aug 22, 2004
    7
    The heightening of light is an effective way to show Raymond (Liev Schreiber) being activated by his brainwashers, but you have to question the logic of sending a vice-president candidate to carry out Eleanor (Meryl Streep)'s command. Perhaps the filmmakers were so excited about their alteration to the original scene, they forgot about the most basic variables, such as eyewitnesses, The heightening of light is an effective way to show Raymond (Liev Schreiber) being activated by his brainwashers, but you have to question the logic of sending a vice-president candidate to carry out Eleanor (Meryl Streep)'s command. Perhaps the filmmakers were so excited about their alteration to the original scene, they forgot about the most basic variables, such as eyewitnesses, and eyewitnesses with guns, or eyewitnesses with cameras. But for the most part, "The Manchurian Candidate" is a reasonably smart update of the John Frankenheimer-helmed original, or maybe it just seems that way, considering the high-caliber of actors Jonathan Demme replaces the 1962 archetypes with. Given the freedom to be more explicit about sexual themes, Demme could've scored extra creepy points had Streep's lips been en route to a more provocative meeting place on her son's body. Expand
  27. Apr 5, 2012
    7
    Of course it is a good movie! I liked all the performances (Denzel Washington's was my less favourite but still fine), especially Meryl Streep's , but she never disappoints us! This film has flaws, but 98% of the movies do...so enjoy this one...! Entertaining for sure! This is one of the very few times when I agree with most of the critic, for a t this point, I don't care about theOf course it is a good movie! I liked all the performances (Denzel Washington's was my less favourite but still fine), especially Meryl Streep's , but she never disappoints us! This film has flaws, but 98% of the movies do...so enjoy this one...! Entertaining for sure! This is one of the very few times when I agree with most of the critic, for a t this point, I don't care about the critics'views anymore, well.... I never did for they are often too full of themselves, and I find most of them have a cheap taste! So I rather trust in normal users, who rank movies because what they feel, not what they pretend they are ('The harsh critic') to build themselves a good reputation...but this time, I have to say the critics have greatly surprised me! Good on them! Expand
  28. JonathanS.
    Aug 1, 2004
    6
    Technologically taunt and well-paced, but the ending just was a definite case of "Jumping the Shark" and ruined what would have been an otherwise great psychollogical thriller. Many holes in the script; many characters introduced and then no payoff.
  29. JeffL.
    Aug 11, 2004
    6
    It's a risky enough proposition to remake a bona fide movie masterpiece, and downright foolhardy to remake one as distinctive and original as John Frankenheimer's 1962 classic tale of brainwashing, assassination, and Cold War paranoia. (The Ladykillers from earlier this year was equally problematic.) It does help, though, to have a first-rate cast and a world-class director like It's a risky enough proposition to remake a bona fide movie masterpiece, and downright foolhardy to remake one as distinctive and original as John Frankenheimer's 1962 classic tale of brainwashing, assassination, and Cold War paranoia. (The Ladykillers from earlier this year was equally problematic.) It does help, though, to have a first-rate cast and a world-class director like Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Melvin and Howard) who are determined to bring some relevance to the story and not simply do another summertime hack action movie. Denzel Washington is superb as a shattered veteran haunted by fragmented dreams and memories of a traumatic experience he had during the first Gulf War (which, interestingly enough, has spawned it's own costly but pointless remake.) Meryl Streep is riveting as a power-mad congresswoman who is determined to see war "hero" son (Liev Schreiber) ascend to the top of the political ladder. And Kimberly Elise (Washington's co-star in John Q) is sweet and likeable as a "grocery clerk" who helps Washington out. The film is generally engrossing and at times even haunting, but somehow Demme manages to miss the dark urgency of the original's Cold War satire. Halliburton, Fox News, and the "war" on terrorism are all subjects lurking on the edges, but how in the world can you make a film that casts Al Franken as a reporter for a Fox-like network and not really do anything funny or interesting with him? Still, don't miss out on Streep's mighty performance - I wouldn't exactly bet against her for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Expand
  30. PatC.
    Apr 6, 2006
    6
    Tries to replicate the tension of the original, which expressed the paranoia of communist ideology run amuck. Imputing such ideological drive to a corporation is a push. The quest for money by people who lack the motivation created from missing a lot of meals is neither compelling nor accurate. Some good acting, though.
  31. MarcK.
    Aug 7, 2004
    6
    This is an example where the "Metacritic Average User" rating is a better indice than the what the critics have said. I had no desire to see this, but the reviews were so good that I decided to go. Ridiculous and unrealistic in countless ways, with an oh-so-predictable ending. Another user on this board predicted Oscar nominations. For what? Wyclef Jean's ridiculous butchering of This is an example where the "Metacritic Average User" rating is a better indice than the what the critics have said. I had no desire to see this, but the reviews were so good that I decided to go. Ridiculous and unrealistic in countless ways, with an oh-so-predictable ending. Another user on this board predicted Oscar nominations. For what? Wyclef Jean's ridiculous butchering of CCR's "Fortunate Son"? Expand
  32. JoeA.
    Nov 13, 2004
    6
    While a decent movie, the plot was probably much more intriguing during the time the original came out. It doesn't work as well, or maybe isn't as original, nowadays.
  33. AMovieCritic
    Jan 17, 2005
    6
    I didn't really like the movie much. The trailers and TV commercials made it look like a suspense thriller, but it really wasn't. It got off to an interesting enough start, but for the whole movie, I was waiting for something to actually happen, and it really doesn't. Just when things start picking up, the movie ends. Plus, I was lost at some parts near the ending. More I didn't really like the movie much. The trailers and TV commercials made it look like a suspense thriller, but it really wasn't. It got off to an interesting enough start, but for the whole movie, I was waiting for something to actually happen, and it really doesn't. Just when things start picking up, the movie ends. Plus, I was lost at some parts near the ending. More explanation was definately needed. I was just scratching my head. When I re-watched the climax again on DVD, I got it, but....if I saw this in the theatre, I would have been completely lost. It just needed some more explanation at times. It was a cool premise, and the movie was interesting, but there just wasn't enough suspense, and not nearly enough explanation of why things happened the way they did. Expand
  34. JudyT.
    Aug 4, 2004
    5
    Painfully boring. No suspense, no thrills. Poorly written.
  35. rays
    Jan 17, 2005
    5
    Unfortunately, i did not find the premise all that believable-Denzel Washington did as well as he could with the character he portrayed- Meryl Streep was a parody of an evil politician-it was hard to care about these characters-the original movie was better.
  36. KyleA.
    Dec 22, 2004
    5
    This remake was neither wanted nor necessary--Hollywood's lust for box-office sales drove the project. I give it a 5 for Meryl Streep, everyone else, including Washington (god, pick a different genre), are mediocre. It's better than most summer movies, however--but that doesn't really say much.
  37. JuliusW.
    Jul 31, 2004
    5
    Great performances by Streep and Schreiber almost make up for the Dr. Stangelovian gimmicks of brain-injections and implants. Brainwashing would have been plenty. Sometimes more really is less. Denzel Washington has made such a career of frantically running around, asking questions that it was hard to see him for what he was supposed to be. Which was - what?
  38. MarkB.
    Aug 11, 2004
    5
    Jonathan Demme's remake/rethink of John Frankenheimer's suspense classic displays great wisdom in remolding and deemphasizing the earlier film's romantic interest, a rather creepy woman played by Janet Leigh whose come-on to Frank Sinatra's troubled vet falls just short of Glenn Close's pursuit of Michael Douglas in the early scenes of Fatal Attraction. Jonathan Demme's remake/rethink of John Frankenheimer's suspense classic displays great wisdom in remolding and deemphasizing the earlier film's romantic interest, a rather creepy woman played by Janet Leigh whose come-on to Frank Sinatra's troubled vet falls just short of Glenn Close's pursuit of Michael Douglas in the early scenes of Fatal Attraction. (Leigh's long speech about how she dumped her nice-guy fiance for Ol' Blue Eyes is perhaps the most unwatchable scene I've ever sat through in an otherwise great movie.) Reimagining her role and casting it with Kimberly Elise, who is charm personified, is the best move Demme makes. In fact, it's Demme's only really good move; otherwise, this version illustrates one more reason why the term "unnecessary remake" is just as much a redundancy as "homeless transient" or "baby puppy". You can't blame the rest of the casting; Denzel Washington, here as well as in his other Gulf War movie Courage Under Fire and last year's underrated Out of Time, is at his best playing troubled or vulnerable people. And Meryl Streep, as a Political Mom-From-Hell, again trumps her critics who accuse her of being skillful but soulless. She follows up two of her warmest and most loose-limbed performances ever (in The Hours and Adaptation) with one that's a scene-chewing delight; her not-frequent-enough appearances are a welcome break from the rest of the film's general torpor. (Can't wait to see her, with wig and accent, in The Theresa Heinz Kerry Story!) Demme stages scenes of murder committed by brainwashed military men far more graphically than Frankenheimer did but without the punchiness; most disappointing is that despite tantalizing tidbits here and there dealing with Halliburton and Fox news, Demme doesn't so much update the material as flatten it out. of the reasons the original worked so well was that Frankenheimer's nailbiter suspense techniques played brilliantly off a satiric script by George Axelrod, a writer best known not for thrillers but for sex comedies such as The Seven Year Itch; Demme just turns the material into a flashy but generic thriller. In fact, Demme's careeris just one more example of the dreaded "post-Oscar jinx"; his movies up to and including The Silence of the Lambs had a component of playfulness that his subsequent projects (Philadelphia, Beloved) have completely lost. (One exception: Demme's fondness for casting his old boss, schlockmeister producer Roger Corman, in cameo roles; here, he's a senator with whom Streep shakes hands with twice. Ms. Highbrow meets Mr. Lowbrow: now THAT's a film-buff treat!) All in all, if you want to see a sharply written political thriller that successfully comes close to replicating Axelrod and Frankenheimer's inimitable blend of complexity, suspense, believable paranoia and abundant wit, you have only one real choice: head to your local multiplex and buy another ticket for Fahrenheit 9/11! Expand
  39. AndrewS.
    Sep 4, 2004
    4
    At times this movie was very difficult to follow and understand. It lacked focus. It seems as if the director was purposely adding or leaving out parts of the story to confuse and perplex viewers.
  40. GaborA.
    Aug 1, 2004
    3
    The original had some loop holes. The remake is simply irrational and illogical in every degree. Im not going to go into the details and spoil it but every single action/reaction in this film had a much simpler solution. The new premise changes things so drastically in terms of logic that i cant imagine how the writers didnt notice the ridiculuous flaws as they wrote it. After the thrills The original had some loop holes. The remake is simply irrational and illogical in every degree. Im not going to go into the details and spoil it but every single action/reaction in this film had a much simpler solution. The new premise changes things so drastically in terms of logic that i cant imagine how the writers didnt notice the ridiculuous flaws as they wrote it. After the thrills die all you're left with is a "why in the world would they do it like this?" conversation with your friends. Expand
  41. ElizabethR.
    Aug 25, 2004
    3
    The only thing to recommend this movie is that it might spur others to see the original which is by far more intricate, exciting and artistic.
  42. TomV
    Jul 4, 2009
    3
    This movie wasn't very good!
  43. CraigB.
    Aug 2, 2004
    2
    I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, it looked as if it would be a great psychological thriller with twists and turns at every point, it turns out it wasn't. I was honestly watching my watch through most of the movie. The characters were predominantly flat and lifeless, the acting was about on par with a bad after school special (except for Denzel's performance, I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, it looked as if it would be a great psychological thriller with twists and turns at every point, it turns out it wasn't. I was honestly watching my watch through most of the movie. The characters were predominantly flat and lifeless, the acting was about on par with a bad after school special (except for Denzel's performance, which is the only reason this movie even got a ranking of 2 by me). Unfortunatley Denzel's performance was not enough to save this abysmal movie that's plot line was threadbare. At the end, I didn't care at all what happened to the characetrs and was just glad that the whole experience was over. I'm honestly surprised that this movie has such a high metacritic rating. Collapse
  44. DavidB.
    Aug 8, 2004
    2
    I was looking forward to this movie because of its many positive reviews, but I kept shaking my head in disbelief during the film at all the holes in the plot. It seems that the screenwriter not only doesn't know much about politicians, it seems that he's never seen one. How else can one explain that an automaton with virtually no personality and no wife, family , girlfriend, or I was looking forward to this movie because of its many positive reviews, but I kept shaking my head in disbelief during the film at all the holes in the plot. It seems that the screenwriter not only doesn't know much about politicians, it seems that he's never seen one. How else can one explain that an automaton with virtually no personality and no wife, family , girlfriend, or relationship in the last 15-20 years and who seems to be totally under the domination of his very powerful mother would coast to an easy victory in a national election? Wouldn't such a man be questioned continually about his lack of a "sexual" background? Or how about the fact that a character supposedly under the close supervision of the secret service easily goes on a killing spree without anyone being the wiser? Or that someone's political rivals would just start dying and no one is supposed to have any suspicions? And these are just the beginning. Give me a break! See this movie and you'll need anger management afterward. Expand
  45. LarryT.
    Aug 23, 2004
    2
    Aside from the unintentionally funny Meryl Streep as Hillary Clinton, this movie was very poorly done. What a waste of some great talent! Denzel was decent; but, he was seriously hampered by the direction, screenplay, and "plot".
  46. RoloT.
    Aug 2, 2004
    2
    Dreary and not enjoyable to watch. The original movie was dark but captivating. This updated version was just plain difficult to sit through.
  47. WallyT.
    Aug 3, 2004
    1
    Excruciatingly monotonous and flat. This is an astonishingly weak remake.
  48. KJohnson
    Aug 6, 2004
    1
    Am I the only one who thinks all of the critics who reviewed this movie were brainwashed by Jonathon Demme to give it good reviews? There wasn't anything good about the movie at all. Meryl Streep was alright, Denzel was his usual overrated self and Liev Schrieber needs to call it a career. Demme cinematographer was horrible, the cheesy fake news segments were horrible, the political Am I the only one who thinks all of the critics who reviewed this movie were brainwashed by Jonathon Demme to give it good reviews? There wasn't anything good about the movie at all. Meryl Streep was alright, Denzel was his usual overrated self and Liev Schrieber needs to call it a career. Demme cinematographer was horrible, the cheesy fake news segments were horrible, the political speeches were worse than anything Bush could deliever (hard to believe, but true) and the shocking brainwashing segments couldn't have been more lifeless. One review on TV said, "You won't be able to breathe for the last 30 minutes!" What!? Why not? The last 30 minutes were just as slow as the rest of the film. The tense conclusion was about as tense as a game of bridge in a retirement home. HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE. Do not believe the reviews. This one is a clunker with a capital suck. Expand
  49. Wendy
    Feb 5, 2005
    1
    Stay away!
  50. BJMorgan
    Aug 4, 2004
    1
    This movie was just terribly boring. It is not the suspenseful political thriller it is built up to be. It?s more thud than thunder.
  51. JackieL.
    Aug 8, 2004
    1
    I'm starting to think these newspaper critics above are getting wined and dined by the studios (bought off) with flashy junket tours to give good ratings to movies that are a big flop. Why not? They try to buy the Oscars etc. This movie is a disaster; as someone said below rely on the general public - the average joe to give you an honest appraisal rating. This movie stinks.
  52. ZacharyM.
    Aug 8, 2004
    1
    One of the worst movies I have ever seen.
  53. AdrianW.
    Aug 16, 2004
    1
    ...and I only give it the 1 out of respect for Denzel Washington. This movie, for all it's hype, is an obvious critics favorite for the same reason that Dances With Wolves won them over. But face it, IT SUCKED WIND!!!!!!
  54. DavidS
    Dec 22, 2004
    1
    This movie sucked. It attemped to be deep and meaningful but it came over the top and stupid. Especially when it exploited arab women.
  55. Kim
    Feb 6, 2005
    0
    Worst movie of 2004!! The movie looking good for the first 15mins, and then it goes down hill from there.
  56. MikeS.
    Feb 2, 2005
    0
    Guess what everyone? This movie has a worse plot then Alien vs Predator!! I couldnt believe how stupid this movie is! The WORST movie of 2004!
  57. PeterR
    Feb 11, 2005
    0
    Worst movie of 2004! Denzel is a good actor but even he couldnt save this!
  58. Gregory
    Aug 9, 2004
    0
    The only sin greater than remaking the 1962 film "The Manchurian Candidate" would be remaking "Citizen Kane." That "The Manchurian Candidate" would be remade at all shows just how depleted of creativity the film industry has become.
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. The updated classic is a chiller of a political thriller in its own right.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Structurally and thematically similar to John Frankenheimer's original but entirely different in style, feel and nuance, this political thriller about a brainwashed soldier being positioned for the White House provides a delectable network of dramatic tripwires that teases the mind and quickens the pulse. This is brainy popcorn fare.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    100
    A hugely entertaining thriller shot through with dark shards of agony and paranoia. It takes nothing away from the original while delivering pleasures all its own.