• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 10, 2012
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Mar 9, 2012
    100
    Game Change is less about Palin than it is about this sad state of political affairs....That message made an impression, as did two amazing performances, beginning with Julianne Moore's uncanny and nuanced portrayal of Palin.
  2. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Mar 8, 2012
    100
    Game Change is graced by three extraordinary performances in the leading roles, beginning with Moore's portrayal of Palin, which is both complex and entirely credible.
  3. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Mar 8, 2012
    100
    A luminous and fully alive portrait by a first-rate actress.
  4. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Mar 8, 2012
    91
    In the end, fans of well-paced political potboilers will find much to like about Game Change. As will those who simply want to be entertained by a crackling good melodrama.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Mar 6, 2012
    91
    Jay Roach, who directed the Austin Powers films and won an Emmy for the HBO political drama Recount, knows from parody and keeps his actors from slipping into it.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 6, 2012
    88
    Seeing Game Change is like living again through the campaign of 2008.
  7. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Feb 29, 2012
    88
    Comparisons to The Iron Lady, a sloppy movie that has Meryl Streep in roaring good form, are inevitable. Is Game Change better? You betcha. [5 Mar 2012, p.41]
  8. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Mar 9, 2012
    80
    While Moore's performance is riveting, the most insightful aspects of the tale are the insider reactions.
  9. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Mar 9, 2012
    80
    A searing, sizzlingly well acted docudrama.
  10. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Mar 8, 2012
    80
    A brisk film extracted from the campaign-trail saga of that title--has delivered to Julianne Moore the meatiest role of her career.
  11. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Mar 8, 2012
    80
    Game Change is a compelling, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant dramatization of the behind-the-scenes machinations of the Republican side of the 2008 presidential campaign.
  12. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Mar 8, 2012
    80
    Ms. Palin dominates as a disarming egotist whose presumption is balanced by charisma and animal cunning--and in this film, as in life, she has the last smirk.
  13. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Mar 6, 2012
    80
    Filled with pulse-pounding, thriller-style music, Game Change is a thoroughly engrossing film made all the more compelling by Ms. Moore's performance.
  14. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Mar 1, 2012
    80
    The film isn't trying to break ground with revelations, so what it comes down to is whether Game Change is a good movie, as opposed to a balanced documentary. For the most part, it is.
  15. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Mar 8, 2012
    75
    A star-studded, fast-moving, generally entertaining film about Sarah Palin.
  16. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Mar 8, 2012
    75
    Moore's impersonation of Sarah Palin is the hook to reel you into HBO'S latest truelife political thriller.
  17. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Mar 8, 2012
    70
    The overall atmosphere of the film is surprisingly kind to all, much more fatalistic than hypercritical and certainly not derisive.
  18. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Mar 8, 2012
    70
    Tiny flaws come close to undermining the success of Game Change as a mere film.
  19. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Mar 2, 2012
    70
    Although Julianne Moore's uncanny mimicry of Palin's verbal tics will surely attract praise, the movie revolves around an equally compelling performance by Woody Harrelson as GOP strategist and campaign operative Steve Schmidt.
  20. 60
    The movie is better than you've heard but not good enough to linger in the mind.
  21. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Mar 8, 2012
    60
    It takes a story whose outline we know and uses backstage access to turn it into a well-paced drama.
  22. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Mar 9, 2012
    50
    My problem with the film is that it's all surface.
  23. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Mar 8, 2012
    40
    Truth be told, Game Change does not make anyone look good.
  24. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Mar 8, 2012
    40
    The movie seems to want to make a larger point about modern politics from the way Palin's nomination was used by the flagging McCain campaign--as a shiny object to "change the narrative" and shift the buzz from Barack Obama--but the movie itself gets distracted by its own shiny object, Palin.
  25. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Mar 8, 2012
    25
    Roach's bland style and Strong's script never allow for anything to come of such challenging subjects, opting instead for uninventive hindsight.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. Mar 12, 2012
    7
    You don't have to be a political junkie in order to enjoy the the trials and tribulations of the movie 'Game Change' based on the book 'Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime'. The star of the show is unsurprisingly Sarah Palin who is brilliantly portrayed in this film by Julieanne Moore. Kudos must also be awarded to Ed Harris who provides a revealing and honest depiction of John McCain. Although this piece was based on actual events I would have preferred more unseen material to be shown. Full Review »
  2. Mar 11, 2012
    3
    I don't know why the critics are so soft on mediocre productions like this . Could be that because everyone kind of likes Julianna Moore, Woody Harrelson, and Ed Harris, there's an inclination to cut them a break. To me, the movie is just a cartoon with actors we can recognize impersonating real world characters and superficially portraying events we all know about but not necessarily illuminating them. It fun to remember the campaign and how shockingly unprepared Sarah Palin was to assume national office. Moore is OK as Palin, Harris is lame as McCain. Harrelson was fun as Steve Schmidt. The Nicole Wallace character is likeable. But most of the other characters were pretty weak. The Todd Palin character was pathetic. He looked nothing like the real one and didn't act like him either. Seems like they grabbed someone off the street and just asked him to stand there. This is one of those movies that suck and get lots of award nominations. Full Review »
  3. Mar 11, 2012
    7
    The actors aping the real world Palin and McCain are quite good, but they can't save this bland retelling of events most of us already know. Moore's portrayal is more of an imitation than a character study, and a big part of the blame goes to the script, which removes a good deal of depth from her character (as well as some of the bite and grit from Harris's McCain). Sarah might be dumb, and she may be crazy as the film suggests, but she's not completely without self-awareness, and that's what the movie character lacks. The film slightly veers towards being a dark comedy, and would have been better off taking that route all the way. The book is worth a read. I hope "Season 2" turns out better, metacritic. Full Review »