• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 10, 2012
  • Season #: 1
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 46
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 46
  3. Negative: 7 out of 46

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  1. Nov 17, 2013
    10
    The miniseries captures the story of Sarah Palin's controversial run as vice president candidate flawlessly. Julianne Moore's acting is first-class and the story is very close to being accurate that I feel like this could've just been a documentary with several edits. It's thrilling, dramatic, and, at times, funny.
  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. Collapse
  3. 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. Expand
  4. Jun 23, 2012
    9
    A great HBO movie, that is held together by its' strong acting cast and its' well written screenplay. Now I'm not American so I didn't see all the debates and interviews that Palin did, but from the things that I did see all I can say is that Julianne Moore does an amazing job at playing her. Moore moves so carelessly through the movie that it's easy the forget that its an actress and not Palin herself. As for the rest of the cast they were all great especially Woody Harrelson and Sarah Paulson who are the main supporting character. I did have a few problems thought, I thought that Ed Harris was such a poor choice to play McCain, the two look absolutely nothing alike. and at some parts of the movie (specifically the scene when Palin in on the phone with Sarah Paulson in the stairway) that made me fell like I was watching a really bad Lifetime A story of kind of movie. But all in all it was a fantastic movie, watch it if only for Julianne Moore performance, Expand
  5. Mar 10, 2012
    9
    Game Change is a very entertaining and surprisingly balanced portrayal of Sarah Palin and the 2008 campaign. Ed Harris and Julianne Moore are spot on as McCain and Palin - performances that should get Emmy nominations.
  6. Feb 23, 2013
    8
    In 1972, the film The Candidate starred Robert Redford, who played the role of a handsome but inexperienced senatorial candidate selected to unseat a popular Republican. Candidate Bill McKay, played by Redford, is the son of a popular former governor, and his candidacy is taken seriously by voters because of the family name. His platform, however, is weak, if not nonexistent, because he is mostly a pretty boy and a dreamer with no real grasp of politics. His speeches are bland and generalized, and he needs prearranged answers to get him through a crucial debate. No one expects him to win the senatorial race, but he does. When he realizes that he's won, he is shocked and he takes the campaign director into a private room. The last line of the movie is Redford's character saying to the campaign manager, “Marvin, what do we do now?” The Candidate was a disquieting, what-if Hollywood scenario presenting a candidate who merely played the part, but Game Change is a real-life story of an incompetent candidate, Sarah Palin, who was chosen to run alongside veteran presidential candidate John McCain, mostly because of her charisma, her gender, and her family values. According to the biopic, when she was vetted for the position, everyone who interviewed her forgot to ask her policy questions. And that is why no one knew that she thought the Queen of England was in charge of British military forces and that North Korea was a U.S. ally. Like Redford's Bill McKay, her debates had to be scripted. Her popularity was related mostly to her personal warmth, the fact that she was the mother of five children, and her decision to go forward with her last pregnancy, having been told that the amniocentesis results revealed her child would have Down's Syndrome. It is a highly negative portrayal of Palin, who later went on to join the infamous Tea Party. Perhaps as the mother of a special-needs child, Palin deserves a little more respect than this film shows her. But her alleged ignorance of American history, economics, and government policy does present the alarming scenario of what would have happened if she had become a vice-president who might have inherited the office of president if anything had happened to John McCain (who ultimately has to bear the responsibility for her appointment as running mate). There was also the problem of her having gone “rogue,” breaking with McCain on significant issues after her popularity apparently fluffed up her ego and went to her head. The story of Sarah Palin, played brilliantly by Julianne Moore, is a cautionary tale for the government of the United States of America. Expand
  7. Mar 16, 2012
    10
    One of the best made for TV movies I have ever seen. The acting is terrific, especially Woody Harrelson. The film reveals what a self-serving nut bar Sarah Palin really is.
  8. Aug 9, 2012
    9
    The truth is, before watching this film, I didn
  9. Mar 13, 2012
    10
    The film and story was very well structured, decent score, Woody Harrelson/Julianne Moore are excellent. Well worth the watch if you're into politics
  10. Mar 11, 2012
    3
    Scott Tobias of the Onion AVClub nailed the review so I'll just quote him:

    "This is supposed to be the inside story of the McCain campaign, with all its dysfunction, backbiting, and Hail Mary gimmickry, yet everyone speaks in stilted pundit-ese... The politicians and operatives in Game Change are not human beings. They are spouters of conventional wisdom."
  11. 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. Expand
  12. Mar 14, 2012
    0
    This film is propaganda at best. Its hard for me to believe that a person who has risen the the rank of governor can be that as simple as this film potrays. The writers said this provides a balanced look at Sarah Palin but it doesn't pass the eye test. Propaganda
  13. Mar 24, 2012
    10
    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. FANTASTIC performances by both Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson. However, other than the fact that the make-up was spot-on, I thought Ed Harris' John McCain left much to be desired. Admittedly, this story isn't about McCain as much as it is Palin. She is the character that truly needed to shine, and WOW. Say hello to the Golden Globes, Ms. Moore. You too, Woody. Also, keep an eye on the gentleman whom plays the role of Palin's husband, Todd. A small role, but I was really impressed by what he was able to do with it. Expand
  14. Mar 24, 2012
    7
    As a Canadian who was in the USA for several months at the time of the election and didn't really understand all of the fuss (even tho I understand some of the US system) I actually found this quite entertaining and informative. I knew who Sarah Palin was but wasn't really aware of her role in the entire process nor of any of her downfalls so most of this was news to me.
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. 60
    The movie is better than you've heard but not good enough to linger in the mind.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Mar 9, 2012
    50
    My problem with the film is that it's all surface.