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  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 10, 2012
  • Season #: 1
Game Change Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

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  • Summary: Julianne Moore plays Sarah Palin in the HBO movie based on the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin about Palin's rise from unknown governor of Alaska to potential vice president.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Mar 9, 2012
    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: Ed Bark
    Mar 8, 2012
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Feb 29, 2012
    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]
  4. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Mar 6, 2012
    Filled with pulse-pounding, thriller-style music, Game Change is a thoroughly engrossing film made all the more compelling by Ms. Moore's performance.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Mar 8, 2012
    Moore's impersonation of Sarah Palin is the hook to reel you into HBO'S latest truelife political thriller.
  6. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Mar 2, 2012
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Mar 8, 2012
    Roach's bland style and Strong's script never allow for anything to come of such challenging subjects, opting instead for uninventive hindsight.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 3 out of 15
  1. Nov 17, 2013
    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. Expand
  2. Mar 16, 2012
    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. Expand
  3. Mar 24, 2012
    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
  4. Feb 23, 2013
    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
  5. Sep 3, 2014
    An unbiased and genuine look at Sarah Palin and her influence upon the 2008 Presidential Election. Julianne Moore gives one of the best performances of her career. Her Sarah Palin is not just an impression but rather an embodiment. Expand
  6. Mar 12, 2012
    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
  7. Mar 14, 2012
    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 Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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