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The Front Runner (2018)

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Critic Consensus: The Front Runner exhumes the wreckage of a political campaign with well-acted wit, even if it neglects to truly analyze the issues it raises.

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Movie Info

Oscar (R) nominee Hugh Jackman stars as the charismatic politician Gary Hart for Academy Award (R)-nominated director Jason Reitman in the new thrilling drama The Front Runner. The film follows the rise and fall of Senator Hart, who captured the imagination of young voters and was considered the overwhelming front runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when his campaign was sidelined by the story of an extramarital relationship with Donna Rice. As tabloid journalism and political journalism merged for the first time, Senator Hart was forced to drop out of the race - events that left a profound and lasting impact on American politics and the world stage.

Cast

Hugh Jackman
as Gary Hart
Vera Farmiga
as Lee Hart
Molly Ephraim
as Irene Kelly
Kaitlyn Dever
as Andrea Hart
Ari Graynor
as Ann Devroy

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Critic Reviews for The Front Runner

All Critics (84) | Top Critics (28)

The film is so desperate to come off like a wry, coffee-stained media satire (à la Robert Altman's classic HBO series Tanner '88) that it misses the deeper story, that of a woman being treated shabbily on a man's way to the top.

November 9, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

This is a responsible, educated, sophisticated and often deeply witty film about politics and journalistic responsibility in the tradition of All the President's Men, The Post and The Ides of March.

November 9, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Jackman, sporting a distracting, Hart-like brown hairpiece, seems miscast. He doesn't convincingly convey this politician's swagger and slickness, and Reitman's attempts to mimic a loose-limbed political movie... are rather leaden.

November 9, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Reitman is tripped up in his attempts to spin Hart's story into something more symbolic.

November 9, 2018 | Full Review…

The issue of how men in power treat women brings the film into the here and now all the more robustly, but the tone is hectoring and opportunistic, with none of the true pop of American politics.

November 8, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Given the profound currents and countercurrents that have transformed-and menaced-the news media in the last few years, this story plays like quaintly ancient history.

November 8, 2018 | Full Review…

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