Movie Review: The Ides of March [2011]

The Ides of March [2011]

The Ides of March [2011]
Director: George Clooney
Genre: Drama
Starring: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood
Runtime: 101 Minutes

I hate politics. The backstabbing, corruption, greed, the selfishness. It can be downright disgusting at times, as everyone is out for themselves, seldom caring about who they take down on their way to the top.

The Ides of March is a perfect example of this debauchery, as it follows the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful, Mike Morris (Clooney), while he battles to win his party’s nomination. At first glance, Morris appears to be an easily likable guy, one who seems different from the usual talking heads. He is backed by a campaign team that believes in him, especially Junior Campaign Manager Stephen Meyers (Gosling). Meyers is a young guy with all of the potential in the world; he has a reputation as one of the top political aides in the game, and he is a major reason that Morris has found success. Meyers has learned from the best, in the form of Senior Campaign Manager Paul Zara (Hoffman). Zara is jaded, but has been around the block more than a few times in his long career, and he knows how to play the game.

The Ides of March [2011]

There are a few questions presented by the film. Will Morris win the Ohio Primary? Will he guarantee a state senator a Cabinet position in order to get his recommendation (even though he doesn’t agree with his views)? Will Meyers continue to support his presidential candidate, even as things take an ugly turn? Political scandals develop, characters betray others, and a whole lot of bullshit happens. It’s politics, folks, and as much as I hate it, it can still be pretty damn fascinating.

It doesn’t hurt to have an all-star cast either. Hollywood darling Ryan Gosling is particularly fantastic here, in what may be his best performance yet (yes, even better than in Drive). George Clooney, of course, just oozes suave and comes across as someone who could legimately run for president. Hoffman plays up the jaded veteran very well. Other noteworthy cast members include Evan Rachel Wood as a young intern who gets dragged in well over her head, Paul Giamatti as the rival campaign manager, and Marisa Tomei as the feisty New York Times executive who stops at nothing to get her story. Seriously, this movie has a lot of firepower, and it is all the better for it.

Whether you like politics or not, The Ides of March is still a pretty damn good movie that tells a very intriguing story. It can be hard to like the characters at times, and it might leave you pissed off at the end, but the script is tight and the cast is stellar. All the makings of a gripping melodrama.

8/10

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13 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Ides of March [2011]

  1. CMrok93 says:

    Everybody in the cast is great here, especially Gosling who just plays it straight and cool like he always does so well, but the film tried to be a little bit too moral for my liking and kind of lost my interest once it threw in that plot twist. Good review Eric.

    • Eric says:

      Hmm.. I thought the plot twist really kicked the movie into high gear. That’s when the real debauchery began. I can see your point though. Thanks Dan!

  2. Scott Lawlor says:

    I am proper happy that you enjoyed this one Eric. A greta film (I thought). Gosling was strong here, I wouldn’t go as far as yourself to say it was a better performance than DRIVE, but I am slightly biased towards that film.

    Great write up my friend

    • Eric says:

      Thanks Scott. I was pleased with this movie, especially since I wasn’t sure how much I would get into the subject matter. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one as well.

  3. stacybuckeye says:

    I’m always fascinated by politics and liked the movie (although I thought the pills twist was a little too easy). Great performances by all, especially Gosling. I haven’t seen Drive yet but I did like him in Crazy, Stupid Love.

    • Eric says:

      Hey, thanks for stopping by! Glad to hear you enjoyed the movie as well. I have been wanting to check out Crazy, Stupid Love, too, as I have heard a lot of great things about it.

  4. rtm says:

    I don’t mind a good political movie though it’s not my fave genre. I’ll be sure to rent this one as soon as it’s available. Gosling is even better than in Drive here? Well that’s good as I don’t know if I’ll be seeing Drive to be honest.

    • Eric says:

      Yep, Gosling’s great in both, but I was really impressed with him in this. I think you’ll be pleased with the movie, though it may leave a sour taste in your mouth by the end. 🙂

  5. Castor says:

    Good to hear this is a good flick. I’m always worried with these kind of “political thriller” that it’s just going to be a drag. I’ll look forward to the Netflix rental 😉

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