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Recount: The Story Of The 2000 Presidential Election (2008)

Kevin Spacey , Laura Dern  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

Price: $11.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, John Hurt, Ed Begley Jr., Bob Balaban
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2008
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,686 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Recount: The Story Of The 2000 Presidential Election" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

At the height of the 2000 election season, CBS anchor Dan Rather quipped, "The presidential race is crackling like a hickory fire." Director Jay Roach (Austin Powers) recaptures that blaze in his smart HBO docudrama about the thriller in Palm Beach County. Written by actor Danny Strong, Recount bounces between the Sunshine State, Gore's Tennessee headquarters, and Bush's Texas stomping grounds. Gore adviser Ron Klain (an excellent Kevin Spacey) provides a privileged window into those weeks when the American public first became familiar with obscure terms like "hanging chad." (Since Klain has an ax to grind with the vice president, neither he nor Gore appear completely heroic.) First, the Democratic candidate pulls ahead; then he falls behind. Just as he prepares to concede, Klain's colleague, Michael Whouley (Denis Leary), spots an anomaly in the vote count, and the race continues. Enter eccentric Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (Laura Dern, a certain Emmy nominee), who orders a recount, and former Secretaries of State Warren Christopher (John Hurt) and James Baker III (Tom Wilkinson), who oversee a process that ends up in the Supreme Court (where Ed Begley Jr.'s David Boies represents Gore). Produced by the late Sydney Pollack, who originally intended to direct, Recount skillfully integrates news footage with dark comedy, most provided by the foul-mouthed Whouley and Bush adviser Ben Ginsberg (Bob Balaban), who's still livid about JFK's victory over Nixon. If the Democrats come across as more sympathetic, the Republicans come across as more colorful--and strategically effective. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

HBO Films presents Recount, the true story chronicling the turbulent weeks in Florida after the 2000 presidential election. The film explores one of the most dramatic and controversial events in recent U.S. election history that shook a nation's faith in the ability to stage a fair and open election. Recount takes a look at the ordinary people caught up in the extraordinary events that would ultimately decide the leadership of the country.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Every Vote Counts June 4, 2008
What exactly went on behind the scenes of the 2000 election voting disaster, the one that decided the fates of Al Gore and George W. Bush? The HBO film "Recount" gives what I believe to be a fair representation of an historical event, which is ironic since the recount process put the very concept of fairness under intense scrutiny. We obviously all have an opinion on who rightfully won the presidency eight years ago, but I'm not here to debate who was right and who was wrong; I wasn't even old enough to vote back in the year 2000. I'm only here to review a movie. Yes, it tackles a political subject, but that doesn't mean it takes a definite political stance--generally speaking, each side has equal say, and not surprisingly, each side makes valid and not-so-valid points. Writer Danny Strong deserves a lot of praise, not only for showing both sides of the political spectrum, but also for not forcing us to agree with any side in particular.

I have no doubt the recount was more exhausting for those running the campaigns, simply because they were doing all the hard work; both candidates did nothing more than wait for the end result. Overseeing much of Gore's campaign was his former Chief of Staff, Ron Klain (Kevin Spacey), a loyal Democrat embittered after being replaced, first by Tony Coelho, then by Bill Daley (Mitch Pileggi). On election day--November 7--the Gore team gets word of a problem in Palm Beach County, Florida: a number of voters, confused by the ballot voting system, felt they had accidentally voted for Independent Pat Buchanan. This led to a number of TV networks receiving differing poll numbers by the end of the day, some confirming Gore's victory, others confirming Bush's.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recount: a historical re-enactment worth a re-watch June 23, 2008
Like the " movie Titanic" we all know how this one is going to end. But don't let that stop you from watching Recount. Spacey, as always, delivers a believable and realistic performance. His presence somehow demands your attention. Laura Dern is completely transformed and becomes Kathleen Harris, the Florida Secretary of State. Her performance is by far the best.

There are details and personality involvements that even the most politically active person was probably not aware of that the production reveals, making it worth your time and attention. No matter how many hours you watched CNN when this historical drama unfolded, you will learn things about the Florida recount that you did not know.

If you are a history buff, you will want to add this to your collection. It is right up there with "Missiles of October."
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recount Counts June 23, 2008
You can count on anything Kevin Spacey does as great, but the big surprise in this movie was Laura Dern playing Katherine Harris. She was outstanding as the Florida Secretary of State.

The movie does a great job of showing what went on behind the scenes, including the strategies of both sides, that led to the final outcome. (I guess I don't need to worry about disclosing the ending.)

If you watch this movie and still think we live in a democratic country, you need to see it again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film – dubious historical accuracy July 31, 2014
By Enigma
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Kevin Spacey was great, as were many of the other actors and actresses. The screenplay was well written and engrossing to watch. But for those who don’t know the history or haven’t done any research don’t use this as a historical account. There were many factual inaccuracies, falsehoods, lies and complete reversal of truths in this film. These are my notes about the film as it went along.

Palm Beach County – had been using the same butterfly ballot for over 30 years. It was set up and designed by Democrats and the election commission in Palm Beach County was controlled 100% by Democrats. The film does portray that Palm Beach county Democrats were the first to lawyer up which is a good thing. The bad thing is even though Democratic operatives went door to door in Palm Beach County they could find less than 100 people who actually were confused by the ballot, this is NEVER mentioned in the film and in fact it portrays many people coming forward which history tells us were actually paid democratic operatives bussed in.

Calling Al Gore as winner in Florida – The film shows that it was called early and incorrectly but never mentions that there were at least 12-14,000 disenfranchised voters that never voted in the western counties (this according to Democratic polling). According to the same Democratic polling at least 60% of those would have gone to Bush thereby increasing his margin of victory even greater. The film also never tells that the media analysts that incorrectly called the state for Al Gore, even though Bush was leading in the exit polls by a very small margin, had familial ties to Gore and also a PAID consultant for the Democratic Party.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch it just for Laura Dern alone! May 17, 2009
HBO movie about the Florida voting recount in the 2000 presidential election. Especially hard to watch if you're a Democrat, it stirs up frustrations that you thought you had long buried and forgotten. Given the apparent dryness of the material, it's surprising how well this zips along, and with a good balance of comedy and drama. Special marks to Laura Dern for her incredible portrayal of Katherine Harris!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Laura Dern was especially good.
Published 6 days ago by chillingillen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie and good acting by all the characters
Published 17 days ago by christina roehl
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Published 27 days ago by DanW
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy for you, your family, and friends.
Amazing movie that most people did't see when HBO released it in 2008. Provides a documentary feel even though it's a historical drama. Read more
Published 28 days ago by CT
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie.
I thought recount was excellent. I am praying that it had some hollywoodesque in it and it was not all factual, but it was well done and Kevin Spacey was great as usual. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Great Shopper
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good, nonpartisan review of the 2000 election. Well recommend.
Published 2 months ago by Dennis
5.0 out of 5 stars Even 14 years after the 2000 election, it made ...
Even 14 years after the 2000 election, it made me want to go out and punch a bunch of election-stealing Republican's in the face. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Hohler III
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative. I wondered what was really going on ...
Very informative. I wondered what was really going on in that Florida election.
Published 2 months ago by Elaine Harri
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great thought-provoking movie.
Published 2 months ago by Kld
5.0 out of 5 stars Recount
A very well done production covering the controversial 2000 U.S. presidential election. The acting is superb and the film makes an honest effort (in my opinion) to present both... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gregory V.
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