The Contender 2000 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(202) IMDb 7/10
Available in HD

Sexy secrets from a womans past come to light as she runs for Vice President.

Starring:
Joan Allen, Gary Oldman
Runtime:
2 hours 7 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

The Contender

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Rod Lurie
Starring Joan Allen, Gary Oldman
Supporting actors Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater, Sam Elliott, William Petersen, Saul Rubinek, Philip Baker Hall, Mike Binder, Robin Thomas Grossman, Mariel Hemingway, Kathryn Morris, Kristen Shaw, Douglas Urbanski, Noah Fryrear, Angelica Page, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Kevin Geer, Doug Roberts, Bev Appleton
Studio Dreamworks
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

I don't like to spoil movie endings or say too much about a movie; and I won't do that here.
wellwellwell
With her ultra leftist political views, she never would have been elected as a Republican initially because the party would not have supported her candidacy.
"flickjunkie"
Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges and Gary Oldman are excellent and their combined two Oscar nominations were well deserved.
"snootchiebootchies"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Mahoney on December 20, 2005
Format: DVD
I must admit from the onset that I am not one to sit down and write reviews here. But after reading some of the reviews, I feel compelled to write one of "The Contender."

Others have done an excellent job of providing a plot summary, so I will spare you the repetition. I want to address some of the reviews that have bashed the movie for being "totally unrealistic" or "biased," especially those who explicitly state their "liberal" leanings.

First, "The Contender" makes no claims to be "objective," nor should the movie be judged by a "realisitic" litmus test. Yes, the movie is polemical. It makes no bones about its leanings. Personally, I don't think this should be grounds for dismissing the movie. I found the movie incredibly refreshing for 1) providing a critical, and cutting, progressive critique of the "culture wars" that dominate so much of our public, political discourse; 2) by not being limited by the demands of being "realistic," "The Contender" gives us a glimpse of the possibility of public discourse, grounded in the SPIRIT of the US Constitution and representative democracy. Too often political thrillers limit themselves to the intrigue of negotiating and manipulating the strings of bureaucratic power within the terms of that power. By contrast, "The Contender" asks "what if?" That is, what would it look like for someone to act on an ethical basis? What would it mean to stand on principle?

When I first watched "The Contender," I didn't really know the details of the movie, and was frankly looking for something that would be fun to watch. I love the genre of political thrillers, but I also don't expect much beyond the demands of the genre (Patterson and Grisham have really dominated how political thrillers are brought to the screen).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Julie A. Sexton on March 21, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I had seen it before, LOVED IT, and had become frustrated at how difficult it is either to rent or buy in video stores. So, I decided to see if I could find it on Amazon, and have loved having it ever since. I watch it occasionally for my own enjoyment, but I think I like even more, lending it out for others to see! It just tells the story of integrity and the kind of self-respect for which none of needs to answer to anybody else like few stories can. I wish reality mimmicked fiction more often!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Timothy P. Scanlon on January 30, 2010
Format: DVD
I'm amazed at people who found this film shallow and vulgar. That my in-laws might not like the language used, well, I'm sorry, but that's life.

And as to "shallow," I agree that's an adequate description for the short-lived television series by the same writer, Commander in Chief. But I liked this script, found it a classic.

The film starts with a governor, apparent vice president candidate, a position the country had apparently been without for a few weeks. A car flies off a bridge and the governor who was fishing under the bridge tries to help the car's driver. Unfortunately, the driver dies. Then, onto the president's (Jeff Bridges) office. He can't offer the governor the vice presidency.

The president eventually chooses a woman senator, portrayed by Joan Allen.

The presiden't rival in the prior election was Sheldon Runyon, masterfully portrayed by Gary Oldman, who was also the exec. producer of the film. Runyon is rurthless in his pursuit of dirt on Senator Hanson (Allen).

I won't re-cover what other reviewers have doubtless said many times. But what I found moving about the script was that Hanson, while she knew it would be to her advantage, refused to indulge in the same tactics used by Runyon and his lieutenants.

There are, of course, feminists who will say that "That's the way it would be if there were a woman candidate." Notwithstanding Senator Clinton's record as being pretty strong-willed herself, my objection to such an assertion is that beyond doubt the worst boss I ever had was a woman. So I know what women are capable of. The point is that CANDIDATE wouldn't settle for those completely unethical tactics.

Would that happen in real life? I doubt it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ELIOT KIEVAL on March 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
For 14 months in 1963-65, the United States had no Vice President. Some members of Congress, chief among them Sen. Birch Bayh, believed that this situation (which had occurred several times earlier in our history) was intolerable considering the necessity of a clear chain of command in the nuclear age. Their ideas were eventually codified as the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, providing (among other things) a procedure for filling a vacancy in the office of Vice President. The process was utilized only twice, both times in the first 10 years after its ratification.

The Contender tells the story of the fictional "next time" that the office of Veep needs to be filled. We never see the Vice President. Jeff Bridges plays the President, Sam Elliott (without mustache!!) plays the Chief of Staff, Joan Allen and William Petersen play competing suitors for the nomination, Gary Oldman plays a major leader of the opposition party, and Mariel Hemingway plays a witness before a Congressional committee.

I listed those names for a reason: These are skilled, seasoned performers. Acting, to all of them, is really a craft. It is a pleasure to watch them work. Some of them (Allen, Oldman) inhabit their characters so completely that they may be giving their best performances in any film; Hemingway is good for perhaps the first time. They have some great, highly theatrical scenes here: the Oval Office meetings, the official and unofficial working meals, the time-limited appointments in Members' offices, the high-level discussions in cars, helicopters, and private homes.

The problem with the film is that the director/writer is NOT a skilled and seasoned craftsperson.
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