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The Ides of March

3.4 out of 5 stars 295 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ambition seduces and power corrupts in a nerve-wracking thriller from Academy Award® nominated director George Clooney (Good Night, and Good Luck). Idealistic campaign worker Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) has sworn to give all for Governor Mike Morris (Clooney), a wild card presidential candidate whose groundbreaking ideas could change the political landscape. However, a brutal Ohio primary threatens to test Morris's integrity. Stephen gets trapped in the down-and-dirty battle and finds himself caught up in a scandal where the only path to survival is to play both sides. The all-star cast includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.

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Director-star George Clooney's The Ides of March is the perfect film to mirror our time, when the approval rating of the United States Congress is at an all-time low and the divisions between the two major parties and their constituents are wider than ever. Everyone'll have some kind of nit to pick with this rather self-serious film. Right-wingers won't like the fact that the central politician (Clooney's Governor Mike Morris of Pennsylvania, who's running for president) is a liberal Democrat who advocates raising taxes on the rich, supports a woman's right to choose, and may be an atheist ("My religion is the Constitution."). But the Left won't be thrilled by the notion that even among the most seemingly high-minded, the desire for victory and the behind-the-scenes maneuverings and compromises made to achieve it easily trump quaint notions like loyalty and integrity, and secrets are like bullets to be fired at close range, where they can do the most damage. The backdrop is the Ohio Democratic primary, a tight race between Morris and a senator from Arkansas. Both candidates have smart, able folks working for them, with Morris's world-weary campaign manager, Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman), and idealistic press secretary, Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling), countered by the opponent's shrewd campaign leader, Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti). But smart people make mistakes too, and when Stephen meets semi-publicly with Duffy, who tries to lure the young man over to his side, he opens a can of worms with a stink that leads to some very dark places; nor does his dalliance with a young campaign volunteer (Evan Rachel Wood) turn out to be a great idea, to say the least. With Marisa Tomei (as a reporter) and Jeffrey Wright (as an Ohio senator whose endorsement may decide the race) also along for the ride, this is one of the best-cast movies in recent memory, and they're all excellent--especially the ever-reliable Giamatti and Hoffman, whose old political vets have some wonderfully juicy scenes. The dialogue is literate and sharp; the story's twists and turns are, for the most part, surprising enough to keep you in your seat. Best of all, it's another chance to shake our fists at the hubris and cynicism of the people who're supposed to be representing our best interests. --Sam Graham

Special Features

Commentary with George Clooney and Grant Heslov
Believe: George Clooney
On The Campaign: The Cast of The Ides Of March

Product Details

  • Actors: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei
  • Directors: George Clooney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0060ZJ7DA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,886 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ides of March" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
There's nothing that I enjoy more than an adult political thriller with its smarts, scandal and cynicism front and center. Therefore, I was over-the-moon in anticipation for George Clooney's "The Ides of March." Director Clooney has assembled one of the year's most impressive casts including Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, and Clooney himself. It's a dream team and every performance is exemplary. And yet, despite the heavy hitters at the top of their game, the actual story behind "The Ides of March" is pretty familiar and, frankly, a tad underwhelming. I certainly wanted to and expected to like this movie, even love it, but it simply offers little new to the well-worn genre of political drama. Adapted from the 2008 play "Farragut North" by Beau Willimon, the narrative revolves around a Democratic primary with the standard amount of political hubris and idealistic disillusionment. It's really a very tight story highlighting the arc of Gosling's character and while the limited scope might have made for a focused play, it seems all so less-than-shocking (even typical or expected) on the big screen.

Gosling plays a principled staffer working for Governor Mike Morris (Clooney) as he fights to attain his party's nomination in the Democratic primary. Taking place almost exclusively on the campaign trail, we see that Gosling's idealism, savvy, and energetic commitment have made him invaluable to the presidential candidate. He works alongside Hoffman (in another characteristically great performance), spars with Giamatti from the rival candidate's camp, flirts with Wood as a beautiful young intern, is cagey with Tomei as an ambitious reporter, and trades nuggets of wisdom with the great man Clooney.
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Format: DVD
Despite the exalted cast in this movie, don't be fooled. it is Ryan Gosling's movie, just like it has been his year in acting in general. This is both the movie's strength and its weakness. In order to give him a dilemma, the screenplay picks a rather hackneyed problem which detracts from all this stellar acting.

George Clooney directed it and he has no problem playing the charming, good looking Democratic governor, who is very reminiscent of JFK. This is all too true of his eye for the ladies as well, which leads into the dilemma at the heart of the movie. Ryan Gosling works for the candidate. He has a fleeting relationship with a young woman, whom it turns out has had an even more fleeting relationship with the Governor.

While he's involved with the young woman, he also gets caught in the cross fire between two more seasoned political veterans played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giametti. Both of them play fairly detestable characters. In fact, the Gosling character is the only one who isn't entrenched in the deep mud of the political world. This movie is his education about what he's let himself in for by choosing politics as his arena. And it's either get down in the mud and play with these old hands or leave.

Most of the action takes place in Cincinnati Ohio because the Governor is running in the important Ohio primary for President. Everyone does a good job but if this was indeed the plot of the stage play, then I would have liked to seen it made less trite for the screenplay. There is nothing in here plot wise that you haven't been watching for decades.

Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
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Format: Blu-ray
From the surface, working on a political campaign would seem to be not the most difficult job in the world. However, "The Ides of March" shows us just how difficult a campaign can be. Whether you consider yourself Conservative, Liberal or Independent, you can enjoy this film, for I don't believe Clooney's intent was to make a political statement.

For a general plot description, the film is about the campaigns of candidates Mike Morris (Clooney) and Arkansas Senator Ted Pullman. Both candidates are going for the Democratic nomination in the presidential election. Morris's campaign is managed by Stephen Meyers (Gosling) and Manager Paul Zara (Seymour Hoffman) while Pullman's campaign is managed by Tom Duffy (Giamatti). Both candidates are trying to get the endorsement of North Carolina Democratic Senator Franklin Thompson, who controls 356 delegates. Whoever gets his endorsement will have enough delegates to take the nomination.

What truly makes this film great is the realism that Clooney puts in it. Everything that happens during the campaign could happen and probably has happened in real-life. Anyone who enjoys political dramas or is just interested in the political campaign process should enjoy this film.
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Format: DVD
There is precious little that is more frustrating than watching a film with a platinum-caliber cast fall short of expectations, but that was exactly my reaction to George Clooney's 2011 smart, engrossing adaptation of Beau Willimon's 2008 play, which in turn, was loosely based on the failed 2004 Democratic primary campaign of Howard Dean. Clooney shares screenwriting credit with frequent collaborator Grant Heslov (Good Night, and Good Luck) and Willimon, and together they provide some insight into the inner workings of the American political system. The movie starts out strong and the dialogue feels quite sharp, but the plot twists turn out to be far less about the subtle intricacies in the current political scene and more about classic Hollywood themes like honor and loyalty. This cautious approach results in a film that is far more conventional in execution than I was hoping it would be based on the trailers.

The story focuses on Stephen Meyers, a young politico who is the junior campaign manager for the charismatic Mike Morris, the governor of Pennsylvania who is looking to secure the Democratic nomination for the presidency. Competing against Senator Ted Pullman of Arkansas, Morris is looking to lock down the Ohio primary, but his surest chance for victory ride on getting an endorsement from Senator Thompson of North Carolina, who is pulling out of the election. After a hotly contested debate, Pullman's campaign manager Tom Duffy sets Meyer aside and confidentially asks him to switch camps and work for Pullman. Flattered and understandably paranoid, Meyers keeps this offer a secret from his boss, Morris senior campaign manager Paul Zara.
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