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The Ides of March

3.6 out of 5 stars 2,263 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: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,263 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0060ZJ7DA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,922 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ides of March" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on December 7, 2011
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: 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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I'm sure somebody must have noted this, but I've made a cursory search and can't find it: this is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, as the title surely suggests. Paul (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is Caesar, brought down by his subordinate Stephen (Ryan Gosling), who takes the part of the scheming Cassius. (His last name, Zara, is even derived from "Caesar" or "Tsar.) Gov. Morris (George Clooney is the idealistic Brutus, whom Cassius convinces to depose Caesar. In Shakespeare, it is Brutus who falls from nobility, just as it is Gov. Morris, here. Of course, everything isn't parallel: our Caesar lives, for instance, and will make $1,000,000 per year. That's probably about what losers get in our political world. We even have Brutus's adoring and serene wife, Calpurnia, in the Jennifer Ehle character. Though not all plot points or characters are parallel with Shakespeare's (nor need they be) most are.

I admire Clooney's decision, if it was indeed his, to have the "assassination" occur offstage, as it were, in the backseat of a car we only see from the outside, in a dirty alley, which is apt for the business being done there. Paul goes out with the garbage. I also like the last scene. Gosling's dead expression leaves no doubt about how Stephen's victory tastes to him. And there's one other thing. Stephen tells Molly that she has to go because she has made an unpardonable mistake. Then, he does the same thing and can't abide the same punishment he has so rigidly meted out to her. It's a fine irony, the one on which the story pivots. Makes you wonder which character found the best way out.

As modern political intrigue, the movie works exceptionally well. One can believe it actually happening today.
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I was surprised to be moved by the tragic import of this film. It elaborates on the saying that politics makes strange bedfellows. It portrays politicians as kings preoccupied with wealth, and political advisers as knights intent on slaughter. It warns the innocent, the idealistic, and the opportunistic away from involvement in electoral processes that have lost political efficacy. The film's cynicism cries out for government reform that takes money, power, and tenure away from public officials in order to dethrone a governing aristocracy whose only purpose is self-preservation. The film has the grim aura of "Dangerous Liaisons," which describes a ruling class so feckless that unarmed mobs and kangaroo courts could annihilate it.
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