All the Candidate's Men

The only thing that's seriously wrong with Robbins's film is that, after a while, the message is a mallot pounding on our sensibilities. Unlike Tanner '88, Robbins insists on further politicizing his view rather than being content with mere observation -- perhaps the difference between a young filmmaker and an older one. Otherwise it is a prodigious feat (the movie was budgeted at $4 million, a lesson to Hollywood about that old argument, quality versus quantity), ably acted and shot, and above all, full of intelligence, energy, and wit. If America is a terrible place to live because duplicitous charlatans like Bob Roberts exceed at the polls, our culture is still a wonder to behold when a movie such as this one wins big at the box office. Let's hope it does.

Written and directed by Tim Robbins; with Tim Robbins, Gore Vidal, Giancarlo Esposito, Alan Rickman, Ray Wise, Peter Gallagher, Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Helen Hunt, and John Cusack.


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