The Ides Of March

  • Year:2011
  • Rating:M
  • Director:George Clooney
  • Cast:George Clooney, Paul Giamatti, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Max Minghella, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright
  • Release Date:November 24, 2011
  • Distributor:Roadshow
  • Running time:101 minutes
  • Film Worth:$17.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Played out flawlessly by a superb cast, this thoughtful and compelling drama just misses out on top marks due to its slightly too-familiar screenplay.

ec7df73d65f42b62c7a6.jpg

"Nothing bad happens when you do the right thing." Of course, doing the right thing is never as easy as it seems and Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling) is about to find out just how hard it is. He's the idealistic staffer to presidential hopeful Mike Morris (George Clooney), the guy who "is going to make a difference in people's lives". In order for that to happen, Morris has to win the state of Ohio and to do that, has to win the endorsement of Senator Thompson (Jeffrey Wright). But lining up these ducks is, to mix metaphors, as easy as herding cats with string. When an opponent (Paul Giamatti) takes Myers aside for a chat, the delicate house of cards begins to teeter before receiving a seismic shock from a rung-jumping intern (Evan Rachel Wood) whom both Myers and Morris know a little too well.

At the heart of this arresting film is power play, not only for the Presidency but by everyone involved in this adrenalin charged game of winner-takes-all. And at the heart of that game is the value of loyalty, something in which Myers' boss (Philip Seymour-Hoffman), gives and then receives a short sharp lesson. Heady stuff, as befits this extended episode of The West Wing by way of Barack Obama. And therein its weakness.

While The Ides Of March is a gripping feature positively oozing talent, notably the electrifying performances of Gosling and Giamatti, it never fully achieves its possibility. The disappointment, despite a titular nod to Shakespeare, rests in a script that has a seen-it, familiar quality; surprising given Clooney and co-writer Grant Heslov previously created something quite extraordinary with 2005's Good Night And Good Luck. While the film is certainly entertaining and a step up from most workaday movies, the hand of truly gifted writing talent (Alan Sorkin where were you?) is missing. The Ides Of March is undoubtedly solid, thoughtful and frequently tense entertainment, but is one that somehow misses a vitality that would otherwise have you straining to Vote 1 for Morris.

follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest categories

DVD

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest news

‘Around The Block’ Opts For Alternative Release Route
‘Around The Block’ Opts For Alternative Release Route

The Australian drama starring Christina Ricci and Jack Thompson opts for a small theatrical release before hitting home platforms.

St Kilda Film Festival Forges Prestigious Partnership
St Kilda Film Festival Forges Prestigious Partnership

The short film festival has partnered with Palm Springs International Shortfest.

Brad Pitt Recruits David Michod For ‘The Operators’
Brad Pitt Recruits David Michod For ‘The Operators’

With buzz building around ‘The Rover’, the Aussie filmmaker has reportedly already been nabbed to helm a new pic for Plan B, with Pitt rumoured to also star.

Film Festivals Australia Launched!
Film Festivals Australia Launched!

The film festival calendar is an increasingly busy one, and Metro Screen has launched a new resource to keep audiences looped in, and aid festival patrons.