The Front Runner
Provided by Metacritic.com
Every line of dialog, every camera angle, every beat is precisely engineered.
Yes, Jackman’s impressive portrayal of Hart is at the center of “The Front Runner” (it’s one of the best performances of his career), but Reitman uses a large cast of characters to give depth to the events in question.
There’s an authenticity underpinning the portrayal of events in The Front Runner that lifts it above the less-than-groundbreaking set-up.
The Front Runner may cover a lot of ground and raise more questions about morality and the media than it can ever answer, but it remains a punchy, absorbing political drama.
The Film Stage
Reitman and company let actions do the talking for a good two-thirds of the runtime and it’s a true joy to experience. The actors have brilliant comic timing with one another and everyone feels as though they’ve been on the road to cultivate relationships built on respect.
The Front Runner is too afraid to take a side in its central debate, but a strong ensemble cast and interesting ideas about accountability and newsworthiness make this a timely and thought-provoking film.
The Hollywood Reporter
The film never quite clarifies its own attitude toward Hart. It simply doesn’t spend enough time with him to allow the audience to decide whether he was a truly transformative politician undone by tabloid reporters or just another slick operator. This robs the film of a tragic dimension that it might have achieved.
Hugh Jackman proves an inspired candidate to embody Hart, downplaying his brawny movie-star persona, while still conveying the twinkle-eyed sex appeal that was not only Hart’s undoing, but one of the qualities that would have made the photogenic and well-spoken senator from Colorado a logical choice to follow the country’s first movie-star president.
In Reitman’s hands — which are confident and clumsy in equal measure — these hefty matters play out as a mordant political comedy that tries to split the difference between “Veep” and “All the President’s Men.” That’s a tough needle to thread, and it doesn’t take long before “The Front Runner” throws in the towel on that idea.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
This Altman-esque drama about the rise and fast fall of the 1988 presidential hopeful has a lot on its mind – morality in public office, the state of journalism, the often paradoxical nature of running a campaign based on lies – but spends too little energy dissecting those thoughts.
See all 44 reviews on Metacritic.com
See all external reviews