By Calum Marsh
By Michelle Orange
By Michael Atkinson
By Simon Abrams
By Zachary Wigon
By Aaron Hillis
By Casey Burchby
By Stephanie Zacharek
Writer-director Barry Levinson's return to the political realm after 1997's Wag the Dog is no heroic comebackfar from it, even if it's better than the trailer makes it appear. Buried beneath its pale satiric surface is a not-bad ideawhat would happen if an outsider candidate, a TV comedian played by Robin Williams, became a White House insiderbut Levinson's too distracted to make any kind of point. He loses his movie, his audience, and his purpose in a tangle of conspiracy theories and crackpot notions that sink the movie just when it begins to transcend expectations. In short, it would have been great if it had stopped, oh, 12 minutes in. No such luck, though do feel free to walk out when Laura Linney shows. Nothing against Linney, but her appearance here, as a worker at a voting-machine manufacturing company ruled by despots more concerned with profit than precision, throws the movie out of whack. What could have been something prescient and relevantnever more so than at a time when Texas contends with electing Texas Jewboy Kinky Friedman as its governorventures deep into nutjob territory even Oliver Stone's abandoned for higher ground.
Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city