• Dennis Hopper
• Stanley Tucci
• George Lopez
• Paula Patton
• Madeline Carroll
• Kevin Costner
• Kelsey Grammer
• Nathan Lane
Swing Vote trailer
59 out of 97 people found the following comment useful :-
If you buy into it, you'll love it., 21 July 2008
Author: marc from Denver
Yes, the whole concept is absurd, and as a result the film will probably take a lot of criticism, but I really enjoyed every minute of it at an early screening this evening. I enjoy Kevin Costner's work except when he tries to go action hero and he is thankfully getting too old for that unless he decides to buy growth hormone from Stallone or something. He was terrific in Mr. Brooks and he excels once again in a totally different role. It is the sort of character that he does best, more akin to his "Bull Durham" role.
The real find of the film was Madeline Carrol who played his daughter. She joins Abagail Breslin, Dakota Fanning , and Anna Sophia Robb in a current crop of extremely talented tweeners.
I enjoyed the entire cast and it was great to see Judge Reinhold for the first time in awhile.
The whole concept of how Costner's vote becomes so important is one that is hard to swallow, but if you go along for the ride I promise that you will have a great time.
Late in the film Mare Winningham appears in perhaps the films most powerful though least appropriate scene. It is her only scene. I believe it was used to hammer in a serious message though the scene had little to do with the message of the film other than shift to a more sober mood. Sober may not have been the best choice of words to describe the scene though.
One of the nicer aspects of the film is its terrific music. A mix of tunes from several decades centered around Marshall Tucker's "Can't You See" really makes for a nice soundtrack.
Ultimately the film has a great message about the importance of one person, one vote. And if it gets a lot more democrats(whoops I mean Americans) to vote this year, then in my opinion it will have done a great public service in addition to being solidly entertaining. And no, it does not have a liberal agenda, so all you Rush fans need to hold judgment before slamming the film. Unlike this reviewer, the film is really good at not taking a political stance. The film depicts all politicians as if they would stoop to anything to get elected, and garners a lot of laughs with that premise.
I want to add one last thing. I would call this a family movie except for the profanity. I took my 9 year old precocious daughter and she loved it, but there was actually a running joke about Costner's character's love of swearing. So if a little swearing and some references to controversial issues (abortion, gay marriage, legal pot) are OK with you, bring the kids. Like I said, it does have a good message.
11 out of 15 people found the following comment useful :-
hilarious, 4 August 2008
Author: mattkratz (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Richardson, TX
This was obviously meant to remind you of the 2000 election fiasco in Florida. The film basically centers around Kevin Costner's character, who is lazy, irresponsible, and a mess-but he's lovable and fun. His vote will make the difference in giving either candidate (Kelsey Grammar or Dennis Hopper) New Mexico's five electoral votes, which will push him over the limit to win. Both candidates then devise a series of ads pitched specifically at him. There were themes about responsibility, being informed, and hogging your time in the limelight during your 15 minutes of fame during this film. I think it was hilarious and was truly surprised by the ending. See it!!! *** out of ****
12 out of 17 people found the following comment useful :-
Costner is charming, 2 August 2008
Author: ohioblue-1 from United States
Kevin Costner is adorable as the slacker father of a overachieving, 12-year-old daughter. The kid-as-parent/parent-as-kid premise wouldn't have worked nearly as well if Costner's character, Bud Johnson, weren't so darn lovable. If you're looking for perfectly coiffed, cleaned up Costner, you won't find him here. He mostly looks like your husband first thing in the morning -- you know, the scruffy hair, unshaven face, and glazed over, half-asleep look where you wonder what you ever saw in him? But inside is a heart of gold? He pulls this role off to perfection. He's the lovable underachiever always with a clueless grin.
When the attorney general shows up at his door to tell him basically that he has the deciding vote, Bud's only comment, in a half-whisper is, "Does this mean I'm going to have to do jury duty?" The movie is good -- in fact if you like Dave with Kevin Kline, you'll like Swing Vote.
However, it tried to combine two movies. One was the comedy with Bud being the ONLY voting demographic needing to be catered to -- hence, personal appearances by Richard Petty and Willie Nelson -- the other was a sometimes hard-to-watch story of a daughter, played by Madeline Carroll, caring for her alcoholic father.
Carroll is a wonderful actress, and would be stellar in a drama. Her wistful, knowing looks at her father's helplessness, and her astute understanding of her mother's inability to be a mother were heart-wrenching. That could have been an entire story in itself and often took away from the comic elements. Mare Winningham was fantastic as the mother who ran away. She, Costner and Carroll really clicked on screen in their one scene together as a family torn apart by the selfish indulgence of the parents to the detriment of the child who deserves more. I marveled at that scene until I remembered that Winningham and Costner were in the movie "The War" as parents torn apart by Vietnam to the detriment of their son, young Elijah Wood. Costner and Winningham should get together again in a more upbeat film. Their relationship is very natural.
But in spite of the sad, child-having-to-be-the-adult part of Swing Vote, it was 80% comedy, and Costner's antics made it laugh out loud funny at times. It didn't seem to be politically bent one way or the other. It was patriotic and commented on immigrants from Mexico taking away jobs from Americans. But it was also pro-environment and touched on lack of health care for the many. The end was pure feel-good. Everyone changed appropriately, realizing the true (Hollywood) meaning of voting in America.
8 out of 10 people found the following comment useful :-
Costner's Charisma and a Couple of Sharp Jabs at Dems and Republicans, 3 August 2008
"Swing Vote" is a good movie. It could have been great, but it isn't, but it is still good. At its best, it invokes Frank Capra's classic films on politics, including "Meet John Doe" and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." It never reaches their level, though, and that failure to hit the top is a bit frustrating.
An older, dumpier, and shabbier Kevin Costner is the best part of the film. Costner is a star and that shows here. Even the grunge that is his costume in almost every scene can't disguise his charisma. Costner's voice has not aged and he uses it to great effect, especially in a final speech.
The film draws laughs by parodying our two major political parties, with a Democratic presidential candidate starring in the funniest anti-abortion TV commercial ever made (no doubt its competition was slim, but it is very funny) and a Republican presidential candidate touting his party's tender concern for the environment.
These excellent scenes make you wish that the movie had gone deeper. It doesn't, though. It veers off into dead-end soap opera subplots about Costner's daughter's boyfriend from school and her attempt to live with her estranged mother (Mare Winningham, in a role that should have ended up on the editing room floor, as it contributes nothing to the film.) The casting wasn't great. The two presidential candidates and their aids end up being cardboard cut-out stereotypes of Machiavellian evil (Stanley Tucci) and compromise (Nathan Lane). Kelsey Grammar and Dennis Hopper, as the candidates, never transcend their "Frasier" and "Easy Rider" personas. Other actors, perhaps unknowns, should have been cast in these two key roles.
Paula Patton, the woman who played what would have been the Barbara Stanwyck role in the Frank Capra movie, was pretty as a little doll and a complete bore. This is part of a pattern in today's Hollywood; female leads must have the perfectly perky looks of a plastic doll; there's no need for them to be talented. Male leads, like Costner, can be beat-up, and slovenly, but must be talented. Patton's role, that of the desperate, sharp, female reporter who gains inside knowledge of a national story, is underwritten, and she does nothing with it. It's a dead-end, and that's a shame. It makes me want to rewatch "Meet John Doe" in which Stanwyck worked so well as the female reporter.
Overall, though, this movie is better than much else at the multiplex, and it at least ventures into the world of ideas.
4 out of 5 people found the following comment useful :-
Inspired. So glad I went., 3 August 2008
Author: Suzanne Macartney from United States
I expected little after the lukewarm critical response. The film is not a scathing satire of right-wing hypocrisy. But it is inspired. And rare for this genre, balanced. It's target is voter complacency and the winning-is-everything bloodsport of the presidential race. Believe it or not the film makes a good case for voting as a moral choice, a choice we should take seriously. Not the stuff of Hollywood hilarity for sure. Yet it is well-acted, charming and original. Hard to guess where the story is going. Great laughs are better for being unexpected.
Liberal-leaning viewers and critics may have been disappointed based on a trailer showing Dennis Hopper as a rapid pro-life candidate. The story here is about voters. And how far our major political parties are willing to go to court the swing vote. The genius of this film is that it takes targeted campaigning to its logical conclusion. This is the stuff professional persuaders are more and more paid to do.
Not perfectly executed, but an inspired premise with better than expected follow-though. A treat. So glad I went.
P.S. full disclosure, I am a very liberal Democrat.
5 out of 7 people found the following comment useful :-
Great movie for those who like old-fashioned comedy, 8 August 2008
Author: jmc4769 from Atlanta, Georgia
My son tells me that I don't understand what young people think is funny. And he's right. I'm not into cringe comedies like Borat or teen sex comedies like Superbad. So when I give Swing Vote 9 out of 10, I guess I have to limit my recommendation to those over 50. If you're too young to remember Kevin Costner's last great movie, I'm not so sure you'll like this one. You see, no one gets humiliated and you don't hear any jokes about sex or bodily functions. It's an old-fashioned comedy that my wife, my cousin and I, all near 60, loved. If you are in that age range, ignore the critics and the IMDb rating. We laughed all the way through. The editing is fast paced so that you never get bored. Some critics have criticized Swing Vote for being lightweight, but it is really more dramedy than straight comedy. There are several serious themes including divorce and civic responsibility. This is Costner's best performance in many years. And Madeline Carroll, who plays his daughter, is amazing. Watch out, Dakota Fanning and Abigail Breslin. This girl can play comedy and drama with equal aplomb. The scene where she cries in front of her class brought many to tears in our audience.
1 out of 1 people found the following comment useful :-
Great Fun, 18 August 2008
Author: Tdi7457 from Canada
*** This comment may contain spoilers ***
Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner), an apathetic, beer-slinging, lovable loser, is coasting through a life that has passed him by. The one bright spot is his precocious, over-achieving 12-year-old daughter Molly (Madeline Carroll). She takes care of both of them, until one mischievous moment on Election Day, when she accidentally sets off a chain of events that culminate in the election coming down to one vote... her dad's. This movie was great fun and i really enjoyed it. but what ate me up inside was the fact we don't get to find out who won the presidential election. that was the down side of this movie but it was still funny. Swing Vote 7/10
2 out of 3 people found the following comment useful :-
Get Smart and Vote - Coaster and Carroll Charm and Convict Us, 5 August 2008
Author: kindalikesorta from California
It sounds implausible and impossible—that a man's accidental flub-up in the voting booth causes his vote to stall the election and coincidentally determine the next U.S. President. But Swing Vote has a great time using that as a platform to tell a really cool tale.
Besides, the movie wants to move past that impossibility anyway (suspension of disbelief, right?), and into the fun stuff. Swing Vote isn't necessarily about the likelihood of the above-mentioned phenomenon occurring; it's about bigger things, things like the nature of freedom in America, the right to vote, politicians and their campaigns, and various issues that unite and divide America as a nation.
Ernest "Bud" Johnson (Kevin Costner) is a beer-drinking, blue-collar simpleton whose wife left both him and his daughter, Molly, for a Nashville singing career. Molly (Madeline Carroll), a precocious little girl who is passionate about politics and the preservation of her country, and unfortunately for her, Bud couldn't care less, even if her were sober. Molly seems to be the parent in the relationship, taking care of Bud's daily hangovers and prodding him to get up for work.
Molly is in constant frustration with her father's apathy toward life and her interests, and is perturbed when Bud seemingly sets in motion an ironic, history-making turn of events where his vote actually ends up being the deciding factor in the election. This forces the Presidential candidates to campaign only to win Bud's vote. Along the way we are treated to a satirical look at the lengths campaign managers and the candidates will go simply to get a vote.
How this plays out is both hilarious and sobering, as well as inspiring and totally enjoyable—thanks to some good storytelling and direction, as well as an excellent cast of talented actors who make this movie shine. The brightest stars on the screen, however, are Kevin Costner and Madeline Carroll as Bud and Molly. Costner has found a perfect role in the dimwitted Bud, and Carroll as Molly is a brilliant young actor whose performance almost brought me to tears at one point.
Like I mentioned before, though, Swing Vote is not a simple "voting is your civic duty" story. While the importance of voting is emphasized as both a privilege and a blessing in a great country, Swing Vote goes over the issues that affect daily life in America, and through the story reminds us how we can take some sort of action to better that life.
However, Swing Vote is careful not to play too much on the emotional arguments regarding various issues like abortion, immigration and gay marriage, making the movie all the more charming. There are a few emotionally charged scenes in the movie that give weight to the hilarity throughout, but within the context of the film, the story never speaks in self-righteousness.
At one point, Molly makes a simple yet convicting commentary about how much she appreciates her father at a "Bring Your Father to School" Day. Without giving too much away, Molly's emotional message about her father is a hopeful and heart-wrenching commentary about the beauty and freedom of America, along with the tragic complacency and apathy of its people.
And rather than going down the typical Hollywood route and picking a more liberal stance, Swing Vote instead manages to poke fun at everyone on both "sides" of various issues. It carefully gives respect to all Americans, while pointing out absurdities in America's political process. Although the mockery is at times absolutely hilarious, the film's humor never ventures into the vile and mean-spirited. There is purpose behind all the fun, and it is carefully crafted into the story, with the goal of giving a message of hope and focusing on the (hopefully) common goal of compassion, care, peace, and freedom to all people (to all Americans, anyway).
In that sense, Swing Vote could almost be seen as patriotic (even the movie's production design seems to have red, white, and blue hues throughout). There are many inspiring moments that make you think, "Wow, America is a great country," and "Shame on me for taking my freedom for granted." Okay, well, that's a little simplistic; but you'll understand what I mean: Swing Vote is an American story with a clear and powerful message.
It may be convicting in its truthful satire and simple wit, but it is also encouraging in that it promotes the hope that we can make a better country by actively changing (ourselves and our country) and refusing to passively observe our nation's future unfold... not only for us, but for generations to come.
2 out of 3 people found the following comment useful :-
Timely, clever, and a very well cast and acted film!, 3 August 2008
Author: kmm111313 from CA
I really loved this thoughtful and funny movie. The ensemble of characters were very well chosen and delivered on their casting. It is real easy to become cynical in what seems like an interminable election year, but Costner and company walk the fine line with precision -- slamming and appealing to both sides equally.
There were hysterical moments on both sides, particularly on how the pandering for VOTE (not plural) can be taken to the absurd. I found refreshing dignity in both presidential candidates, superbly played by Grammar and Hopper, believable in their discomfort of their handlers instincts (Tucci & Lane's), to win over Costner (and secondarily, Carroll). In some ways, the characters including Patton, Lopez, Reinhold, and Eaton were so strong, the film seems too short when you think how much development they should take (hence my "9").
Finally, I found the ending quite satisfying and just, especially in this election year. And I found myself sympathizing with the climatic sentiments -- question(s) that should be asked of candidates every election (not just this one).
PS- Four of us went, 2 up & 2 down including my 12 year old. We all enjoyed this film, laughing many times in the same places, while the mild civics lessons and voter (ir)responsibilities were not lost on any of us either.
3 out of 5 people found the following comment useful :-
Witty & fun & skewers pomposity----, 2 August 2008
Author: Ishallwearpurple from Heartland, USA
*** This comment may contain spoilers ***
Kevin Costner hasn't been this good and funny in quite a while. As a never-was/hard drinking/screw-up who ends up with the vote needed to decide the Presidential election. Taking the importance of every vote to the nth degree, the film still comes off as plausible.
Not favoring either philosophy, but showing the state of our politics as being for sale to the highest bidder, with the consultants having their candidate switch easily to a polar opposite of what they started out believing, and the lengths they will go to, it is a thoughtful, and devastating comment on our national politics.
And that may be it's downfall. You have to know how our system works and *care*, to get the black humor of some of the dialog.
All in all, in this summer of mindless comic-book, noisy, films for the fan-boys and girls, I loved this sly and witty film. 8/10