Combustible Celluloid
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With: Gary Oldman, Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater, Sam Elliott, William Petersen, Saul Rubinek, Philip Baker Hall, Mike Binder, Robin Thomas, Mariel Hemingway, Kathryn Morris, Kristen Shaw
Written by: Rod Lurie
Directed by: Rod Lurie
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content and language
Running Time: 126
Date: 10/09/2000

The Contender (2000)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Vice Versus

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In the midst of our current presidential unrest, this smart little thriller from critic-turned-filmmaker Rod Lurie pushes all the right buttons. A liberal Senator (Joan Allen) is selected to be Vice President when the incumbent dies in office, and a crooked conservative (Gary Oldman) plans to bring her down with a sex scandal. Despite a few phony moments, the dialogue is sharp and the directing is immediate. Jeff Bridges co-stars as the President, and Christian Slater has a few good moments as a conflicted congressman. Allen and Bridges received Oscar nominations.

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