Our Brand Is Crisis

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Joaquim de Almeida, Ann Dowd, Scoot McNairy, Zoe Kazan
Directed By: David Gordon Green

Plot: Bolivia is having a Presidential election, and the heavy hitters are brought in. Jane (Bullock) is a specialist brought in to cover Castillo (de Almeida), and finds out that her rival Candy (Thornton) has been brought in to advise an opponent. It’s a no holds fight to the finish. Only one candidate will win. But is it the right candidate for Bolivia?

What Works: Bullock. Honestly, the best reason to see this film is Bullock, who plays it whip smart here. She proves she can run with the big boys. She’s begging to be in an Aaron Sorkin project. The supporting cast is particularly strong, considering their pedigree. Mackie, Dowd, McNairy, and Kazan give her someone to lean on. The film moves at a good pace, and keeps the little twists interesting. It has a good back and forth between the campaigns.

What Doesn’t Work: I felt that Thornton was muted. He’s given more dynamic performances before, and he has a potentially dynamic character in Candy, but he does it all with a slight smirk instead. Also, some of the plot twists didn’t work for me. Why didn’t she speak up and say she thought the commercials were shit? And the ending? It’s a cop out. A quick about face, and suddenly the movie is over? It ends with Bullock walking through a crowd, and then an interview? Come on now. It felt so anti-climatic.

Final Word: It’s uneven, but mostly good. I’d softly recommend it, especially if you enjoy Sandra Bullock or political movies. Then, yeah, it’s probably your bag. But it isn’t the best film in its genre, it’s just a good film to pass the time.

Final Grade: B

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