Parents' Guide to

Our Brand Is Crisis

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Fascinating but uneven political drama has strong language.

Movie R 2015 108 minutes
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The biggest reason to see OUR BRAND IS CRISIS is the ever-watchable Bullock. She fully inhabits the character she portrays, her eyes feral and ready for combat, but her carriage very clearly ready to flee the entire mess. It's a particular genius in Bullock's work -- she telegraphs so much in a gesture. But Our Brand Is Crisis isn't really about small gestures. It tries hard to paint a big story, to some success (the ensemble in general is top-notch), but it's hobbled by superficialities.

Take the actual high-stakes political contest at the heart of movie: Crisis purports to raise the curtain on the malice and rancor that are the fuel of campaigns. But the dirty "tricks" that it chooses to reveal -- rumor-mongering, lying, negative advertising -- are amateur hour. They seem so simple and are therefore unsurprising to any viewer the least bit savvy about how politics works. A film that positions itself as one that raises the curtain on secrets ought to reveal secrets that actually dismay (or disgust). Our Brand is Crisis, though enjoyable to watch, is a lot like the politicians it portrays, failing to deliver on its initial promises.

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