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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While some characters, such as Warren Christopher and James Baker, seem more gentlemanly (and less profane) than others, each character, Democrat or Republican, seems to believe he or she is doing the proper thing, fighting in court to get the "rightful" president in office. Ron Klaim, who initially feels resentful against the Al Gore team for ousting him, regains his sense of party loyalty. The overtly religious (and Republican) Katherine Harris, who thinks her part in all this is the work of God, may look a little ridiculous, and there is a sense that the Republicans here stooped to dirty tricks (like organizing violent mobs of demonstrators) more so than the Democrats, even though their dialog refers to episodes in history when the Democratic Party got away with "stealing" elections.
Violence & Scariness
Scuffling in a protest-riot.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Crude verbal reference to President Bill Clinton's oral-sex scandal.
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"S--t" and frequent use of "f--k" -- so much so that one character is scolded for it (not that it changes him much).
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Products & Purchases
Mainly the names of major news channels and media agencies.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking and smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is abundant profanity and a vulgar dialog reference to the sex scandal involving former President Bill Clinton. The cast of characters is split between Democrats and Republicans, with the script suggesting (but not as shrilly as documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11 did) that the Republicans used thug tactics, smears, and cronyism to unfairly win the 2000 presidency (although some of the dialog refers to Democrats behaving just as unethically to "steal" past elections). There is also some social drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Next to Bush-bashing documentaries like Fahrenheit 911 and Unprecedented (which practically convict the GOP of racketeering), this scripted version is relatively fair and sympathetic to both ends. On a personal level, the focus is on Ron Klaim's conversion -- from disappointment over his earlier ouster from his job with the Democrats to a fighter with a renewed zeal to get his candidate in office. In the end we learn that the Republican's front man, James Baker (Tom Wilkinson), isn't very different, as he also harbors emotional loyalty to Bush, separate and distinct from dishonorable concerns of power, ideology, oil, or money.
Bush and Gore are only on the margins of this saga, with starring roles instead given to the personalities of campaign strategists and the quirks of a too-fallible election system and temperaments poorly designed to handle near-tie votes. How much you enjoy RECOUNT probably depends on what you thought of the Bush election and presidency (guess it's no "spoiler" that he won). If you consider it a shame, this is a scorching expose on What Went Wrong. If you think the Bush Administration the best thing ever, devoting nearly two hours to the fraught election may seem pointless and liberal-biased -- given that the Democrats come across as underdogs, and there is a what-if tone of regret that the recount did not proceed the way they wanted.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.