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Parents' Guide to


By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Talky, smart docu-drama about 2000 presidential mess.

Movie NR 2008 116 minutes
Recount Poster Image

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Kids say (2 ):

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.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: May 25, 2008
  • On DVD or streaming: August 19, 2008
  • Cast: Bob Balaban , John Hurt , Laura Dern
  • Director: Jay Roach
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: HBO
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 116 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • Last updated: October 8, 2022

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