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      Swing Vote

      2008, Comedy, 1h 59m

      151 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

      What to know

      Critics Consensus

      Despite Kevin Costner providing his most charismatic performance in years, Swing Vote fails to find the right mix of political satire and heartfelt drama. Read critic reviews

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      Swing Vote (2008) Swing Vote (2008)

      Movie Info

      Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner), a beer-slinging loser, has one bright spot in his life: his precocious daughter, Molly (Madeline Carroll), who takes care of them both. However, on Election Day, Molly sets off an unforeseen chain of events that results in the race for the presidency coming down to just one vote: her father's.

      • Rating: PG-13 (Language)

      • Genre: Comedy

      • Original Language: English

      • Director: Joshua Michael Stern

      • Producer: Jim Wilson, Kevin Costner

      • Writer: Joshua Michael Stern, Jason Richman

      • Release Date (Theaters):  wide

      • Release Date (Streaming):

      • Box Office (Gross USA): $16.3M

      • Runtime:

      • Distributor: Walt Disney

      • Production Co: Treehouse Films, Touchstone Pictures

      Cast & Crew

      Kevin Costner
      Madeline Carroll
      Paula Patton
      Kelsey Grammer
      Dennis Hopper
      George Lopez
      Mare Winningham
      Mark Moses
      Nana Visitor
      Jason Richman
      Robin Jonas
      Ted Field
      Terry Dougas
      Shane Hurlbut
      Steve Saklad
      Jeff McEvoy
      John Debney
      Mark Zuelzke
      Lisa Jensen
      Marcia Calosio

      News & Interviews for Swing Vote

      Critic Reviews for Swing Vote

      Audience Reviews for Swing Vote

      • Aug 17, 2010

        Not only is the Capra-esque comedy Swing Vote overlong, it is also overdone. During one scene near the very beginning, the drunken apathetic main character literally bangs his head on a sign that reads “Vote Today.” And the audience, of course, also gets knocked over the head with such heavy-handedness…all through the picture. This overstatement proves unfortunate too—the movie has likeability in spades. If only the writer/director had extended his audience a little credit. In the PG-13 comedy Swing Vote, Costner plays a laid-back slacker who is suddenly thrust into the national spotlight when the presidential election comes down to one…single…vote. When both candidates (Hopper, Kelsey Grammer) show up in small-town New Mexico, however, this slacker must sober up and make a decision. And by Capra-esque, this reviewer meant the sentimental works of one of H'Wood’s all-time greatest Golden Age directors, Frank Capra. Not only did this man give moviegoers It Happened One Night, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, he also gave us Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a classic piece of Americana pitting one unlikely everyman against the tyranny of crooked politics. Swing Vote delivers a somewhat similar scenario, yes, but it also spoons out excessive amounts of a precocious daughter, an Afterschool Special-type lesson on the importance of voting, and a long running time. A game cast (especially Costner) almost makes this reviewer want to recast his vote. With all of these sticking points reporting, however, the prospects look grim indeed. Bottom line: Bad politics.

        Super Reviewer
      • Jul 30, 2010

        The only redeeming quality of this sad, sad excuse for film is the potential of the young Carroll, however poorly the laughably puerile script may have utilized her ability.

        Super Reviewer
      • May 12, 2010

        Bud (Kevin Costner) is a lowlife drunken single parent to his young daughter, Molly whose trail of broken promises and shattered dreams comes to a head when he fails to place his vote in the Presidential election. Molly sees it as important and, while waiting for her father to not show up as usual, sneaks into the polling station and tries to cast her father's vote for him ? only to be foiled by a sudden power outage. She runs home, leaving the ballot in the machine and thinks no more of it. Problem is, the election is a perfect 50/50 split of votes cast and, with Bud's vote technically restricted by the system, he legally has the right to vote again within the next ten days ? essentially putting the result of the Presidential race in his hands. Kelsey Grammar is good as the president and Dennis Hopper plays a believable challenger. I guess this movie is a warning shot to America reminding us all how important it is that we vote and take part in the whole electoral system.

        Super Reviewer
      • Mar 25, 2010

        A funny farce that is also quite touching and very Capraesque. The central gimmick is not really possible (more than likely), but the film explains it in a way that almost makes it believable. The ending is not important. The journey matters more than the destination. The large and notable cast (including numerous cameos) are terrific. Costener is great, but Madeiline Carroll gives the stand out performance. Do yourself a favor and see this funny and inspiring tale about personal responsibility, and why it matters to not be apathetic.

        Super Reviewer

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