Reviews - Knife Fight (2012)
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Knife Fight (2012)

Country: USA

Genres: Drama

Taglines: When it comes to getting elected, there's no such thing as going too far.

Director: Bill Guttentag


Stars: Jennifer Morrison, Amanda Crew, Julie Bowen, Carrie-Anne Moss, ...

If a political candidate is personally flawed, but stands to make a positive difference in millions of lives, would you help him win? That question looms over the life of "true believer" Paul Turner (Rob Lowe), a savvy strategist sharply maneuvering politicians out of scandal and into public office. With the help of a bright young assistant (Jamie Chung) and a seedy operative (Richard Schiff), Turner spins every news cycle and a shrewd reporter (Julie Bowen) on behalf of his clients: a philandering Kentucky governor (Eric McCormick), a blackmailed California senator (David Harbour), and an idealistic doctor turned gubernatorial candidate (Carrie-Anne Moss). When the ugly side of Turner's work begins to haunt him, he learns that even in the bloodiest of battles, sometimes you have to fight clean.

88 | 2013-01-22 | Rex Reed

As a bare-knuckle assault on the corruption that has come to define the creeping rot of American politics, Knife Fight is neither as satirical as Barry Levinson's "Wag the Dog" nor as incisive and wrenching as George Clooney's "The Ides of March," but it's a noble, shocking and inspired film worthy of attention.
Read More: New York Observer

67 | 2013-01-25 | Peter Rainer

It pales beside the best down-and-dirty political movies (ranging from "The Candidate" to "The Manchurian Candidate") because, finally, it lacks the courage of its own lowdown convictions.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

50 | 2013-01-31 | Marc Mohan

It's a forgettable series of bullet points barely strung together by charismatic performances.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

45 | 2013-01-24 | Jeannette Catsoulis

Playing like a mashup of tropes from far superior small- and large-screen entertainments (Scandal, House of Lies, Ides of March), this clunky feature from Bill Guttentag is satire at its most soft-bellied and toadying.
Read More: NPR

40 | 2013-01-28 | Frank Scheck

Aims to be a cutting-edge portrait of cutthroat political machinations. But it's a mostly toothless affair that, like so many of our current political figures, proves alienating.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

40 | 2013-01-23 | Alan Scherstuhl

Throughout, Knife Fight feels like TV, like a half-season of some promising cable show stuffed into a 98-minute film that never really builds or surprises.
Read More: Village Voice

38 | 2013-01-24 | Sara Stewart

You'd hope a political-insider indie reuniting "West Wing" stars Rob Lowe and Richard Schiff, and informed by the experiences of an actual former spin doctor, would be a small delight. You would be wrong.
Read More: New York Post

33 | 2013-01-24 | Gabe Toro

For those of you who felt "Ides Of March" was entirely too cerebral and challenging, here comes the dunderheaded Knife Fight. A political satire that treads no new ground, this name-heavy comedy wastes an engaging central performance by Rob Lowe.
Read More: The Playlist

30 | 2013-01-25 | Stephen Holden

The tone of Knife Fight is mean until the movie flips a switch and turns pious and mawkish as Paul tries to make amends for past sins. Whether playing it sleazy or noble, Mr. Lowe brings little emotional weight to his role.
Read More: The New York Times

30 | 2013-01-24 | Gary Goldstein

The underwhelming, would-be political satire Knife Fight plays more like a failed network TV pilot than the savvy feature it clearly set out to be. Think: Aaron Sorkin-lite, uh, really, really lite.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

25 | 2013-01-24 | John Barber

Means and ends meet briefly, shrug and disappear under a torrent of self-flattering clichés.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

25 | 2013-01-22 | Nick McCarthy

Bill Guttentag exaggerates the absurd lengths advisors go to win an election and yet ultimately aggrandizes their behavior.
Read More: Slant Magazine

20 | 2013-01-22 | David Fear

Thanks to his pitch-perfect portrayal of Parks and Recreation's Type A–personality-run-amuck boss, we're willing to forgive Rob Lowe for virtually anything. This pitiful excuse for a political satire, however, seriously tests that theory.
Read More: Time Out New York