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The Contender
Academy Award® Nominee
When the sitting Vice President dies, the President names Ohio Senator Laine Hanson as his choice for the office. Her assignment is opposed by a Congressman who will stop at nothing to derail her...  View more >

Starring Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges, Gary Oldman...  View more >

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Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Nov 3, 2000
Don't let the title throw you off, this movie has nothing to do with boxing.

Set in the near future, the Vice-President of the United States has passed away. It is now time for the President to nominate someone to take his place. The choice seems obvious, but the President is set on doing something that no-one expects, something that will put him into the history books.

Even though the clear choice for the nomination is Governer Jack Hathaway, played by William L. Petersen, the President, played by Jeff Bridges, sets his sights on the female Senator Laine Hanson, played by Joan Allen. While an excellent choice, certain people have a problem with the Senator. Mostly because she is a woman.

The Vice-Presidential nomination must be confirmed by a Congressional committee led by Shelly Runyon, played by Gary Oldman. Mr Runyon enlists the help of a young Congressman, Reginald Webster, played by Christian Slater, to help him bring down Senator Hanson.

Every single member of the cast played their roles brilliantly in this captivating film from Rod Lurie. A bit role played by Mariel Hemingway and a twist near the end of the film help make it all that more enjoyable.

I considered giving this film a rating of "Good" here, only because the film contains a large amount of dialog that may put some people off. However, my true feelings are that this is a film that deserves the "See Now" rating, even though I expect that many people will not see it. I just hope that the film and it's stars get the recognition they deserve when the Academy Awards come around.

Copyright 2000 - Ron Higgins
No unauthorized publication or distribution without the consent of Ron Higgins.
Aug 15, 2003
It was a scene in "The Contender," when during th hearing to confrim Joan Allen as the first woman vice-presdient, that the issue of Abortion has come up. It was Gary Oldman wo rase his voice in oppostion. Whatever your pro or con on that issue, you'll agree that it was a powerful moment in the film. The exchange between Oldman and Allen is refreshing. Sure, Oldman is the villian in the film, but his anti-abortion tiderade came out of nowhere. But the movie isn't about Abortion, it's the battle between Allen, who wanted to be vice-president of the United States and Sentor Oldman who is trying to block her path. Oldman may be pro-life, but the senator did some mean things like exposing her past, in an attempt to not giving her the nomination. Jeff Bridges gave a wonderful performance the president of the United States who's in defense of his nominee. The film is well written and directed, "The Contender" is a very smart film about politics in general and how it is used for their own gain.
Oct 13, 2012

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