Complete A-Z list


Our Brand is Crisis (DQ)

5/10

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Joaquim de Almeida, Anthony Mackie, Scoot McNairy, Zoe Kazan, Ann Dowd, Louis Arcella

Director: David Gordon Green

A fictional account - although the end credits do their best to persuade us otherwise - of a political campaign in Bolivia. where a former president (an appropriately untrustworthy De Almeida) is lagging behind in the voting. His advisers hire an American spin doctor and veteran campaign organiser named 'Calamity' Jane Bodine (Bullock) who has retreated from political life following a series of disasters, mainly at the hands of rival 'adviser' Pat Candy (an under-used Thornton).

The ex-president, Castillo, is rich and arrogant, but Jane's plan is to re-create him as a shirtsleeved man of the people, determined to help the country out of a 'crisis' of her own invention.

When initial gains are slow, she resorts to dirty tricks against his main rival (Arcella), whose campaign manager happens to be Candy, and Castillo's support surges.

The film is entertaining enough, and Bullock is always watchable, but if it's not going to be a true story, the film loses some of its force and most of its raison d'Ítre. Still, Thornton is also good with his limited material, and there are some telling moments along the campaign trail. But, darn it, it needed to be real.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers . Colour (unspecified).
104 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 19 Jan 2016