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The Campaign (2012)

tomatometer

64

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 194
Fresh: 125 | Rotten: 69

Its crude brand of political satire isn't quite as smart or sharp as one might hope in an election year, but The Campaign manages to generate a sufficient number of laughs thanks to its well-matched leads.

56

Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 17

Its crude brand of political satire isn't quite as smart or sharp as one might hope in an election year, but The Campaign manages to generate a sufficient number of laughs thanks to its well-matched leads.

audience

51

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 120,724

My Rating

Movie Info

When long-term congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs plot to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district. Their man: na´ve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center. At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice but, with the help of his new benefactors' support, a cutthroat campaign manager and his family's political connections,

R,

Comedy

Oct 30, 2012

$86.9M

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (205) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (125) | Rotten (69) | DVD (8)

Despite the obviousness of its political points, the film has a scattershot, breezy appeal.

August 20, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What these dog days of political campaigning needs is a good, sharp political satire. Alas, The Campaign is not that movie -- not even close.

August 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comments (4)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Simply taken as a broad character comedy, "The Campaign" definitely has its moments.

August 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's way over the top, but then again, so are most modern political campaigns. Lots of funny s--- here.

August 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com | Comments (20)
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] very raunchy and sometimes pretty funny comedy - which isn't above going for dumb jokes, but is also smart enough to play to its two stars' strengths.

August 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie is single-handedly causing a major rise in our mirth deficit. It's so bad, I'm declaring a laugh emergency.

August 10, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post | Comments (29)
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You keep waiting for the movie to say something, to find that extra level of inspiration we've seen each of these two guys reach. Or at least to justify making a political comedy in the first place.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

It is meticulously bipartisan in its ridicule, from the right's embrace of God and guns, to the left's disingenuous stance against fat cats and big money.

May 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

The problem with situation comedy movies in general - and Will Ferrell vehicles such as The Campaign in particular - is that they usually fizzle out after the first 30 minutes.

April 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

But for all its silliness, THE CAMPAIGN fixes what's broken in American politics with easy laughs and sharp truths.

April 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Badass Digest

Funny and entertaining, it's not a heavyweight contender, but who wants a heavyweight contender every time?

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

Poking fun at the nastiness of elections, The Campaign finally brings together two of Hollywood's funniest comedians.

March 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

We're not quite at the basic Jay Leno level of 'har har, politicians are shallow double-talkers!' humor, but sometimes we're dangerously close.

January 22, 2013 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

Jay Roach's The Campaign can be funny at times, but it's mostly an exercise of patience as two usually funny men scrape the bottom of the barrel for some truly unfunny jokes. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis have both been in much better films.

November 11, 2012 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

A hopelessly broad and undisciplined comedy that features a small handful of amusing ideas but otherwise represents a major missed opportunity for rich Stateside election year satire.

November 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

Funny and entertaining, it's not a heavyweight contender, but who wants a heavyweight contender every time?

October 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

If it's sophistication you're looking for, forget it. This one's strictly for low laughs, at which it succeeds nicely.

October 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

[B]itter, brutal, and -- unfortunately for the hopes and dreams of the American people -- very very pointedly funny...

October 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Works great until it develops a conscience

October 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

The Campaign is an equal split of smart and stupid. Some people may be off-put by the wild detours into vulgarity, but I relished it.

October 19, 2012 Full Review Source: The Aristocrat
The Aristocrat

The Campaign does manage to strike a funny chord but don't be ashamed to find out these election results on home video.

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant
ScreenRant

Director Jay Roach lets swing with some comic haymakers - literally so when Cam aims a punch at his rival and ends up socking a baby in the jaw instead - but the gags are so unsubtle that the satire fails to deliver a knockout blow.

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Will Ferrell's funniest movie in years, this is a silly comedy with a terrible sentimental streak, but the political satire running through it is dead on

October 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com
Contactmusic.com

Using tired, lazy stereotypes that swerve any relevance to the times, it ironically treats both Americans and its audience with the same contempt as the politicians it lampoons.

September 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

With subtlety hardly its strong point (the humour is broad-beamed, brash and at times bordering on farce) it's raucous entertainment.

September 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Witlessness.

September 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Audience Reviews for The Campaign

A real riot. This movie gets my vote. A raunchy, wild and hilarious comedy. Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell are comedy gold together. A super funny satire that packs plenty of laughs and a great cast. Dylan McDermott and Jason Sudeikis are terrific. A really funny good time. Over the top fun from start to finish.
February 28, 2014
allan913

Super Reviewer

When it comes to producing knowing and quite clever jokes about the Democrats and Republicans, The Campaign gets it right and is quite funny. Everything else is overdone. The suggestion that someone punched a baby is always going to get a better effect than actually showing someone punching a baby. Better still, do something funnier than punch a baby, which really isn't all that funny. Zach Galifianakis is a one trick pony, that said, I don't mind him so much. Will Ferrell is more love or hate, I'm on the hate side I'm afraid but he's not too bad in this one I suppose. I idea is fine, different comedy actors would have made a huge difference, change the leads and the film could have been much better.
October 15, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Not Ferrell's best turn, but he's done much worse. And Zach Galifianakis isn't doing much you haven't seen before, rolling his Seth Galifianakis character into his role as bumpkin-cum-politician Marty Huggins. But what you see really is what you get: two talented comic foils going at each other for 90 minutes. The story is a bit thin but the supporting cast is also funny. There can be only one Anchorman in Ferrell's career - even if he is making a sequel - and this isn't it. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the movie. It's a comedy... laugh already.
September 4, 2013
danperry17

Super Reviewer

"The Campaign" is the epitome of every single one of these actors selling out. Brady and Huggins are battling it out and doing whatever it takes to win their election day, and that premise works for such a film as it is being put out to be, but hardly ever does a joke work and we never get ay real emotion that is needed. I expected to laugh out loud at the talented actors, but the script wasn't even well-written, so it was pretty difficult to make the movie any good, when there is nothing there to do so. This film is laugh-free, the script is terrible, the acting feels ham-handed, and the director doesn't do many unique things to hide any of that. This is one of the worst comedies I've seen in a while. Very disappointed!
June 26, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

    1. Marty Huggins: Dad, if you're still holdin' a grudge because I wore crocs to Mom's funeral, like I've told a thousand times, I'm sorry. Mom would have wanted it that way. She was casual.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (11 months ago)
    1. Cam Brady: You know the difference between your Mom and washin' machine? When I dump a load in the washin' machine it doesn't follow me around for three weeks.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (11 months ago)
    1. Marty Huggins: I'm gonna roll up my sleeves, put my sandwich in my lunch pail, and grab my broom. Cause it's a mess.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (11 months ago)
    1. Marty Huggins: Hey, Travis, you tired this mornin'?
    2. Travis: Nope just high.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (11 months ago)
    1. Cam Brady: Did anyone ask me how my fist felt after punchin' the iron like jaw of that baby?
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (11 months ago)
    1. Banker: Are you playin' footsie with me under the table, Mrs. Brady?
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (11 months ago)
View all quotes (52)

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Qual der Wahl (DE)
  • The Campaign (UK)
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