sprizzle’s review published on Letterboxd:
House of Cards anyone?
This is a really juicy political drama. I mean like Jerry Springer level juicy. If you've ever wondered what working on the campaign trail is actually like, it's probably not like this. I know politicians are generally attractive people but I don't know if I buy a Clooney and a Gosling on the same side. Throw in Marisa Tomei and you've got the gorgeous Hollywood ensemble that makes The Ides of March work.
It's a very simple kind of film, driven by dialogue and not much else. The filmmaker (Clooney) builds tension in very basic way...With a great script. It's up to Gosling, Clooney, Hoffman, and Giomatti to act it all out and make it believable. And thankfully for this movie, those are four dudes who are really good at acting (past tense in Hoffman's case). The movie doesn't get too deep into the inner workings of the political machine, but we get enough to understand the very straight forward backstabbing style, blackmailing business that's going on. It is very much like House of Cards if you're a fan of that show.
The script here does exactly what it needs to do. I haven't read my beat sheet in awhile, but I would guess this hits every one. The character arcs of Gosling and Clooney are pretty typical. This isn't something that's really going to blow you away, but it does keep your interest and by the end I found myself getting sucked in to the drama.