The Campaign

Out Now On-Demand

May the best loser win.

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are two competing South Carolina politicians who duke it out for congressional supremacy in this comedy, directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents).

When long-term congressman Cam Brady (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: naïve Marty Huggins (Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center.

At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest choice but, with the help of his new benefactors, a cut-throat campaign manager and his family's political connections, he soon becomes a contender who gives Cam plenty to worry about.

With films like Everything Must Go and Casa De Mi Padre, Will Ferrell has demonstrated a desire to extend beyond his well-established oafish on-screen comedic persona. None of that desire is present in The Campaign. They could've called it Ron Burgundy Runs For Congress.

While newer to the movie star game, Zach Galifianakis has now carried a specific movie persona through three big movies, and his character here (Ferrell's political rival) does little to go beyond that.

So with two big actors on autopilot and actual modern politics resembling a broad farce at the best of times, The Campaign can't help but give off an air of reaching for low-hanging fruit.

That said, I laughed out loud more than three times, which is my litmus test for any movie comedy. They managed not to spoil ALL the best jokes in the trailer, and the film doesn't outstay its welcome.

Good work is done by supporting players like Dylan McDermott (as a shadowy political consultant) and Katherine LaNasa as Ferrell's shrill wife. I got excited when John Lithgow and Dan Ackroyd showed up as two characters clearly inspired by the legendary Duke brothers from Trading Places, but the script doesn't give them much to do.

With shows like The Colbert Report setting a new standard for biting political satire, a film like The Campaign feels a little thin (especially when it reaches for last minute seriousness), but if you're partial to either Ferrell or Galifianakis' schtick, you'll find plenty to enjoy here.

Boxoffice Magazine

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Think of it as someone making a peanut butter and chocolate swirl of Mad magazine and The New Yorker - two unique tastes making one great treat.

Hollywood Reporter

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While leads Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are amusingly on point as a pair of mud-slinging contenders for Congress, the platform is a wobbly political satire that flip-flops chaotically between clever and crass, never finding a sturdy comedic footing.

New York Times

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Too soft and silly to be satire, too upbeat to be a cautionary tale, the film is a fun-house fable that both exaggerates and understates the absurdities of our democracy in this contentious election year.

Time (USA)

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Four minutes of Bush on SNL is just right, but 85-minutes of Cam Brady feels like a lot, even with a strong supporting cast that includes Jason Sudeikis as Cam's campaign manager and Katherine LaNasa as Cam's picture-perfect, but mean-as-nails wife.

Time Out New York

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There's no suspense, even as Galifianakis's bone-dry earnestness sometimes kicks the movie into a realm of stealth drama.

Variety (USA)

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Roach, who also counts such lowbrow laffers as 'Austin Powers' and 'Meet the Fockers' on his resume, manages to keep things broad without sacrificing smarts.

Village Voice

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Like past-his-peak Perot, The Campaign is basically a footnote, a goof on our broken political system that's good for a certain novelty, but as a challenge to the dominant order? It's ultimately impotent.

Polls take a dive

How do you ask for your life back!? Actually, my money back too. This movie was as funny as me rubbing deep heat on my private parts. I think there's a time when you stop being funny and I got to say, it hasn't been funny for a while now. Stop while your ahead Will!


Very dissapointing

Could have been so good... but just not funny. I'm a big fan of Ferrell (and Galifianakis). But this is one of his worst.


The Camp-pain

The Campaign

Zach & Will paly their normal roles, so much its like a mash-up of 'Step Brothers', 'Due Date' with strong hints of 'The Ides of March'. If its nailed to a wall, call it (the new buzz word) Factional, a work of fiction with some factual information thrown in. I mean, comedy about politics, its all comical really. I did enjoy the satire and LOL'd throughout, as its easy to do, if you can escape the norm of their characters.

Gerne : Comedy, political, growth (to a degree)

3/5 : however it is really easy to pigeon hole, like an Adam Sandler movie, so easy to review, even before you see it, predictably funny.