Election (1999) - Comedy, Drama, Romance

Hohum Score



A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body president.

IMDB: 7.3
Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon
Length: 103 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 59 out of 456 found boring (12.93%)

One-line Reviews (188)

The movie managed to catch me off-guard several times and kept surprising me right until the ending, it's very unpredictable and thus highly entertaining.

The whole idea of the movie, is not so bad on the whole but it was wasted on this dull, boring movie, with quite an awful cast consisting of, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick and the annoying Chris Klein.

Broderick as well does a fantastic job portraying the slow spiral into chaos that is his life.

The characters are where this movie truly shines, as the two leads are complex and engaging, and very fun to watch.

But don't be surprised if, at the end, you are unable to decide if you enjoyed it or not.

Election is a savvy and funny satire about urban life, a very entertaining film indeed; twanging sharp tipped arrows into all sorts of targets and most of them bite deeply.

Anyway, a great fun move; and a rare example of a low-budget independent film that is actually broadly entertaining and (fairly) widely accessible.

There were many great comical outbursts and Reese Witherspoon pulled off a stunning performance.

Election works so well because it is willing to show us much more than the typical rebellious teenager forced to comply with the will of his parents while engaging in sexual activity with a classmate on the side.

I quite enjoyed it's novel approach, and by that I mean it's story telling structure resembling that of a novel.

7/10 well worth watching.

Overall it is the terrific script and performances that make this such an entertaining film.

Later, the same janitor is part of the visual assault on Jim as the cuts between their dead-straight stares speedily bore into Jim's conscience.

I found this to be a very entertaining film with many funny scenes and all round fun - even though others disagree.

Except this, "Election" is a clever and entertaining movie.

The treatment is what makes this film stand out, considering the story itself is very predictable and simple.

The slow pan over the woebegone visage of a museum caveman was the funniest sequence I can remember from any movie.

The multi-dimensional and well developed characters, the fascinating story and the incredibly good acting (especially by Matthew Broderick who played the role of his career), make this gem a must see.

Really worth watching.

Shots linger repeatedly over the most mundane chores.


The story line is comparitively boring and you can tell that the actual election is not going to be the major climax of the story like it would be in a more mainstream box-office high-school comedy.

" I must admit it was entertaining, the freeze shots were a nice touch, and Reese Witherspoon was excellent as usual.

This movie is hilarious- at times shocking -and very entertaining!

Very entertaining and funny...

Despite good performances, this is an empty, unfunny movie.

It is very entertaining.

These people's paths are gonna cross, with unusual, unexpected results...

The subplot involving Jim McAllister's extramarital affair dragged a bit, and was rather predictable (though hardly incidental to the main plot: the fact that his personal life is unraveling is part of the reason he allows his hatred of Tracy to goad him into taking a highly imprudent step).

Mathew Broderick plays Mr. McAllister, the boring teacher with a boring wife, who aspires to greatness, mucks up an affair, and ultimately loses his Omaha teaching job.

The characters are engaging, even Reese Witherspoon's and I can understand where some are coming from when they say she is annoying.

Comedic dialogue and entertaining twists around every corner, this caricature-driven work is wholeheartedly a fun film that will be especially enjoyed by those who prefer intelligent comedies with just a dab of drama.

The links between the elements were disjointed and frankly, uninteresting.

The third worst movie I have ever seen.

It's as peculiarly captivating as Little Miss Sunshine and as innocently entertaining as Ferris Beuller's Day Off.

Tracy takes the election very seriously, Paul is just happy to be taking part and Tammy announces that the whole idea of a student council is a waste of time and if elected she will work to have it abolished… an attitude the school's principal does not want encouraged so suspends her.

ELECTION is still a very enjoyable film.

This movie was refreshingly funny and very entertaining.

She put in an excellent acting performance, and made this film enjoyable by herself.

Rolfe Kent's jaunty full-bore orchestral score likewise does the trick.

But it all seemed boring to me.

The boredom of a midlife crisis is well played by Matthew Broderick as a teacher.

It is fast paced, always involving and entertaining, and mercilessly funny.

Unlike most high school comedies, the dark nature of the humor in "Election" keeps the events of the film mostly unpredictable, the surprising actions taken by the students and Jim throughout the story to get their way can be startling, unsettling or even emotional at times.

This was one of the wittiest, most enjoyable movies I've seen in a long time.

Refreshing and Entertaining.

Waste of time, wasted opportunity (spoilers) .

And still, after Paul's nervous and ultimately empty speech, the crowd is stunned.

Hysterical, fast-moving, thought-provoking, nasty .

Bored with his own life, he tries to punish Tracy for.

it's well-acted,and entertaining.

intelligent script, memorable characters, well-paced story, great performances, and a gift of something unexpected.

And Mr. McAllister must risk losing his job and family for something that 'feels' right to him, or do what he knows is right and continue with his mundane existence.

If we had not been boxed in on the aisle, we would have walked out.

His guilt is his desire and his struggling against the dull, boring life in which he finds himself.

It's just boring.

Very entertaining .

I found it to be very enjoyable, and even though I was a little confused by the whole point of the movie (in other words, what is it trying to say?

Broderick and Witherspoon make this movie entertaining from start to finish.

It was a boring, cynical, and exaggerated movie that seemed to scream "Look at us, we're proving something!!

They get bored and knows that all the speeches are untrue, and they adore radicalism and ideas where the 'people' has the control of the situation.

Entertaining, well written and acted: Superb over all .

It was an entertaining comedy and was funnier than I thought it was going to be.

It draws you in from the start with the introduction of the central characters; Tracy Flick and Mr. McAllister (or at least I think that's what his name was) Tracy is certainly intriguing as a completely obsessive workaholic and quite detestable in every way.

Ideally casted all the way, with Matthew Broderick, after a number of uninteresting roles in lame movies, really making his mark.

It became slow and all together unenjoyable, despite the scene where the lesbian sister takes blame in order to get into an all girls school.

The director even uses one of Morricone's creepiest and most intense "death-knell" soundtrack bites (from the forgettable Burt Reynolds Western "Navajo Joe") to emphasize the instinctive violence at play in the power struggle.

What this movie lacks in plot, acting, and directing, is also absent in EVERY other aspect of the film.

boring and shallow .

Over the course of this brisk, unpredictable, and embarassingly well-observed film, McAllister is unmasked as a shallow, self-deluding, unreliable, and dishonourable man.

But to see it at this level of understanding, it proves to be quite entertaining.

Overall 'ELECTION' is probably one of the funniest, entertaining and most clever films I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.

) save the film from becoming too tedious.

Anyone who thought this was a movie that just points out how pointless High School elections are is also in danger of missing the point.

Real life is much funnier than contrived humor and this movie exemplifies that.

He was too slow and dumbed down to gain much respect from anyone, and the character was under used and poorly written.

Matthew Broderick is good as a bored and tired teacher, while Reese Witherspoon is very convincing as a super high flier who is very ambitious and confident.

Payne uses it in a stylish and creative way for about 50% of the time, and the other 50% of the time the voice-over is just pointless and annoying.

The film is fun, entertaining and thought-provoking, a wonderful satire.

An unexpected treat .

Matthew Broderick's portrayal of Mr. M's downward spiral into the vortex of corruption is terrific, complete with a earnest hopefulness and ho-hum attitude, you never think he could possibly crack as he winds his way further and further into betrayal, reminiscent of William H.

Granted, some of the storyline is a bit contrived, and there are a couple dumb turns that keep it from a higher level.

When you've had bad day and you need to cheer yourself up with a nice predictable plot line and a cast of 2 dimensional characters your not going to watch a film like Pulp Fiction are you?

Spot the Cliche.

Alexander Payne's latest is the most thoroughly entertaining and brutally clever black comedy since Todd Solondz's "Happiness" and Neil LaBute's "In the Company of Men.

Definitely a step above the usual senseless teen gross-out genre, this snappy comedy has a clever premise, some effective twists, and believable characters who provide plenty of genuine laughs.

But even then, it'll be a waste of money.

That one dumbass move alone made it possible to sincerely enjoy this otherwise enjoyable character's eventual downfall.

There is nothing humorous, the characters are shallow and one-dimensional, and the plot is boring.

I thoroughly enjoyed it – so much so that I sat and re-watched it several times (and liked it more with each viewing).

The editing is the primary key to the film, automatically engrossing the viewer to become engaged with a narrative which is recited through four diverse character perceptions.

He plays a high school teacher, Mr. McAllister, living a smothering boring life.

This was a sometimes funny, mostly tedious movie that went NOWHERE.

But despite a good concept, the film lessens in quality as it progresses, because the idea becomes tiresome after a while, and annoying in itself.

But unfortunately I just found this comedy rather dry.

But this time I looked at it from a few different angles, and it became all the more intriguing.

Both are brilliant in an unpredictable and scathing film.

This film has some parallels with another school comedy `Rushmore' but here the satire is sharper and the story more absorbing.

This is a commercial movie, but it had something to show and to say, which made it very different from regular boring Hollywood movies.

It inspires them indifference and boredom, the same feelings that shine the Americans towards the political life.

Director Alexander Payne (Sideways and About Schmidt) manages to find a beautiful balance between intelligent satire and compelling drama in a way that never stops being comically enjoyable.

Amusing and entirely predictable is the way to describe this high school comedy.

well-acted,funny,and entertaining.

The plot is thin, predictable, and pointless.

If Election is nothing else, it's entertaining and not afraid to humiliate all of it's characters.

The ending is at once hilarious, unexpected, and somewhat fitting.

this has substance and the jokes are very dry and cynical.

One of the things that Payne does best is create interesting characters and that is why the actors give engaging performances because they have a lot to work with.

Matthew Broderick succeeds in playing his bland character blandly.

Each second of the movie is entertaining and it never seems to be "too much".


I thought this the only good teenage film worth watching at all besides "Clueless" in the past decade.

In addition, the use of multiple narrators allows the viewer to share and be immersed into the misguided views and interpretations of the film's core protagonists.

This movie was not entertaining at all, and was a giant waste of my money.

Dragged out and boring.

An enjoyable, impeccably cast and deftly written high school film that works so well because the premise is realistic even if the execution is hyperbolic.

The film sweeps you along at a good pace, the characters are so compelling, Reese Witherspoon is the picture of determination, even when she is silent her expressions tell you what her character is thinking never taking her eye off the prize.

Its attempt to satirize stereotypes is thin and boring to watch.

It also features some very very compelling and sophisticated characters played by equally brilliant actors who delivered remarkable performances, especially Matthew Broderick's.

As I sort of said above, Brodrick and Witherspoon are great in satiric and compelling roles.

How Broderick's marriage fell to pieces is quite an entertaining story, and the customary Hollywood happy ending did detract from what was otherwise an interesting film with an unpredictable storyline.

Matthew Broderick's character was more hilarious, though, because the manner in which he attempts to drive morals and ethics into his students minds and later attempts to have an an extra-marital affair is breathtaking.

" And when Jim loses his wife, his home and his job, ends up in a $1550 per mo (plus utilities) apartment in New York training docents at the Museum of Natural History and characterizes his life as "exciting and dream-fulfilling.

The story is enjoyable even if the idea of school election is alien to me as my old school didn't have them and as far as I know other local schools didn't either.

Another insight is that people's lives often collide with very unpredictable results.

Dull people leading dull lives does not make for good entertainment.

All aspects of unpleasantness, dirty, ugly, lowly tricks despised by "society", he played it all in this Alexander Payne's snappy movie "Election".

This was only the second movie I have ever walked out on!!!

like political men, they're talking for saying nothing) in front of the pupils, these ones are laughing at them whereas Tammy's one provokes their happiness and enthusiasm because it's all the contrary of a banal speech.

Dont we all feal that most of our leaders, those that have risen to the top are nothing but a bunch of amoral, issueless, pointless, driven, self-centered,attention seekers, whos opinions change with the latest public opinion poll, and who wouldnt take an unpopular moral stand on anything even if their lifes depended on it.

Enjoyed it, makes fun out of things we probably should frown upon now.

After all, Elections can be described as an entertaining and funny movie.

The script is wonderful, even if there are some trite stereotypes, and the cinematography is wonderful.

The part where Traci is thinking about what life is like for teachers while looking at Mr. McAlister, "wearing the same boring clothes and saying the same thing year after year while the students go on to successful profitable careers", was definitely funny and biting.

It's not a push-button movie, but it can be a tad predictable at times (although there is one twist toward the end that works well!

Mostly entertaining, very dark comedy involving taboo subjects.

If that seems ponderous, it's about as ponderous as Tracy Flick's mom writing compulsively to people like Connie Chung and Elizabeth Dole asking for advice.

The director and co-writer Alexander Payne has a ziggety, hotfooting but unstressed style that never misses its mark, and the performances are stunning.

I found the movie rife w/ unexpected humour, twists and a great dark sense of the high school experience as it touches on the themes of ethics vs.

It makes this movie look dull.

"So I really liked this film, it is funny and extremely entertaining.

Quite apart from the fact that any film with Reese Witherspoon in it must be worth watching, she conveys pure Flickness here: all innocent eyes, menacing smile, clenched teeth and flared nostrils.

Even though the film is not as good as I had expected, it's still very entertaining.

Setting that aside, though, "Election" is an enjoyable enough movie.

The tangled web of incompatible motivations is entertaining and diverse, as demonstrated by the hilarious trio of pep assembly speeches given by the presidential candidates.

Pointless but entertaining.

except maybe the boredom of an assembly.

Amusing and compelling high school dramedy with Broderick and Witherspoon .

American Pie star Chris Klein co-stars as a slow guy who goes up against her component.

"Election" has an acceptable story, it focuses on the teacher's boring life and his quest to make a change.

Its well worth the watch for true fans of comedy.

Clever, very funny and unexpected.

It is incredibly enjoyable to watch, as the editing is slick, the characters are vibrant and there is also a well-suited score.

MTV helped produce two of the worst movies of last year--The Waterboy and Varsity Blues.

The pacing of this film and the general feel is what I could only describe as a slow comedic descent into madness.

Definitely worth watching.

Smart, Witty and Enjoyable.

Reese Witherspoon (in a spunky enjoyable performance) plays the over-achieving and slightly obnoxious know-it-all Tracy Fink, who is the fore-runner for the candidacy for student council president.

Matthew Broderick's character is more realistic and therefore more engaging.

I don't think the film as a whole is anything all that meaningful, but it's certainly very entertaining and very funny.

Witherspoon's Tracy is especially enjoyable to see as she vigorously pursues her goals to the point of fanaticism.

This should be even higher then 7.4 in my opinion, and it's pretty unpredictable throughout, plus Chris Klein is great as the dumb jock.

You don't see too many movies with such a funny look at daily life yet Election is able to combine the mundane, the scandalous and the banal into an trenchant fable, again much like Fargo.

I really enjoyed it.

A Bore.

Tracy Flick just might be the one thing that dampens his days, with her boring and rigid personality that frames her goody two shoes attitude.

I really enjoyed it and I think you all will too.

A fantastically irreverent satire, this film is also enjoyable in its unpredictability.

Its obvious nature means it's way too overlong: you can see where it's going within the first twenty minutes, but it's pretentious enough to assume the audience hasn't got a brain and can't think things through for itself.

The movie was pointless and there is no moral at the end.

So how could this possibly be an enjoyable story.

This movie is a tired, bland waste of celluloid.

This movie wrestles humourously with issues of honesty, ambition, desire, coming of age, politics, parenting ...

Very entertaining .

Occasional chuckles, but basically stupid and predictable.

The direction can accurately be described as deadpan - with Chris Klein, stripped of his ability to play football, gazing soulfully out to sea, and falling asleep over a book on philosophy.

seems ultimately pointless and not funny enough to justify.

But apart from that it is an entertaining piece of satire.

And on the pivotal election day, the music is once again key, the slow beats of the bass drum providing tension that would not be out of place before a large scale battle in some war film.

McAllister goes over his head by trying to stop Track for running president, since Tracy is practically impossible to slow her down for any reason.

This is probably the biggest issue that the flick faces as it makes it boring, despite being well put-together in almost every other way.

But to make it engaging, you've got to introduce quirks, and twists, and ironies, and comic annotations and reversals.

This movie is FUNNY, due to Witherspoon's intense competetive Tracey, who CANNOT accept defeat, and the things that ensue after she is found to be the winner after all.

This film had a lot of potential, but we end up with a far from engaging, routine picture, possessed of a heart as hollow as those of its characters.

One could say that Ms. Witherspoon overacts, but at least she is entertaining with it.

His clothes are drab, his wife and even the woman he fantasizes about are all plain.

The film is quite bleak about modern US politics; there is a brilliant running metaphor concerning rubbish and votes, about the confusion in the US between signs and signifiers, that says more about contemporary America than a thousand self-satisfied BOB ROBERTS' ever could.

The narrative, though a bit disjointed in an 'Ally McBeal' sort of a way, works and ultimately, there is an interesting statement about power.