Recount (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes


Recount (2008)



Critic Consensus: Recount deftly brings a controversial chapter of electoral history to dramatic life with a compelling cast, although some viewers may take issue with its conclusions.

Recount Photos

Movie Info

Kevin Spacey and Bob Balaban headline Austin Powers director Jay Roach's all-star docudrama examining the events surrounding the most controversial presidential election in United States history. The highest office in the country is up for grabs, and the fate of the free world may hang in the balance. When the initial tallies from Florida voting polls prove inconclusive, the decision is made to hold a recount. But it's a controversial decision to say the least, and one that caused many skeptical voters to suspect foul play. Eventually the case would go all the way to the Supreme Court, and as the trial gets under way charismatic Texas republican James Baker (Tom Wilkinson) attempts to rally public support for the recount. But the Democrats aren't about to lie down and die just yet, because Al Gore's former chief of staff Ron Klain (Spacey) can play hardball with the best of the old elephants. Now, as these two opposing giants come to blows over the fate of the presidency, they gradually begin to develop a grudging respect for one another. Laura Dern, John Hurt, Dennis Leary, and Ed Begley, Jr. round out the cast for the film that blends actual news footage and verbatim dialogue into fictionalized recreations that are both highly entertaining and deeply dramatic.

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Kevin Spacey
as Ron Klain
Bob Balaban
as Ben Ginsberg
Ed Begley Jr.
as David Boies
Laura Dern
as Katherine Harris
John Hurt
as Warren Christopher
Denis Leary
as Michael Whouley
Bruce McGill
as Mac Stipanovich
Tom Wilkinson
as James Baker
Bruce Altman
as Mitchell Berger
Jayne Atkinson
as Theresa LaPore
Gary Basaraba
as Clay Roberts
Derek Cecil
as Jeremy Bash
Eve Gordon
as Monica Klain
Marcia Jean Kurtz
as Carol Roberts
Mitch Pileggi
as Bill Daley
Marc Macaulay
as Robert Zoellick
Ethan S. Smith
as David Morehouse
Adam LeFevre
as Mark Herron
Philip Nolen
as Ben Kuehne
Stefen Laurantz
as Joe Allbaugh
Robert Small
as George Terwilliger
Patricia Getty
as Margaret Tutwiler
Rus Blackwell
as Mark Wallace
Brett Rice
as Judge Charles Burton
Judy Clayton
as Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
Jack Shearer
as Justice Antonin Scalia
Terry Loughlin
as Justice William Rehnquist
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News & Interviews for Recount

Critic Reviews for Recount

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (22)

Given its timeliness, "Recount" is a painful sort of fun, and likely a great argument starter.

March 30, 2020 | Full Review…

The cable channel has taken a difficult, divisive topic and turned it into a clear, fast-moving thriller with comical overtones.

June 13, 2018 | Full Review…

It's so suspenseful that it's easy to forget that you already know how it ends.

June 13, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Even when the complicated political and legal machinations are handled gracefully, Recount doesn't have time to give these people depth or render their unique situations with sufficient shadings of complexity.

June 13, 2018 | Full Review…

The tension that swirled around thousands of disputed Florida ballots after the November 2000 election was almost Shakespearean... Recount effectively dramatizes that struggle.

June 13, 2018 | Full Review…

If you have the slightest interest in politics and movie treatments thereof, I recommend it.

June 13, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Recount


I was a bit reluctant for watching a movie that seemed to be based on election procedures, but having seen it, I don't regret taking the chances. Kevin Spacey is the main reason I decided to take the risk of being bored, but his performance isn't the major highlight of the film. The incredibly apt execution of such material is what made me see it through till the end. While not outstanding (in fact, a bit tedious at times), it's okay for a single viewing. Although not interested in political campaigns (or even politics in a broader sense for that matter), I found it quite watchable. Despite of the political ignorance, whether or not the film is biased is quite apparent. Its weak efforts to be impartial come off as an act of pretense. Of course, just my expert opinion!!!

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


The film is a good overview of the events that transpired in Florida between the 2000 election and the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore, but it lacked the depth I desired. It seems to me that dramatization is not the right way to approach covering the events--a documentary gets rid of the glitz and goes right down to the facts. The film also clearly took some dramatic licence to exaggerate some of the events, which compromised the objectivity of the film. Nevertheless, Spacey, Leary, Wilkinson, and Dern all turned in good performances, and the film was very enjoyable. It just wasn't the thorough learning experience I want and expect from historical dramatizations like this one.

Jay Hutchinson
Jay Hutchinson

Super Reviewer

"Recount" is one of the best films I have ever seen about Democracy in America. It's a fast paced and utterly engrossing portrayal of the 2000 Presidential election recounts in Florida. In retrospect the events depicted are a huge storm on the horizon of things to come and really eerie to watch. The acting is great from the large ensemble and the background info into the voting process and the law that goes along with it is fascinating. Factually accurate with a pinch of satire and a whole lot of social and historical commentary (past and present), "Recount" is a triumph. It should stand as one of the defining films about the Bush Administration and that time period.

Steven Carrier
Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

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