Our Brand Is Crisis Review

Genre: Comedy | Drama Directed by: David Gordon Green Starring: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie Written by: Peter Straughan (screenplay), Rachel Boynton (documentary)
Genre: Comedy | Drama
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie
Written by: Peter Straughan (screenplay), Rachel Boynton (documentary)


Synopsis: An American woman, well-versed in political campaigns, is sent to the war-torn lands of South America to help install a new leader but is threatened to be thwarted by a long-term rival.

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Sandra Bullock is can’t get away from slapstick comedy.  “Our Brand Is Crisis,” based on a documentary of the same name, attempts to be a comedy drama that plays out mainly as farce. Campaign guru Jane (Sandra Bullock) is recruited to take over the presidential campaign in Bolivia. The country is at a crossroads and she is in charge of making slumping candidate Castillo rise up the ranks.


When one of the first scenes of Jane on the job is seeing her trip and fall coming out of the airplane, it doesn’t bode well in establishing any seriousness in the movie or character. The next scene after her epic fall is her walking around holding a oxygen tank and puking all over due to the altitude of the region, it’s hard not imagine that’s a symbolism for puking all over this script. The Jane character is featured as borderline bipolar. One scene she’s falling over and being goofy, next scene she’s talking down to Castillo and taking over the campaign.


The douchy presidential candidate Castillo
The douchy presidential candidate Castillo

Not only is the character going through an identity crisis, but so is the movie. Was director David Gordon Green going for a comedy centered around politics, or a drama that prides itself on its comedy? Blending both of those themes together is a recipe for a crisis. Can’t expect the movie to be taken seriously when the characters quirks are more central to the storyline than the presidential campaign that’s supposed to change the lives of an entire country.


Sandra Bullock plays Sandra Bullock more than she plays Jane. This film had the potential to showcase her dramatic side, and could have been more like “The Blind Side,” and less “Miss Congeniality”. Anthony Mackie and Billy Bob Thornton add some non-slapstick humor and personality to the film. Thornton plays a ruthless counterpart to Bullock’s character. Mackie plays Bullocks more rational colleague Ben, and manages to hold his own in the comedic banters with Bullock.


Bullock and Mackie work well as a tandem
Bullock and Mackie work well as a tandem

The humor is offensive. Especially a scene where a llama escapes a photo shoot and gets hit by a car, to which Jane follows up with a pun. This is the sort of antics of poor taste in the film that would not only anger PETA, but I found offensive and unnecessary. When the film tries to stay serious, it’s when it succeeds. The sparring witty duel between Bullock and Thornton is engaging, but also takes precedent over the impending election. The duo of George Clooney and Grant Heslov helm this project, which is nothing like the other more stylish and smarter political film they produced that was “The Ides of March”.


All being said, Bullock fans will probably enjoy her in this film. She does all the things that make her a box office hit, that being her slapstick quirky comedy routine. When this movie tries to be serious and focuses on her running the campaign it intrigues. There are good and smart ideas of her political strategies of letting the mean and unlikable Castillo stay true to himself during the campaign, that’s when the movie is at it’s best, it’s the payoffs of what makes Jane one of the best at her job. Ultimately, “Our Brand is Crisis” has a big identity crisis that it fails to solve. This Bullock lead campaign is bust.


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  • Acting - 6/10
  • Cinematography - 5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 5.5/10
  • Buyability - 4/10
  • Recyclability - 4.5/10

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About Jim Alexander

When it boils down to it, Jim's passion is entertainment. Aside from being an avid sports fan, that follows all things NFL, NBA, and Soccer. He currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago. At the core of his interests...movies! Whether trying to catch the newest flick coming out this weekend, or the latest On Demand release, to heated debates with his friends and colleagues about the most recent "Box Office Blunder". The passion for movies lies deep within him. When he isn't writing, he immerses himself in his other interests; Acting and Radio Broadcasting. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimRko.

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