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Sergeant Raymond Shaw takes the national stage as a surefire candidate for vice president – under the thumb of his controversial mother, Senator Eleanor Shaw – Marco is forced to act on his growing suspicions. With military officials questioning his sanity, and the net of security tightening around Shaw, Marco races to probe deeper into the unimaginable, shocking truth before the White House is won.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Above Average As remakes go, "The Manchurian Candidate" is better than most. It remains faithful to the premise and themes of the original, but, by avoiding a slavish re-interpretation, it offers some surprises to those who are familiar with the 1962 version. Yet there's still a problem, and it has to do with the ending. 42 years ago, "The Manchurian Candidate" capped off a Hitchcockian climax with a grim-but-reasonable conclusion. Here, the climax is just as taut, and the payoff is equally tragic, but it's immediately followed by a cheat.
Roger EbertFull Review Good To compare Demme's version with Frankenheimer's is sort of irrelevant. That was then and this is now. Sinatra and Washington are both complete and self-contained and cannot be meaningfully compared. What we can say is that Demme has taken a story we thought we knew and, while making its outlines mostly recognizable, rotated it into another dimension of conspiracy.
USA TodayFull Review Above Average Despite its brand-name title, A-list cast/director combo and convention-week timing, "The Manchurian Candidate" is a case of smart and talented people trying to jam a Cold War square into a Gulf War circle. You can feel the chafing, to say nothing of the burden this capably crafted shrug has taken on.
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above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
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OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
We collected 181 moviegoer opinions. Fairly disappointing opinions across the board. The first thing I noticed is the low percentage of "Fantastic" opinions. Even more damaging is the very big percentage of "Good" and lower opinions. With most of the opinions in the "Very Good" to "Good" range I would say that this is an average to above average movie at best. Most of you will be satisfied to some extent, but it's not likely to be a movie that you will remember much past leaving the theater. If you only see a limited number of movies at theaters you may want to save this one for a rental. Otherwise, it would be a safer bet at a matinee.
U.S. Army Major Bennett Marco (Washington) can't sleep at night … and he
doesn't want to. Marco spends his days giving inspiring speeches about his
platoon's ambush in the Kuwaiti desert and the heroics of Sergeant Raymond
Shaw (Schreiber), who won the Medal of Honor for saving Marco's crew. But at
night, Marco's dreamlike memories of the desert turn sinister and terrifying.
And Marco privately wonders whether the two soldiers who died in the firefight
might have met darker fates than officially recorded – and whether Shaw might
not be the glorious hero that everyone thinks he is.
When Shaw takes the national stage as a surefire candidate for vice president – under the thumb of his controversial mother, Senator Eleanor
Prentiss Shaw (Streep) – Marco is forced to act on his growing suspicions.
With military officials questioning his sanity, and the net of security
tightening around Shaw, Marco races to probe deeper into the unimaginable,
shocking truth before the White House is won.