Our Brand Is Crisis
A disgraced political consultant (Sandra Bullock) is coaxed out of forced retirement to help two colleagues (Anthony Mackie, Ann Dowd) guide the campaign of a candidate for president of Bolivia (Joaquim de Almeida). Once in La Paz, she learns that the rival campaign is being advised by her old nemesis (Billy Bob Thornton). Like Freeheld, here's another adaptation of a documentary—in this case, one by Rachel Boynton—but greatly fictionalized; for example, in the doc, Bullock's character was actually James Carville. Written by Peter Straughan and directed by David Gordon Green, the movie wears its cynicism like a condescending badge of honor, but it makes the fatal mistake of giving us no stake in the outcome—no heroes to root for, no villains to root against. Despite flashes of wit, it's dull. J.L.