An amiable dunce (Chris Cooper) is running for governor of Colorado, but when an unidentified corpse threatens to derail the candidate’s campaign, his manager (Richard Dreyfuss) hires a disgraced reporter (Danny Huston) to intimidate his political enemies. Writer-director John Sayles’ latest movie is his most overtly political in years (just guess who the candidate is supposed to be). Still, Sayles is an artist, not a propagandist, and while his sympathies are clear, he gives even his villains their full humanity. This kind of writing attracts the best actors, and Sayles’ complex, densely populated story boasts a succession of richly textured, sharply written cameo performances. Huston’s earnest, open-faced performance ties them all together, and Sayles allows his character a glimmer of hope amid the corruption.