The Contender

Rated 4.0

A female senator (Joan Allen), nominated to replace a deceased vice president, is accused of a wild sexual past; her refusal to answer the charges merely plays into the hands of her chief accuser (Gary Oldman). Allen’s freeze-dried nobility is the film’s hallowed center, but the mainspring is Jeff Bridges as the U.S. President—folksy, canny, revelling in the perks of office. Bridges is so good he almost brings off the whopping, cornball last scene.