Starring: Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alison Pill, Jake Lacy, John Lithgow, Sam Waterston
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Political thriller directed by John Madden which centers on Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), a ruthless and highly successful political strategist who exposes the cutthroat world of D.C. lobbyists working on both sides of the gun debate.
New legislation requiring more stringent background checks for gun purchases is gaining traction in the Senate, and Sloane is approached to spearhead the campaign, pitting her against formidable and powerful political opponents. Deploying her notorious skills, and driven by a desire to win at all costs, she jeopardizes those closest to her, and puts her own career at risk.
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 17)
Elizabeth Sloane: Lobbying is about foresight, about anticipating your opponent’s moves, and devising counter measures. The winner plots one step ahead of the opposition and plays her trump card just after they play theirs. It’s about making sure you surprise them, and they don’t surprise you.
George Dupont: What’s going on with you!
Elizabeth Sloane: The current system is so porous it floats.
George Dupont: I don’t remember you caring ever one way or another about guns
Elizabeth Sloane: My position solidified somewhere between Columbine and Charleston. Come on, George. Any headcase, felon or terrorist can buy an assault rifle from a gun show, the internet, or his buddy at the Bowl-A-Rama without so much as an ID. Keaton Harris puts a stop to that.
George Dupont: Christ, Liz, this is the gun lobby! Do you have any idea how long I’ve been trying to reel them in? No, something happened. Someone you know is a victim of a gun crime.
Elizabeth Sloane: Nonsense. I work on behalf of causes I believe in, that’s why I sleep at night.
George Dupont: You don’t sleep at night. You sit and obsess about winning no matter the cause.
Daniel Posner: I was against you ever hiring her.
Rodolfo Schmidt: Because your job is not winning lobbying finds, your job is to stop us from getting…
[Sloane watches them arguing through the glass window not being able to hear them]
Daniel Posner: Quite independently for being utterly contemptible! What the hell were you thinking? You know, whatever it was I guess it seems pretty stupid now.
[Schmidt enters the office Sloane is standing in]
Rodolfo Schmidt: Liz, meet your protection.
[Posner reluctantly enters the office]
Daniel Posner: Daniel Posner, head of legal.
Elizabeth Sloane: Liz Sloane, contemptible liability, and amateur lip reader. Whose idea were the glass walls, seriously?
Elizabeth Sloane: What’s the best indicator of voter intention?
Everyone in the Meeting: Dollars.
Elizabeth Sloane: That’s our first prompt. Grassroots action aimed squarely at soliciting donations, not names on a petition, not clicks in cyberspace.
Brian: Will they know how much we’re raising?
Franklin Walsh: Non-profits have to report on their finances.
Rodolfo Schmidt: With every congressional staffer watching finding there like a hawk.
Elizabeth Sloane: While you’re out there hustling I’ll be working influential senators who can deliver their colleagues votes. That’s our second prompt. Our third is to identify who holds sway in target states, employers, workers groups. Don’t just waltz into a senator’s office and make your case, find out who they trust, who they can’t afford to piss off. Convince that person to make your case. That is how we win.
Elizabeth Sloane: I was hired to win, and I’ve used whatever resource I have.
George Dupont: She’s your enemy now.
Pat Connors: How the hell did she manage that!
Rodolfo Schmidt: You’re a piece of work, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Sloane: A senator’s priority isn’t representing the people, it’s keeping his ass in office.
Cynthia: That is so cynical.
Elizabeth Sloane: Cynical is a word used by Pollyannas to denote an absence of the naivety they so keenly exhibit.
Rodolfo Schmidt: Wow. You settle in fast.
Elizabeth Sloane: Alright, everyone, I called you here to announce that effective immediately I am leaving Paul Kravitz. I’m starting work as lead consultant for the Brady campaign at Peterson Wyatt. I’ve secured positions for everyone in this room without changing your current compensation. So who’s with me on this?
Pat Connors: I just spent the last hour wiping your shit off Bill Sanford’s shoes, assuring him that you’re the right lady to broaden his membership. We’re inches from a green light!
Elizabeth Sloane: So you’re saying I should put you down as a maybe.
Pat Connors: You can’t possibly win this!
Elizabeth Sloane: Who’s with me?
[nobody in the room says anything then Ross stands]
Ross: I’m with you.
Pat Connors: Hey, come on, I need you.
Ross: She needs me more.
Elizabeth Sloane: Alex.
[Alex joins Ross]
Elizabeth Sloane: Lauren?
[Lauren joins the other two]
Pat Connors: What is this, Jerry Maguire?
Bob Sanford: There’s over five million of us, and we’re armed.
George Dupont: Start an inquisition.
Travis: [to Sloane] They will throw you in jail for contempt of congress!
Pat Connors: [to Sloane] Do you know the word “annihilate”? It means reduced to nothing.
Elizabeth Sloane: This is more important than my career.
Rodolfo Schmidt: [to Sloane] Just mind boggling, ingenious, and completely unbelievable.
Esme Manucharian: [to Sloane] You crossed a line!
Total Quotes: 17