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Documentary filmmaker Jeff Reichert ponders the troubling prospect that elections in America are decided before the first vote is ever cast by examining how the framework of democracy provides politicians with an entirely legal means of controlling electoral outcomes. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of "gerrymandering" reads: "to divide a territorial unit into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible." As the debate… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film's basic premise -- why can't politics be a reasonable, logical enterprise (like, say, making an indie documentary?) -- is at odds with the realities not just of the American political process but also human nature."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"Maybe the whole topic is just too esoteric to warrant feature-length dissection without a craftier firebrand like Michael Moore at the helm."
‑ Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
"Reichert has to come up with some way to draw us in, and does so, for the most part, with some very entertaining, shocking and dastardly tales of gerrymandering to the extreme"
‑ Willie Waffle,
"Works fine as civics instruction but it won't move the needle against this decidedly anti-democratic process."
‑ Mark Keizer, Boxoffice Magazine
"If we stipulate that gerrymandering is a pox on the American political process, do we have to sit through a documentary that makes that case in the most earnest, predictable way possible?"
‑ Noel Murray, AV Club
"It jumps around from California to Texas to Iowa to Louisiana and back, quite literally all over the map, with lots of numbingly repetitive cartographic visuals."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"While the film adopts a sometimes jaunty tone, the fact is that gerrymandering is bad news, assuming you believe that elections should mean something."
‑ , San Francisco Chronicle
"The film's final statement is literally, "end gerrymandering,' which is hardly non-partisan itself."
‑ Christopher Campbell, Cinematical
"An important political subject gets sincere but slick treatment"
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"Offers a critical assessment of a corrupt political tool exploited by both Republicans and Democrats."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"An illustrated civics lesson that strains to make its complicated, shadowy subject -- electoral redistricting -- a political hot topic."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Arnold Schwarzenegger appears as the rare politician who supports reform in this timely exposé of how our democracy has slipped off its tracks."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Reichert for the most part succeeds with a subject that's hard to get excited about."
‑ Annlee Ellingson, Moving Pictures Magazine
"unable to clearly and succinctly identify the problem it has wrapped its eighty-odd minutes of thinly-developed footage around"
‑ Chris Barsanti,
"In trying to make the subject of gerrymandering interesting to the unwashed, Reichert has made it an ear- and eyesore for everyone else."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Gerrymandering on Rotten Tomatoes