Box art for The Campaign

The Campaign


Long-term Congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is challenged by newcomer Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) in a mud-slinging, back-stabbing, home-wrecking comedy.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
4 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Comedic superstars aim their raunchy satire at politics.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Campaign, which stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, is a raunch-fest from beginning to end, starting with a scene that shows a family with young kids listening to a very lewd, graphic answering machine message. There's some nudity -- a woman's nipple is visible in a social setting -- and plenty of jokes about sex and a married man's indiscretions. Expect lots of swearing, too, including various versions of "f--k," plus "s--t," "d--k," and more. Still, the subject matter -- a congressional election and the dirty campaigning that leads up to it -- is a gold mine for comedy, and it may leave you thinking about our electoral process in general, too.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the main characters. Are they intended to be role models? Do you think they would resonate with people in real life? Which one would you vote for?
  • What is The Campaign saying about the American electoral system? Do you think candidates are manufactured or supported by rich people or companies that most voters aren't aware of?
  • What's the appeal of over-the-top raunchy comedies? What audience are they aimed at? Do they succeed?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 18
    see all The Campaign reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: It's like a sober, centrist, irrelevant op-ed column, but with bad words and belly laughs.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rotten: It's an average Will Ferrell comedy, nothing more.

- Adam Graham, Detroit News, Friday, August 10, 2012


- Alessandra Stanley, New York Times, Thursday, July 11, 2013

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Crude, sexually explicit but yet enough to garner a bunch of laughs. The film is able to produce magic from the chemistry and hysterical jousting of Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Though it may not live up to the intended hype, The Campaign is a bundle of laughter in time for the election year. 4/5

- fb1442511448, Monday, November 12, 2012

3 stars

American politics, or any politics for that matter, are quite humorous on their own. So when a film decides to poke fun at the circus around such farce, it runs the risk of not matching up to the hilarity of the real thing. Luckily for The Campaign, it is successful by not seeming too concerned with making a difference. Instead it gives us a large amount of brilliant characters and funny situations. There's baby punching, wife boning, and other underhanded methods brought to life by the likes of Ferrell and Galifianakis. However, it is the supporting stars who turn in the best perofrmances. McDermott (or should that be Mulroney?) is the brightest star, as a campaign manager that can appear anywhere at anytime. He plays it straight and gets the biggest laughs, from the lines he delivers to a simple look. Sudeikis also hits high with the straight man to Ferrell's congressman, looking at Ferrell's ideas as absurd and unnecessary. Best of all is the running gag over the racist Brian Cox and how he forces his Asian made to speak like an old stereotypical black woman to make him feel more comfortable. Great laughs, but a little on the short side, which leaves iconic actors such as Lithgow, Cox and Aykroyd with nothing to do.

- kiriyamakazou, Sunday, November 4, 2012

4 stars

Before seeing The Campaign I had reservations. Will Ferrell was a good comedian back in the day, and definitely has made some good comedies. However for me, he's been hit and miss. Unlike Adam Sandler, he can still make me laugh, and he does still have good comic delivery depending on the film's script. This film was laugh out loud hilarious from start to finish. The key to the film's success is in the performance and screen presence of the two lead actors. The jokes are crude and vulgar and they work perfectly in the context of the film's plot. Thoroughly enjoyable if you love the older films of Will Ferrell or his work in general. The film does have its weaknesses as the jokes run out by film's end, thus the ending is a bit weak, but that's to be expected. Director Jay Roach who previously helmed memorable comedies such as the Austin Powers trilogy and Meet the Parents continues in the tradition of delivering a mindless and effectively funny film that overcomes its flaws by being a fun and never dull movie. I was very much surprised by how Will Ferrell made me laugh in this one, although delivering the same brand of comedy that he's always done, the idea of him as a sleazy politician makes this film work, and with sharply written jokes and memorable one liners and moments that stand out, this is among Will Ferrell's best films. This is typical Will Ferrell, but there are lots to enjoy on-screen and The Campaign is one of the best comedies this year.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Saturday, November 3, 2012