The Manchurian Candidate

2004 Mystery & Suspense

Jonathan Demme directed this updated remake of John Frankenheimer's 1962 cult favorite The Manchurian Candidate, a pioneering examination of political conspiracy and psychological reconditioning. Major Bennett Marco (Denzel Washington) and Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Liev Schreiber) are two soldiers who served in the same company during Operation Desert Storm, but their paths following their tours of duty have been very different. Shaw, the son of powerful congresswoman Eleanor Shaw (Meryl Streep), has used his reputation as a war hero to quickly scale the ladder of American politics, and with the help of his mother earns the Vice Presidential nomination. Marco, on the other hand, has been troubled with mental illness, and is convinced that something strange happened to him and his compatriots during the war. As Marco struggles to find the truth behind his nightmares and emotional torment, he unearths some disturbing facts about how his mind and body have been reworked by shadowy forces, as well as those of his fellow soldiers -- including Raymond Shaw. Featuring a stellar supporting cast (including Jon Voight, Miguel Ferrer, Ted Levine, and Dean Stockwell), The Manchurian Candidate credits George Axelrod's screenplay for the 1962 film as its source, as opposed to Richard Condon's 1959 novel from which Axelrod adapted his script. more..

Director: Jonathan Demme

Starring: Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep,Liev Schreiber, Jeffrey Wright


  • Shrewdly reconceived, powerfully acted and hugely entertaining.

    Joe Morgenstern - The Wall Street Journal

    27 April 2013

  • The updated classic is a chiller of a political thriller in its own right.

    Michael Rechtshaffen - The Hollywood Reporter

    27 April 2013

  • This riveting film is marred by compromises -- such as a switch of assassins to create an unpersuasive upbeat ending -- that keep it in the shadow of its predecessor.

    Peter Travers - Rolling Stone

    27 April 2013

  • isa pleasure to watch -- and to marvel at -- every second she's onscreen.

    Mick LaSalle - The San Francisco Chronicle

    27 April 2013

  • The first "Candidate" was inspired pop art, a two-dimensional coloring book about 1962 America's subterranean political fears. Demme's film is more nuanced, less crazy-brilliant and, yes, probably less necessary, but it's still a confirmation of all the anxieties out there on the table and festering in our heads.

    Ty Burr - The Boston Globe

    27 April 2013


  • Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film

    Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (2005)

  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

    BAFTA Awards (2005)

  • Best Actress

    BET Awards (2005)

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Black Reel Awards (2005)

  • Best Supporting Actress

    Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards (2005)