The Last Debate (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Last Debate (2000)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The fine line between reporters objectively covering a political campaign and attempting to sway its outcome is explored in this made-for-cable drama based on the novel by noted television journalist Jim Lehrer. Newspaper columnist Mike Howley (James Garner) is asked to moderate a nationally televised debate between two presidential candidates. In collusion with fellow newspeople and debate panelists Barbara Manning (Audra McDonald), Henry Ramirez (Marco Sanchez), and Joan Naylor (Donna Murphy), Howley formulates a plan to boost the campaign of the Democratic candidate, whom they favor. They ask the Republican nominee a number of pointed questions about unsubstantiated charges that he has a propensity for violence, eventually prompting the candidate to leave the stage in a huff after throwing a microphone. Several weeks later, the Democrat carries the election. While the debate served the goals of the reporters, and boosted their public image, some observers have serious questions about what went on, and investigative reporter Tom Chapman (Peter Gallagher) is determined to bring the public the truth. A number of noted journalists and political figures served as consultants for The Last Debate and appear in cameo roles.


James Garner
as Mike Howley
Peter Gallagher
as Tom Chapman
Audra McDonald
as Barbara Manning
Donna Murphy
as Joan Naylor
Marco Sanchez
as Henry Ramirez
Stephen Young
as Richard Meredith
Bruce Gray
as Paul Greene
John Badham
as Don Beard
Dorian Harewood
as Brad Lily
Michael Riley
as Jack Turpin
Djanet Sears
as Nancy Dewey
Peter Donaldson
as Jeff Grayson
Leslie Carlson
as Pat Tubbs
Maggie Huculak
as Gwyn Garrison
Martin Doyle
as Jim Weaver
Brenda Robins
as Carol Reynolds
Colin Fox
as Joshua L. Simonson
Judah Katz
as Bob Lucas
Robin Ward
as Mark Southeran
Don Ritchie
as Chuck Hammond
D. Janet Sears
as Nancy Dewey
Nicky Gaudagni
as Sam Minter
Patrice Goodman
as Roz Weisburg
Shelly Peterson
as Joyce Cannon
Annabelle Torsein
as Alison Meredith
Lynn Vogt
as Ellen Greene
Eamon Zekkou
as TV Director
Nancy Harewood
as Bonnie Kerr
Doug Murray (II)
as Jeff Field
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Critic Reviews for The Last Debate

All Critics (1) | Top Critics (1)

John Badham not only does a snappy job of directing The Last Debate but also appears on camera, as the anchor Murphy replaces.

February 6, 2018 | Full Review…

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