In 2004, America faced its first wartime election since Vietnam. Like Vietnam, the war in Iraq has exposed deep divisions in how Americans see this country and its place in the world and defines the differences between the candidates. In The Choice, FRONTLINE takes a hard look at the character, experience, and worldviews of incumbent George W. Bush and challenger John F. Kerry.
“…The Choice” … is far more filmic and nuanced than some of the clip-jobs you may have seen on cable news networks. Much of the archival footage is revelatory….
…We’ll soon have a verdict. Follow the evidence in ‘The Choice 2004’ for an uncommonly rich understanding of these two disparate politicians.”
– Dallas Morning News
“…It is not until well into the two-hour film that ‘The Choice 2004′ presents less familiar, and more rewarding material. It takes well-known episodes in each candidate’s career, moments that network and cable news shows have shrunk down to 10-second sound bites, and blown them back into context.
…’Frontline’ is not saucy or hip, but it does a comprehensive, compelling job of tracing just how deeply rooted the differences between the two men really are.”
– New York Times
“…The film … offers a sustained examination of a subject to which the Kerry campaign has devoted conspicuously little attention, namely the candidate’s Senate history – particularly his opposition to any American military action. … Still, it very soon becomes clear this film offers George Bush’s handlers significantly more occasions for wincing – or would, if most of those occasions didn’t concern already well-known and chewed-over matters….
…An absorbing, adroitly written film (Nicholas Lemann, reporter) whose last line, at least – ‘Soon it will all be over’- should lift hearts on all sides in this memorably bitter election season.”
– Wall Street Journal
“…Another superb and vital edition of television’s finest news documentary series.”
– Detroit Free Press
“… a no-frills, evenhanded analysis of both men — their wartime records, their professional successes and failures, and their personal frailties. It aims to give viewers more of what they need to know to make an informed decision on Nov. 2, but does that without propaganda, half-truths and half-cocked conspiracy theories. ‘The Choice 2004’ deftly conveys that a clear choice is exactly what we have on Election Day. This smart documentary might make that selection a little bit easier.”
– Salt Lake Tribune
“The quadrennial PBS special, ‘The Choice,’ is a highlight of the election cycle. This year’s installment … is no exception. … Dispiriting, enlightening, and revealing. …”
– Denver Post
“…Even when the insights are not fresh, the impartial perspective is, and that’s what makes this concurrent biography a must-see for anyone old enough to vote — or care.”
– New York Daily News
“A welcome relief from network news’ largely useless point-counterpoint reports. … Many of us have already made up our minds by now, which makes the special most useful to those hotly pursued undecided voters. If you consider yourself among that number, this is required viewing. Then again, if you’re among the throngs engaged to a candidate without being wholeheartedly committed, ‘The Choice’ may be exactly what you need to solidify your decision.”
– Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“… fascinating television from at least two perspectives. …The two hours … provide, by far, the most complete study of the two candidates. …”
– Rocky Mountain News