A Round Up of Reviews for “The Undefeated”

Stephen Bannon’s movie, The Undefeated, depicting Governor Palin’s political career to date has received a lot of praise. In case you’ve missed them, here are excerpts of some of the reviews that we’ve linked already:

C4P’s own Karen Allen:

No one can call Gov. Palin a political lightweight or unelectable and keep a straight face if they watch “The Undefeated” and acknowledge the facts on the screen. As the movie makes its way around the country, go ahead now and make that mental list of who you can take with you to watch. This is a chance for you to remove barriers and open eyes.

Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller:

Putting emotion aside, the second thing this film does well is make the logical case for Palin to be taken seriously. Viewers who have never read “Sarah from Alaska” or “Going Rogue” may learn for the first time just how good she was as governor. Her short tenure as Governor of Alaska was remarkably strong (as the film points out, her approval rating was well over 80 percent when she was placed on the national ticket). Bannon spends a lot of time telling the story of Palin’s accomplishments as governor, and the truth is that few governors — even two-term governors — have ever had a better or more productive eighteen months than Palin had before her selection as McCain’s running mate. The film also does a good job explaining why Palin decided to step down. She lost a lot of folks when she made that decision — and the movie does a very good job of explaining her rationale.

Jedediah Bila at the Daily Caller:

Bannon has done more than simply document the policies and vision of Sarah Palin. He has highlighted a woman who has consistently and reliably stood for something from her first days as a city council member, a woman who took on everything from establishment candidates to oil companies to unethical behavior in the GOP. Sure, she talks bipartisanship, transparency, and fiscal responsibility, but unlike so many others, her policies have reflected those concepts from the start.

“The Undefeated” is a compelling, thought-provoking journey through the accomplishments of a competent, ambitious, principled woman who entered the political arena for the right reasons and has consistently cut through the nonsense to get things done. Perhaps most importantly, it is the story of a woman who has never been afraid to ruffle establishment feathers in order to do what’s right for her city, her state, or her country.

Pamela Gellar at Atlas Shrugs:

America needs to see this movie if, for no other reason, to know what a real leader looks like and acts like and to understand what Palin actually accomplished. America must begin to understand how violent and destructive the elitists that control information dissemination have become. We witness an absolute campaign of destruction of a squeaky clean, brilliant, accomplished champion of the people by bloodthirsty, jealous hyenas. And the craven complicity of the Republican establishment will drive legions away from the old guard and their Rovian mechanics. The Old Guard must stand down.

Jan Crawford at CBS News:

Stephen Bannon, the movie’s creator, took on the project after Palin’s aides approached him late last year about making a series of videos on Palin. He proposed a movie instead, and he bankrolled it himself. The final product, which I saw last week in a screening for a few reporters, gives Palin the introduction she never really had when the Hockey mom from Wasilla became John McCain’s running mate in 2008.

By tracing her political rise in Alaska, her battles with Big Oil and the Republican establishment, and her accomplishments as governor, the movie argues one overriding point: Sarah Palin is a seasoned executive who is more than qualified to be President.

Smart Girl Politics shares:

Another important facet of the third and final act is the coverage of Sarah Palin’s resignation as governor of Alaska in July of 2009. There has been much speculation about the reasons behind her decision and what, ultimately, will be the fallout. The Undefeated provides ample support for the idea that the seemingly endless barrage of junk ethic lawsuits filed against her left her no choice. Indeed, an underlying theme of the entire film is Sarah Palin’s devotion to Alaska, making the case that she resigned for the good of her beloved state. It may not have been the decision most politicians would have made, but Sarah Palin is most definitely not like most politicians.

The Undefeated will surely be a must-see for all Palin fans, who will enjoy reliving the events that brought her to national prominence. Those who are not her biggest fans may be surprised at what they learn about the woman whose image the press has tried so hard to destroy (hint: she’s really, really normal). The media will, of course, dissect every second of the film looking for new ways to mock her, even as they zigzag around the country chasing her tour bus, hoping that she’ll stop to talk to them.

Jordan Fabian at the Hill:

Instead, it builds a positive story arc of Palin’s life in the public eye.

An outsider, Palin climbs up Alaska’s political ranks and along the way evolves into tough “Mama Grizzly” willing to fight for her beliefs, according to the film. The word “courage” is frequently used to describe her willingness to shake up the status quo; whether Palin is taking on corrupt oil executives and politicians, liberals, the media and the elites within her own party.

Kathy Kiely at the National Journal:

The movie, which notes that Palin as governor “was CEO of 25,000 employees” (take that, Mitt Romney), also presents an elaborate justification for one of Palin’s most controversial moves — her decision to quit her job in July 2009. Aides said Palin made the “sad” decision after discovering that her ability to forge bipartisan compromises in the legislature had evaporated upon her return from her unsuccessful 2008 campaign as the running mate of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the GOP presidential nominee.

Comparing the dismissive attitudes about a Palin presidential bid to those leveled at the late President Reagan — who was derided as a B-movie actor when he first began his quest for national office — the movie makes a strong case for a Palin run. The closing words are the suggestive lines Palin uttered at an April tea party rally in Wisconsin:  “It starts here. It starts now,” she tells the cheering crowd. “Mr. President, game on.”


Here are some of the new reviews that have come out today:

Former Bush speechwriter,Matt Latimer, writes for Salon:

Believe it or not, Palin actually was a pretty good governor. Once upon a time, before Tina Fey, Katie Couric, “Saturday Night Live,” the reality show, and her Twitter account, Sarah Palin was a political wonder: a mom who stood up — and defeated – powerful members of her own party. Though a long time ago and in a galaxy far, far away, even the New York Times favorably noted that Palin “first rose to prominence as a whistle-blower uncovering ethical misconduct in state government.”

“The Undefeated” deftly uses local news footage to document this early, now largely forgotten image of Palin (and, yes, she always talked like that). See Palin, apparently singlehandedly, enact historic ethics reform, cut state spending, and work with Democrats and the detestable “lamestream media” to pass long-sought laws tackling the corrupt practices of Big Oil (Exxon’s publicist is not going to like this film). Palin’s legitimately-earned reformer reputation helped her garner a sustained approval rating of more than 80 percent in her state.

As I watch this, I suddenly realize something: Whatever came to pass later, Palin’s short, 18-month stint in Juneau was never adeptly explained or exploited during her introduction to a national audience. The moral: the McCain campaign was an even bigger disaster than I already had suspected.

Amy Siskind, President of the New Agenda, writes at the Huffington Post:

Which is why The Undefeated is providing such an important service by, finally, introducing Sarah Palin. True, the producer Stephen Bannon does share the same political ideology as Governor Palin, and so has a point of view (as Bannon aptly points out, so does Michael Moore in producing his documentaries). Yet, it’s hard to watch the film without tripping over the facts: the character of Sarah Palin and what has she accomplished. Seems pretty basic, yes. Yet, our country has yet to know Governor Palin beyond the initial smear job done on this woman as she entered the national political arena. At the end of the film, I suspect the 20% of voters who consider themselves far left still won’t consider her (just as those 20% on the far right would never vote for a Democrat); but, I am quite certain that a whole lot of reasonable voters in between will be surprised by what they see.

Rob Bluey at the Washington Examiner:

But to this day, the story of Palin’s rise to power remains largely unknown outside of Alaska. While it was part of her best-selling book, “Going Rogue,” Americans have heard a different tale from the liberal media – one that portrays Palin as an unintelligent, conniving politician who poses a dangerous threat to the country. It began on Aug. 29, 2008, and hasn’t stopped since.

A new feature-length documentary by conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon seeks to change that perception. It tells the incredible story of Palin’s groundbreaking rise in Alaska and foreshadows the unpredictable future that awaits.

Tony Lee at Human Events:

Conventional wisdom says that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will not run for President. It also assumes that because Palin is widely known, so too is her record, past accomplishments, and life story.

A documentary titled “The Undefeated” will serve as the great reset button, resetting the conventional wisdom about Palin, her record, and the assumptions that have been made about her regariding her 2012 intentions.


The movie’s ending, like the movie itself, seems more like the end of the beginning of something greater that’s coming on the horizon.

Jim Geraghty at the National Review:

By far, the most eye-opening part of the film — and no doubt, most useful to the presidential hopes of Palin — is the second act, detailing Palin’s time as Alaska’s governor. Oil companies are the relentless villain of Alaskan politics; in retrospect it seems bizarre that the woman most hated by modern liberals spent so much of her career fighting tooth and nail with oil-company executives. During this whole stretch, there isn’t a partisan note. Alaskan politics is painted as a rigged game benefiting the politically powerful and influential with the citizenry getting the short end of the stick, time and again — until Palin appears on the scene.

Elizabeth Meinecke at Townhall:

Though the film production timeline was not, it appears, done with any kind of presidential 2012 campaign in mind, it is capable of giving people a second impression of Palin and one that could prove useful in a 2012 discussion, because it’s a documentary based on facts that show the governor as an astute leader and a smart woman, unlike how she has been portrayed for the better part of three years. Bannon himself is a Harvard grad and was impressed with how Palin governed the state. He also said even some liberals in the entertainment industry are garnering a great appreciation for her as a person of substance.

Stay tuned for any other reviews that may be published and for any other information about the film. Don’t forget that you can follow the film on Facebook here and on Twitter here.


HotAir’s Ed Morrissey shares this review (H/T Unseen1):

On substance, the material is both compelling and detailed.  Bannon spends the first 90 minutes of the film on Palin’s accomplishments in Alaska, especially focusing on energy policy and government reform — which in Alaska are necessarily linked to each other.  For those unfamiliar with the specifics of Palin’s records as Wasilla’s mayor and Alaska’s governor, The Undefeated provides the background context for fights against the political establishment and oil-industry lobbyists that funded it.  In some ways, the early part of the film makes a case for Palin the moderate, as a pragmatist less interested in ideology than in results.

The remainder of the film briefly addresses Palin’s 2008 vice-presidential campaign, but mainly focuses on her post-campaign career.  The film argues, effectively, that political opponents implemented a strategy against Palin to bankrupt her with legal bills from defending herself from frivolous ethics complaints, and explains her decision to resign.  If Palin chooses to run for higher office now or in the future, she has to make the case that resignation was her only option, both personally and politically, and the film takes enough time to demonstrate the trap in which Palin found herself in 2009.

John Nolte at Big Hollywood (H/T RichardinNC)

There’s nothing partisan about “The Undefeated.” The Republican establishment and Big Oil take a well-deserved beating from open to close. If anything, they come off worse than the Left who are really only guilty of being their awful selves. It’s just a fact that throughout most of her career (and the film’s second act) — as Palin moved from Wasilla Mayor to Chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to Governor — she fearlessly and effectively battled her own party and Big Oil almost every step of the way. I don’t want to get too wonky in a film review, but as you watch this particular section you’re going to learn as much about the MSM as you do the Governor. Try to imagine how many elite, blow-dried souls Lucifer was able to secure the rights to in order for them to gain the sway needed to convince the public that an undistinguished half-term Senator most famous for voting present was more qualified to be President than one of the most successful and popular governor’s in the country.


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