''The Ides of March'' is a 2011 political thriller, starring Creator/GeorgeClooney, Creator/RyanGosling, Creator/PhilipSeymourHoffman, Creator/PaulGiamatti, Creator/MarisaTomei, Creator/JeffreyWright and Creator/EvanRachelWood. It was written and directed by [[DirectedByCastMember Clooney]] (with co-writers Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon), based on Willimon's play ''Farragut North''.[[note]]Named after a UsefulNotes/WashingtonMetro station![[/note]]
The plot centres around Stephen (Gosling), an idealistic staffer on the presidential campaign of Governor Mike Morris (Clooney), who discovers some rather disturbing secrets about Morris and has to decide whether his career is more important than his ideals.
!!Tropes In The Film:
* AdaptationExpansion: Morris never appears in the stage play.
* [[BitchInSheepsClothing Bastard In Sheep's Clothing]]: [[spoiler:Morris]]
* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:After the idealist Stephen discovers that Governor Mike Morris is a ManipulativeBastard, he goes through a lot of drama, only to continue helping Mike Morris win the Presidential race in the end - with him deciding to become a manipulative bastard himself.]]
* CaliforniaDoubling: Averted. Most of the film was shot in Clooney's childhood home of Cincinnati (bizarrely enough, the film's theatrical credits forgot to mention the city).
-->"you broke the only rule in politics. You wanna be president? You can lie, you can cheat, you can start a war, you can bankrupt the country, but you can't [[spoiler:fuck the interns]]. They get you for that."
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:The film ends with Stephen realizing that he has sacrificed all of his ideals for personal ambition.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Molly, after being essentially abandoned by Stephen and Morris after her abortion.]]
* ElectionDayEpisode: An ongoing Presidential Election is the backdrop of this drama as [[WideEyedIdealist Stephen Meyers]] works on the campaign of [[ManipulativeBastard Mike]] [[SleazyPolitician Morris]].
* HereWeGoAgain: [[spoiler:Another attractive intern who shows up almost exactly like Molly, with Stephen's friend also trying the same chat-up line.]]
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: [[spoiler:After spending most of the movie trying to fight against corrupt politics, Stephen embraces it.]]
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: Tom Duffy did not order buffalo wings during his conversation with Stephen. Significant, because that was a detail both men would have known, [[spoiler:foreshadowing that the meeting was leaked by Paul.]]
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: From [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare's]] Theatre/JuliusCaesar.
* OnlySaneMan: Stephen could be seen as this.
** The "I Like Mike" slogan calls back to Eisenhower's "I Like Ike" slogan.
** The posters also have taken inspiration from the UsefulNotes/BarackObama posters. (Believe, instead of hope, is the slogan.)
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Paul delivers an absolutely ''brutal'' one to Stephen.
* SleazyPolitician: [[spoiler:Morris]]
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: The ending is a little more open to interpretation, but otherwise it's non-stop cynicism. The message seems to be "Regardless of how awesome someone's policies and public face seems to be, they're still a bastard in private".
* TitleDrop: Subverted. The film's working title of "Farragut North" gets name-dropped twice (it's where former campaign managers go when the campaign ends) while the film's actual title is never name dropped.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: Understanding much of the plot of the film such as why Senator Thompson's endorsement is so crucial requires some beyond basic understanding of the US presidential primary system. This might've hurt the film's overseas box office performance a bit.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: [[spoiler:Mike Morris. Stephen by the end of the film.]]
* XanatosGambit: Tom's plan -- as soon as Stephen walks into the bar, he wins. [[spoiler:Either Stephen takes the job, and their campaign gains an asset, or he turns it down and confesses to Paul, in which case he gets fired and is no longer a factor. The worst case scenario would be him turning down the job and keeping his mouth shut, in which case he'd be lying to his own colleagues, which would drive a wedge between them.]]