Five years after Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood reunited with co-star Gene Hackman for Absolute Power, a film that a lot of critics absolutely didn't care for. But despite its 45 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this political thriller features several suspenseful set pieces, top notch actors, and a script from the legendary William Goldman (The Princess Bride, Marathon Man, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, to name a few).
Directed by Eastwood, the plot follows a burglar named Luther Whitney (Eastwood again), a veteran thief looking for a big score. Unfortunately, Whitney picks the wrong mansion to rob, and during a jewel heist gone wrong, he watches as the U.S. president (Hackman) violently assaults his mistress (Melora Hardin) before two Secret Service agents (Dennis Haysbert and Scott Glenn) pump her full of lead.
Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Whitney's first instinct is to get out of the country as fast as he can, but when he sees the president covering up the crime, he decides it's time for impeachment, Eastwood style. What follows is a tense game of cat-and-mouse as Whitney evades the feds (who want him dead) and the cops (who suspect him of murder). But instead of playing the part of an immortal action star (like Sylvester Stallone often does), Eastwood totally leans into his elder actor persona, cracking jokes about his age with Ed Harris's detective.
Plus, there's a fantastic scene involving a diamond necklace, an incredibly tense moment involving two snipers trying to kill Eastwood at the same time, and the opening sequence involving a two-way mirror is a genuine nail-biter. So when it comes to the Rotten Tomatoes score, just veto what the critics have to say and give this presidential thriller a pardon.