With a limited release November 6, The Front Runner is an excellent choice during the election season. Political junkies, history buffs, Jason Reitman fans, and Hugh Jackman fans will find much to appreciate with the film.

The Front Runner is based on Matt Bai’s book, All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid. It opens during the 1984 presidential cycle when the young and popular Gary Hart makes a stir as a potential candidate. Cutting to 1987, Hart has a substantial lead as the official 1988 Democratic nominee. However, his campaign dreams crumble after rumors of an affair with Donna Rice become a headline story.

Jackman has already demonstrated an incredible amount of diversity with his performances, from comic book hero to song-and-dance man. Once again, he impresses with his versatility. He’s convincing as the charismatic candidate, displaying charm on the campaign trail, fierce determination with his staff, and sincerity with his family away from the cameras. While he has the movie-star presence that shines in flashy film spectacles, Jackman is amazing in subtler movies, too. Hopefully, he’ll continue choosing roles in this vein.

What’s braver, Jackman doesn’t play Hart as a noble hero or a crass villain. He portrays the politician as someone who believes in actually making a difference. However, Jackman isn’t afraid to show unlikeable traits seething under the surface. It’s easy to feel sympathy for Hart, but we also see moments of stubbornness, pettiness, and hypocrisy.

Reitman (Tully, Up in the Air, Thank You for Smoking) thankfully presents the events without heavy-handed preaching. It doesn’t need to. It’s impossible to see the movie and not think of Clinton, Trump, or #MeToo. The Front Runner isn’t pro/anti-Democrat or Republican. Various characters have a chance to voice different points of view. It’s a refreshing choice, as the movie allows the audience to ponder ideas for themselves.

If anyone is the villain in the story, it’s the changing tide of journalism and the masses’ consumption of infotainment. When Miami Herald journalists (Steve Zissis and Bill Burr, who’s entertaining in the small role) confront Hart in a back alley, they don’t exactly come off as Woodward and Bernstein crusading for justice. Instead, they fumble and stumble with their writing pads. It comes into question whether this type of reporting is a cheap way to grab an audience or a way to keep politicians accountable.

There’s a lot of conversation about journalistic responsibility. The audience is treated to the terrific J.K. Simmons as Hart’s campaign manager and Alfred Molina as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. In different scenes, they talk about the changing nature of coverage. At one time, everyone turned a blind eye to presidential indiscretions.

For several characters, the Hart affair is actually not that shocking. They’re more rattled about tabloid fodder becoming acceptable at prestigious publications as headline news. Do journalists have a right to cover the personal lives of politicians? Where is the line for a public figure’s right to privacy? Do bedroom activities matter to do the job? How many flaws should the public accept in a leader?

The Front Runner also shows the perspective of the women involved. The wonderful Vera Farmiga plays Lee, Hart’s humiliated wife. She doesn’t have a ton of screen time, but her scenes with Jackman are gripping. Another highlight of the movie is the pairing of Donna Rice (Sara Paxton) and a campaign staffer, Irene (Molly Ephraim). Irene is tasked with watching Donna during the ordeal and becomes somewhat sympathetic to her plight. A movie just from their point of view could have been pretty interesting.

The opening long shot of reporters covering the 1984 Democratic National is exciting and expertly shot. It’s a shame the movie doesn’t maintain that energy to the end. The Front Runner isn’t tense enough as a political thriller. And while there are jokes to punch up the dialogue, it’s not quite a comedy either. It might be a disappointment for some that the movie doesn’t take a hard enough stance on the issues.

Expect more of an objective unfolding of events. Included are crackling behind-the-scenes drama and the posing of relevant questions for our current political climate. You also may be compelled to vote “yes” on The Front Runner if you appreciate Reitman’s work or want to see Jackman and a dynamite supporting cast in action.

The Front Runner expands November 16 and opens wide November 21.