John Sayles tackles one of his most provocative projects in Silver City, a broadside on politics and campaigning. It’s one of Sayles’s multi-character tapestries, set during a tarnished governor’s race in Colorado. Chris Cooper has kicky fun as a feather-brained candidate, whose nonsensical speeches deliberately evoke the 43rd U.S. president. He doesn’t get nearly enough screen time, because the film follows a burned-out private detective (the awkward Danny Huston) as he tugs at conspiracies. Sayles’s understanding of the connected relationships in the political world is keen, and his malignant ending scores points–though the issues are more convincing than the characters. A subplot romance between Huston and journalist Maria Bello is tired, and there’s a rushed quality that undercuts the political barbs.