Movie Thoughts: The Trial of the Chicago 7

First movie I watched this year where I thought, “I wish I would’ve seen this in a theater.”

I remember reading about this back in the day when Spielberg was supposed to direct it and Will Smith was playing Bobby Seale and Jeff Daniels was David Dellinger.

Sorkin’s style grates occasionally but overall it flows. Some of it almost borders on propaganda, some of it is really self-indulgent. But the movie’s failings never overshadow its successes.

Cast is stellar. Awesome mix. Great to see Joseph Gordon Levitt again. Sacha Baron Cohen is good but can’t seem to nail down his accent. I’ve seen Jeremy Strong is so many things this past decade and I’ve never appreciated him and I really should. Eddie Redmayne sounds like he’s about to cry all the time which doesn’t seem like a good representation of his character, the real Tom Hayden was the one who protested Bobby Seale’s gagging and that’s not depicted here at all. Speaking of Bobby Seale, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is fucking solid here and I can’t wait to see him in the Mad Max prequel now. Mark Rylance is so good I can’t believe I’d never heard of him before Bridge of Spies. John Carroll Lynch is nice dad John Carroll Lynch instead of creepy John Carroll Lynch. Frank Langella is tragically hateful as the presiding judge. Michael Keaton has a very satisfying small role. The smattering of lesser known actors scattered throughout the cast frankly never earn their screentime with these masters.

Overall this is a good movie, glad it finally made it ot the screen, poignant for our times.

3/5

Everything is a work in progress.

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