The Trial of the Chicago 7 Poster

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

Drama | Thriller 
Rayting:   7.9/10
Country: USA | UK
Language: English

The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

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PotassiumMan 9 October 2020

Legal historians and courtroom drama fans will have a field day with this Aaron Sorkin film which depicts the trial of eight radical protesters who made a name for themselves in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. A disparate array of left-wing activists who took it upon themselves to demand an end to the Vietnam War instead became involved in the ghastly legal aftermath of the riots and thus faced criminal charges for allegedly instigating the violence. This film portrays the sham trial that took place.

Jospeh Gordon-Levitt, who has not been in anything good for a long time, is solid as the lead federal prosecutor who reluctantly takes on the assignment of trying to put the radical protesters behind bars. Mark Rylance's modest, down-to-earth demeanor makes him a rather peculiar fit to portray defense attorney William Kuntsler, the famous defense attorney well-known for his outspoken courtroom oratory and publicity hound antics. Frank Langella is flawless as Julius Hoffman, the judge who presided over this trial and whose combustible temper and tenuous mental faculties made him a ready target for ridicule from many, including those involved in the case. Edie Redmayne is excellent as Tom Hayden, the more pragmatic but equally passionate protester and defendant. Sacha Baron Cohen and Jeremy Strong are both stellar as defendants Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, respectively. Finally, Yahya Abdul Mateen II is eloquent as Bobby Seale, a Black Panther Party co-founder and the lone African-American defendant in the case.

There are discreet details about the trial I was hoping the film would cover. There is no mention of Bobby Seale's many colorful nicknames he assigned to the judge. It mentions the poet Alan Ginsberg only as a fellow protester, when in fact he was also called as one of several celebrity witnesses. So was the musician Judy Collins who began singing an anti-war song during her testimony. These, however, are minor oversights because the fundamental essence of this circus of a trial is effectively captured in the film. Unlike much of Sorkin's earlier work, the dialogue in this film is less grandiose and more straightforward. There are less pyrotechnics and more re-creation here. I mean that as a compliment. It's the perfect portrayal of a trial which turned out to be a low point in the history of American jurisprudence. It also expertly captures the schism within the American left and how the idealists and pragmatists often locked horns even back in the 1960s. Gripping, frightening and instructive in today's world, it is not to be missed. Highly recommended to all.

yusufpiskin 16 October 2020

You know what isn't superb? This was splendid! Although I don't know much about what's going around in U.S cause I'm from India, I felt it. I felt emotions from all over the place. The intensity was really high, the characters were so very well written with depth. The acting was really powerful and the casting... just marvellous choices there...

Sacha baron Cohen, Joseph, Eddie redmayne and co. just wonderful, just wonderful.

I think this film can be relatable for any country. This film captured the struggle of justice so well... the lines were so very well written! And the ending!!! So powerful!!

Aaron Sorkin really is an absolute genius! He wrote this so well, such great dialogues, I absolutely love how his characters talk.

The cinematography too was absolutely incredible! So fitting!

Just brilliant, best film of 2020 for sure.

SamwiseG 16 October 2020

I watched this with no real expectation, although the inclusion of Mark Rylance, Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt did intrigue me. That all changed when I watched the movie as I found it terrific. It is a story that shamefully I was unaware of, and which displays yet again what a dysfunctional political and justice system is alive a kicking in the US..... definitely worth a watch.

khurramladhani 17 October 2020

" I have never been on trial for my thoughts", this one line sums it up about the whole movie. Watch the movie, not only for 5 reasons given by Yayha Abdul Mateen, but the writing, the thoughts, and deliverance. When I decided to watch this movie, it was only for the reason of Aaron Sorkin and star cast and with very limited knowledge of the events which took place in 1968 in chicago. However, with in first 30 minutes of 2 hours, it took me back to days when a one minute long monologue of Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men" gave goosebumps to an adult of 18 years of age who was not very fluent in english and not very familiar with american judicial system or revelation in " Charlie Wilson's War" , which was an another vantage point of looking at geo-politics happening in my country and region.

The Trial of Chicago 7 may not have a room to depict drama as seen in previous work of Aaron Sorkins, however in 2 hours and 9 minutes, Aaron and cast of the movie has depicted whatever they could. The script not only provided a dimension to the trial, but the struggles of the main 7 character and the bianess they encountered from the Judicial System.

The Court Room thriller, which also based on real event has become alive with this movie and surely will take back you to the days of "Primal Fear", "12 Angry Men", " Philadelphia", " A Few Good Men" , in which words, thoughts, and real human expression influenced an individual's thinking process.

The entire cast of the movie has performed their best and Aaron Sorkins in his second direction venture has given a classic. The movie which for first few minutes appeared to be political satire eventually turned out to be a great political case, as told by Sacha Baron Cohen.

guisreis 9 November 2020

A very good film, with a great beginning, nice pace, well developped characters, excellent text and dialogs. Eddie Redmayne proves once more that he is the best actor of his generation and that he is able to portray the most varied characters one may conceive. Sadha Baron Cohen also surprises with a suberb performance which shows that, while having comic moments, he is also perfectly able to portray serious, deep and not stylized characters just like the usual ones. This is a dynamic but also deep movie, which is competent to show that electoral regimes are not aithomatically worthy to be labeled as democracies. Racism, narrow-minded shallow patriotism and right-wing extremism, common along all political history in the United States, are shown just like they are. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is my favourite movie from 2020 so far.

mrosspub 18 October 2020

I think Sorkin exercised more discipline than usual in putting this film together. The script was clear, literate, and gave the right tone to each role. The editing also was excellent in bringing in flashback events at the right time during the trial, which kept the pace going forward while providing key background details. He kept the drama high, even though the history and conclusion is well known, by leaving out some of the intermediate details. He trusted his audience at just the right times without compromising the story.

Can't say enough about the entire cast. Brilliant job from the seasoned veterans down to relative newbies. SBC was beyond great as Abbie Hoffman, but the entire cast worked magic together.

Must see; this is one for the ages.

kezzanolan 3 October 2020

I find that court related films, especially those based on actual events, carry the great risk of either ending up extremely intense or excruciatingly monotonous. This however, is one of the very few that pulls it off with ease in all aspects, to which also provides some unexpected humour (yes; mainly from Sacha Baron Cohen).

Another part of the story I definitely didn't expect going in was how character driven it was, propelled by an absolutely extraordinary cast; who some should at least get some award recognition this coming season for when the time arrives.

So far, this is probably my current favourite film to have released this year, despite the lack of competition.

zsammy-11675 9 October 2020

Strong acting performances that give life to an old story, as relevant in 1968 as it is now in 2020. The movie has High intensity and I wouldn't be suprised if it is awarded any prizes.

nidhunmoviebuff 25 October 2020

Movie of the year so far, for me. The is no greater master of political debate and courtroom drama than scriptwriter-turned-auteur Aaron Sorkin. From A Few Good Men to the West Wing to the Newsroom, Sorkin's writing has captured the imagination and he absolutely knocks it out of the park with this one.

Based on the true story of 7 protesters arrested as part of the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations at the1968 Democratic Convention, Sorkin has given depth and intrigue to this chilling tale of governmental overreach and revenge politics.

While we have come to expect the captivating performances of Eddy Redmayne, it is Sacha Baron Cohen as the misunderstood hippie/protestor Abbie Hoffman who moves you the most.

Oscar-winner Mark Rylance is terrific as the beleaguered defence lawyer while Micheal Keaton oozes gravitas in a short guest role.

Must watch, especially if you are a Sorkin fan. Highly recommended

msbreviews 15 October 2020

If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog :)

Aaron Sorkin has been around for quite some time. A Few Good Men, Moneyball, Steve Jobs, and arguably one of the best movies of the last decade, The Social Network, all have one thing in common: Sorkin as a screenwriter, but not as the director. Molly's Game was Sorkin's directorial debut, which makes The Trial of the Chicago 7 only his second time in the director's chair. I've either loved or liked every film from him, so obviously, my expectations were already high enough solely due to his presence. However, with the announcement of such a stellar cast, it's impossible not to expect one of the best movies of the year to come out of this project...

Expectations fulfilled. This is, in fact, one of 2020's very best films, without the shadow of a doubt. Based on real events, the movie quickly jumps to the main point of action: the trial. Only twenty minutes in, the viewer is already inside the famous courtroom where the expected and the unexpected occur simultaneously. Sorkin's employs a narrative structure that keeps me captivated until the final credits start to roll. The actions that led to this court case are demonstrated throughout the same instead of being shown through a linear timeline, which would reduce the trial's value. It's the main reason why such a simple premise turns into a phenomenal adaptation of the historical event.

I couldn't take my eyes off-screen for a single second or lose one of the many incredible dialogues. Every conversation, every argument, every objection, overrule, or "motion denied" is transmitted to the viewer in an exceptionally captivating manner. It's one of those movies where the "action" belongs to words instead of fists. I felt tremendously invested in the trial. It never loses a gram of interest, it's full-on exciting all the time. I desperately wanted to find out the result of the case (I didn't possess knowledge of the real story, but I'll address this further down). I really wanted to witness the events that put the defendants in their respective positions. I strongly desired to see the end of the situation.

As soon as the film ends, I felt the urge to immediately research everything about the true story. I spent close to forty-five minutes reading many articles about the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the riots, the presidential nominees... everything. This is one of the most important criteria I have to define how successful a historical flick truly is: how much does it compel me to research everything about it. The Trial of the Chicago 7 convinces me to study the real events with significant impact. From what I've read, Sorkin changes a few details timeline-wise (something pretty common in this type of movie), but overall, it's a pretty accurate, realistic adaptation.

Technically, every component is remarkable, as expected from a Netflix-Sorkin partnership. However, the score plays a special part since its volume in crescendo elevates several escalating situations, leaving me at the edge of my couch, biting my nails. It's a fantastic achievement from Daniel Pemberton, who also scored Birds of Prey and Enola Holmes this year. Additionally, this might not be a one-location film, but Sorkin keeps the camera so focused on the courtroom that it feels like the audience is stuck in there with the defendants.

Besides Sorkin's screenplay, the cast obviously plays a massive role.

Movie Scene

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