The Trial of the Chicago 7

October 15, 202080/1005 min
Eddie Redmayne, Jeremy Strong, Mark Rylance, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Written by
Aaron Sorkin
Directed by
Aaron Sorkin
Run Time
2h 9min
Release Date
October 16th, 2020
Overall Score
Rating Summary

Sometimes a movie comes along that makes you feel a kinship with because you can relate to it on a personal level. That can also be said of some that not just relate to you, but maybe as a group, where things just feel a little too real. The Trial of the Chicago 7 happened over forty years ago, but when you turn on your news, you could have sworn it was happening now. It has been said those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, The Trial of the Chicago 7  gives us a lesson using Aaron Sorkin dialogue, that not only tells us what happened, but makes it sound cool while doing so.

The 1968 Democratic National Convention was seen at the time a place for many to voice their displeasure with the Vietnam war. A bunch of different groups of people would gather there for their voices to be heard, each having their own organizers who would lead them on their missions. Things though got out of hand, and what was meant as a peaceful protest turned into something all together different. Months later after Nixon won the election, his appointed Attorney General brought in one of their better young prosecutors in Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to hold eight guys responsible for everything that went wrong. Those guys were Tom Hayden (Eddie Redayme), Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp), Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch) and Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who wasn’t even at the protest. Defending them all, except Seale, is William Kunstler (Mark Rylance) who discovers as the case proceeds that the deck might be stacked against him. In case that will go down in history for all the wrong reasons.

Sorkin not only wrote the screenplay he also decided to direct this time as well, in his software attempt after 2017’s Molly’s Game. You would never know though from what you see, as Sorkin uses the trial as the jumping off point for the entire story. Sorkin moves though time effortlessly as you hear in the courtroom what happened only to cut to that moment. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is at its best in the courtroom as Sorkin’s dialogue is the glove to the courts hand in every scene. The cast is filled with great actors, but it is Rylance who shines the brightest as his performance commands your attention. There is always that one guy in a Sorkin movie that does that, and while everyone is perfectly splendid, he just stands out a little more. This film, like so many is a casualty of 2020, but lucky for us Netflix was able to make a deal to bring us some goodness before the year is over with. So if you want the truth and think you can handle it, then The Trial of the Chicago 7  is just the movie for you.

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