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The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

  • Drama History Thriller
  • What was supposed to be a peaceful protest turned into a violent clash with the police. What followed was one of the most notorious trials in history.

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    English
  • $35,000,000
  • Description

    In Chicago 1968, the Democratic Pary Convention was met with protests from activists like the moderate Students for a Democratic Society led by Tom Hayden and the militant Yippies led by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, which led to violent confrontations with the local authorities. As a result, seven of the accused ringleaders are arraigned on charges like Conspiracy by the hostile Nixon administration, including Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers who was not involved in the incident. What follows is an unfair trial presided by the belligerent Judge Hoffman (No relation) and prosecuted by a reluctant but duty-bound Richard Schultz. As their pro bono lawyers face such odds, Hayden and his fellows are frustrated by the Yippies' outrageous antics undermining their defense in defiance of the system even while Seale is denied a chance to defend himself his way. Along the way, the Chicago 7 clash in their political philosophies even as they learn they need each other in this fight.

    The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) download

    The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) download

    The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) download


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    Reviews

    If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog @ https://www.msbreviews.com 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. Just like I mentioned above, this is a movie where the "action" is played out through words. Inside the courtroom, there are constant arguments, countless contempts of court, a voir dire (it doesn't hurt to google courtroom terminology before the film), and so much more that leads the judge to make questionable decisions based on shocking evidence. Every actor is absolutely outstanding, I was able to feel everything during that trial, but I do have four standouts. Sacha Baron Cohen (Abbie Hoffman) shares the laugh spotlight with Jeremy Strong (Jerry Rubin), but he ends up being the ultimate comic relief. His delivery and timing are pure gold. I can't deny that I was surprised by his performance since I've only seen him in Borat. He's extremely funny, but don't be mistaken by my words: Abbie proves to be one of the most essential defendants in the trial, offering a memorable testimony and demonstrating his real purpose. Eddie Redmayne brings his Oscar-winner face to the game by interpreting Tom Hayden. A vital character that lets the viewer know that while they might not all be completely guilty, they're not all exactly innocent as well. Hayden's final speech is one of Redmayne's best scenes of his career. Mark Rylance plays the role of the public, portraying the defendants' lawyer, William Kunstler. He shares the viewer's frustration with the judge's decisions but never gives up, trying to bring justice to the case. If I had to bet on an actor to get awards buzz by the end of the year, it would be Rylance due to his powerful display. My last standout is Frank Langella as the judge Julius Hoffman. I believe a lot of people will give credit to every actor for portraying characters they love, but most will forget the actor that interprets the character everyone hates. Langella deserves all of the praise in the world for making me despise completely such an unfair, racist, unqualified judge. His performance is simply extraordinary. These are my four standouts, but the entire cast is phenomenal. I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't get to see more from Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Bobby Seale), but after researching Bobby's involvement in this story, I understand his lack of relevance to the main narrative. He plays more of a modern parallel to the 60s in the sense that the judge heavily discriminates against him during the trial, transmitting a message that humanity's behavior may have evolved regarding racism, but there's still a long way to go. A final shoutout to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is also excellent as Richard Schultz. I only have one issue. In terms of entertainment, the viewer entering the main stage after only twenty minutes is a bold yet efficient move. However, the introduction to the characters and the story itself goes by so fast that I could only understand who's who and their purpose during the trial. Sorkin assumes people know everything about who these characters are, what they did, and where the narrative is driving towards, skipping through dozens of details that (mostly) non-American audiences will struggle to understand in time. Sorkin could have given these characters more depth initially, offering the viewer time to get familiar with their names and organizations. All in all, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is undoubtedly one of the best movies of the year, probably the best at the date of this review. Aaron Sorkin's narrative structure and the brilliant cast are the two main reasons why this film succeeds so well. Sorkin's screenplay is organized in a way that keeps the viewer astonishingly captivated throughout the entire runtime by following a nonlinear structure. Maintaining the focus on a single location is an exceptional decision for a movie where words are the action of the story. Inside the courtroom is where every fascinating argument ensues, never losing steam until the very end. It's also a lot funnier than I expected. Regarding the cast, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Rylance, Eddie Redmayne, and Frank Langella are my standouts, but every actor delivers outstanding performances. Daniel Pemberton's score shines in an overall very well-produced film. The first twenty minutes fly by in favor of entertainment by quickly placing the viewer inside the courtroom, but it's so rushed that it makes it difficult for the audience to remember everyone's names and purposes. Assuming everyone knows the true story and the people involved is a risky move, especially for non-Americans. Nevertheless, this minor issue doesn't affect an otherwise flawless movie. Obviously, I strongly recommend it! Maybe reading a bit about the real events beforehand will help the eventual viewing, but don't read too much due to the usual spoilers. Rating: A

    Sacha Baron Cohen has now delivered my 2 favourite & memorable characters of the year in the same fortnight. This movie is a strange incongruence. It inspired/engaged/enraged me at the same time as it made me feel flat. It could have been longer (the time flew by) and drawn out the characters more, but I felt that it had said what it needed to say. And the melodrama felt just above where it needed to be. Having said that, the editing is top notch and the performances are at least "on par", if not outstanding (Baron Cohen, Abdul-Mateen II, Rylance and Langela). And regarding the Direction - its not perfect, it likely would have been better done in the hands of a master. But if this was my second film, I would be f$%^ing stoked. Watch this movie.

    It is important for a film to say what it wants to say correctly and to somehow overcome its claim. "The Trial of the Chicago 7" is one of these films. A coherent narrative with a perfectly acceptable script and no extra glamor. Adapting in cinema has always been a difficult task, whether from another literary work or a real event. The film also manages to make this historical adaptation and not only shows the details well, which gives it a new spirit with the art of cinema, so that it has the necessary impact on the audience. An important point is that the film is successful in creating a feeling and does not seek to hide its weaknesses by crowding the film by using unnecessary Techniques or tricks. Throughout the film, we see a variety of emotional atmospheres that are sometimes very lively and sometimes very calm and quiet. The director, however, has been able to create emotion both in crowded spaces and in the silences, that sometimes take the audience to a deeper layer of the movie. The actors in the film are all acceptable, However, some of them do not become characters in the script, and in the meantime, “Langella” acting as the judge and “Sacha Baron Cohen” as Abbie was better than others. “Sorkin” has once again shown that he has an acceptable ability in screenwriting, and this time he has performed well in directing too. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is a compact movie that works to the best of its ability And it tries to get closer to the form, though it cannot be said that it has done it completely, but in some places it gets close to the form. It should be noted that the film is very successful in its purpose and the use of old images and videos helps to convey this purpose to the viewer. What this film has done, that is, create a sense of criticism and sometimes hatred for a corrupt system, is something that not every film can easily do. In general, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is a good movie that will be alive for a long time and anyone of any age and period can communicate with it.

    Comments

    4 months ago

    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.

    4 months ago

    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.

    4 months ago

    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.

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