The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Aaron Sorkin (2020)

129min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Soon after Nixon's election, his administration tried to silence a group of antiwar activists following bloody clashes between police and demonstrators outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The courtroom drama that unfolded gripped America, and is the subject of Aaron Sorkin's second feature as writer/director. After creating the historical context with a breathless montage illustrating the volatility of the times, the film settles into a solidly directed account of the trial, the personalities involved, and the dirty tricks employed to ensure a guilty verdict. Sorkin delves fruitfully into the divisions between the defendants themselves, in particular, Abbie Hoffman, a prankster with a sharp mind and a dedication to cultural revolution (winningly played by Sacha Baron Cohen) and Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), a clean-cut moderate who believes the only way to effect real change is through becoming elected. Then there is Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a Black Panther member who had no connection to the other seven, but was thrown in with them, he claims, to scare the jury. Sorkin captures the period and issues well, while being alert to connections with our own fractious era, and the fantastic ensemble keeps you engaged when the writer's verbosity begins to become wearing.

Cast & Crew

Tom Hayden Eddie Redmayne
Rennie Davis Alex Sharp (2)
Abbie Hoffman Sacha Baron Cohen
Jerry Rubin Jeremy Strong
David Dellinger John Carroll Lynch
Bobby Seale Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
William Kunstler Mark Rylance
Richard Schultz Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Leonard Weinglass Ben Shenkman
Thomas Foran J C MacKenzie
Judge Julius Hoffman Frank Langella
John Froines Danny Flaherty
Lee Weiner Noah Robbins
John Mitchell John Doman
Ramsey Clark Michael Keaton
Fred Hampton Kelvin Harrison Jr
Agent Daphne O'Connor Caitlin FitzGerald
Director Aaron Sorkin
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Netflix International B.VGuidance: violence, swearing, racist behaviourReleased on: 2 Oct 2020