The Conspirator

The Conspirator

Robert Redford (2010)

122min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Robert Redford directs James McAvoy and Robin Wright in this worthy, wordy American Civil War drama set in the aftermath of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Wright plays Confederate widow and mother Mary Surratt, the only woman arrested and tried for alleged collusion in the conspiracy surrounding the killing. McAvoy plays the Union army officer forced reluctantly to conduct her defence. He has to overcome both his own preconceptions and the prejudice of a military prosecution that has already decided her guilt. For those who want to see it, there's a hint of modern-day America and Guantanamo Bay in the film's portrayal of the unconstitutional treatment of political prisoners. For those who don't, this is a solid historical courtroom drama based firmly in fact. The acting from the top-notch cast is good. So, too, is the attention to period detail. The whole thing is just a little dry and ponderous.

Summary

An idealistic lawyer agrees to defend a woman accused of being an accomplice in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He comes to realise she may be innocent, and that her trial is being used by the government to lure the real guilty party, her son, out of hiding. Robert Redford's period drama, starring James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline and Evan Rachel Wood.

Cast & Crew

Frederick Aiken James McAvoy
Mary Surratt Robin Wright
Secretary Edwin M Stanton Kevin Kline
Reverdy Johnson Tom Wilkinson
Anna Surratt Evan Rachel Wood
Joseph Holt Danny Huston
Nicholas Baker Justin Long
General David Hunter Colm Meaney
Sarah Weston Alexis Bledel
William Hamilton James Badge Dale
John Wilkes Booth Toby Kebbell
Director Robert Redford
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: Some violence.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 1 Jul 2011
Drama