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J. Edgar: Movie Review

Clint Eastwood's take on the eccentric yet highly-accomplished man that J. Edgar Hoover was works well because of Leonardo DiCaprio. It was one unbelievable performance as he subtlety captivates you further and further into one of the most powerful men from the last century. While the film's storytelling (and make-up for that matter) didn't keep pace with Leonardo's acting prowess, it was still one moving film that feels like a tell-all of not only Hoover's secretive life but his most cherished accomplishment, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation).

During his lifetime, J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) would rise to be the most powerful man in America. As head of the FBI for nearly 50 years, he would stop at nothing to protect his country. Through eight presidents and three wars, Hoover waged battle against threats both real and perceived and often bending the rules to keep his country safe. “J. Edgar” explores the personal and public life and relationships of a man who could distort the truth as easily as he upheld it during a life devoted to his own idea of justice which was often swayed by the darker side of power.

"J. Edgar" as expected has one thing going for it and it was Leonardo DiCaprio's performance. It's simply amazing, magical and astounding to see an actor grab your attention so much that you forget that you are watching a film - more so that he is portraying a real man. It was so great so much so that you actually see the subtle deviances through Hoover's with Leonardo's acting on hand. Not even the thick, old-school make-up that masks some of the facial movements could stop him in delivering one of his best performances ever. Unfortunately, the film's development was greatly stunted by the flashback system used by Clint Eastwood. It was moving back-and-forth from present day, to younger Hoover and more. At times, it was just tiring and confusing to keep track of what timeline you were watching and it does not help that it did not reference any dates. Also, the make-up was just a nuisance. We know it's probably a personal choice in not using digital effects as Benjamin Button did (and we respect that) but they could have done way better in this department for sure. The set pieces and the visual style complimented the film well but the characters themselves did not. In the end, "J. Edgar", even with a confusing story line, still effectively reveals so much about Hoover, warts and all, that you can forgive its shortcomings.

Rating: 4 reels





Why you should watch it:
- Leonardo DiCaprio has one of his best performances we have ever seen
- feels like a legitimate tell-all film on Hoover and the FBI

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the storyline and flashback style used was confusing
- the amateurish make-up ruins the experience a bit


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