The Trial of the Chicago 7: Movie Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Trial of the Chicago 7: Movie Review

"The Trial of the Chicago 7" was well-paced, well-written,and well-acted. Riveting, it was more than just drama as it provided a clear look into the stark reality that there are really bad people and bad governments out there.  


With the Vietnam War seemingly wasting American lives, three separate groups hold a peaceful protest at the 1968 U.S. Democratic National Convention in Chicago. But things escalate quickly and it turns into an uncontrollable violent clash against the police and the National Guard. The main organizers of the protest are charged with conspiracy to incite a riot as the U.S. Government holds them accountable for the riots. The trial that follows becomes one of the most notorious in U.S. history.


Aaron Sorkin mesmerized us with his great story-telling in "The Trial of the Chicago 7". While it may not be as historically accurate, the changes made made sure that the film was extremely effective in making its points and making a moving and dramatic experience in the process. We must admit though that the film wasn't perfect specifically with its narrative and character developments. The first 30 minutes was rather slow, and given the numerous characters that needed to be given screentime, a couple of main characters were left out with the likes Rennie Davis and David Dellinger given just a few scenes. But beyond those very minor gripes, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was one outstanding experience. We loved how the character of Abbie Hoffman, through snippets of his comedic speeches, provided context and background on what actually happened in the day of the riot. The actual narrative was heavily-concentrated with the inner-workings of the courtroom and the prep work behind it which we found was its strongest asset. Given this, it was a slow burn but it  had us emotionally invested by the time the credits rolled. Another strong point for the film was the actors. In particular, Mark Rylance and Frank Langella led the pack with performances that really captured the uniqueness of their characters. At the end of the day, "The Trial of the Chicago 7" was amazing and gripping and it was a 130 minutes well spent. If anything, it should at least make you think about the concept of "justice" and why assuming guilt over innocence with prejudices is extremely wrong in the first place.


Rating: 4 and a half reels








Why you should watch it:

- Wonderfully paced

- Strong acting and storytelling made this a substantially satisfying experience


Why you shouldn't watch it:

- A couple of key characters were left out


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