The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Oscar-winning scribe Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) writes and directs this historical thriller centred on seven people on trial after an uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. The star-studded line-up includes Academy Award winners Eddie Redmayne and Mark Rylance alongside Oscar nominees Sacha Baron Cohen and Frank Langella as well as Golden Globe nominee Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Watchmen's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and rising star Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties).

2020Rating: MA15+, Strong coarse language129 minsUSA, UK, India
DramaTrue Story & Biography

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Flicks

Flicks, Luke Buckmaster

flicks

Sorkin seems to have written the cuts between these scenes into the dialogue, which is not something you see (or hear) all that often—using audio as a form of editing. He does this by slicing off the end of a line then whooshing to a different character, in a different location, to take the line in another direction while maintaining the fluidity of the sentence. Take the following segue, from a serious and sombre Hayden in the lecture room to a jokey Hoffman speaking to a more relaxed group.

Aside from a little too much Sorkin cheese and overuse of music to drive story, I found The Chicago 7 incredibly effective, through means of an excellent cast, slick dialogue, and the splicing of film in a way that adds highly meaningful tension, altogether effectively informing and evoking intense emotion. - letterboxd.com/therealclose

5.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

The race for the Oscars (and just maybe, in some small measure, the battle for the White House) starts here.

5.0
RogerEbert.com

RogerEbert.com

press

There are such wonderful individual moments and beats in that just watching it as an acting exercise makes it worthwhile.

A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 wants to bottle the revolutionary spirit of its setting-the take-to-the-streets idealism of the '60s-but its snappy montage-glimpses of demonstrations verge on costume-party kitsch.

Time Magazine

Time Magazine

press

The Trial of the Chicago 7 details events that happened more than 50 years ago. The time to look away is never.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

A fiery condemnation of the police state and government overreach, this is both timely and timeless. Sorkin and a superb cast make legal proceedings compelling, and then show that the law is an ass.

4.0
Vulture

Vulture

press

This film is one of those exhilarating instances when Sorkin finds a context in which all of his well-established impulses that can be so annoying elsewhere...

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

He [Sorkin] can also become fantastically ponderous, bloated with finger-waggingly self-important liberal patriotism. Sadly, that is the tone with this exasperatingly dull, dramatically inert and faintly misjudged re-creation of the “Chicago Seven” trial in the US, which Sorkin has written and directed.

2.0
Slant Magazine

Slant Magazine

press

It pulses with relevancy in a time when debates over authoritarianism, protests, and the necessity of radicalism are convulsing America.

IndieWire

IndieWire

press

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is exactly as advertised — a giant, giddy burst of earnest theatricality, loaded with a formidable ensemble that chews on every inch of the scenery, that overall makes a passionate case for the resilience of its formula more than using it as an excuse.

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

press

Chicago 7 frames the past not just as entertaining prologue but a living document; one we ignore at our own peril.

Slash Film

Slash Film

press

From a movie-making perspective, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is sturdy but not particularly revelatory. But as a delivery system for great performers rattling off great dialogue, it’s almost unbeatable.

Variety

Variety

press

Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 is the rare drama about the 1960s that’s powerful and authentic and moving enough to feel as if it were taking place today.

Flicks

Flicks, Luke Buckmaster

flicks

Sorkin seems to have written the cuts between these scenes into the dialogue, which is not something you see (or hear) all that often—using audio as a form of editing. He does this by slicing off the end of a line then whooshing to a different character, in a different location, to take the line in another direction while maintaining the fluidity of the sentence. Take the following segue, from a serious and sombre Hayden in the lecture room to a jokey Hoffman speaking to a more relaxed group.

Stuff

Stuff

press

The race for the Oscars (and just maybe, in some small measure, the battle for the White House) starts here.

5.0
RogerEbert.com

RogerEbert.com

press

There are such wonderful individual moments and beats in that just watching it as an acting exercise makes it worthwhile.

A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 wants to bottle the revolutionary spirit of its setting-the take-to-the-streets idealism of the '60s-but its snappy montage-glimpses of demonstrations verge on costume-party kitsch.

Time Magazine

Time Magazine

press

The Trial of the Chicago 7 details events that happened more than 50 years ago. The time to look away is never.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

A fiery condemnation of the police state and government overreach, this is both timely and timeless. Sorkin and a superb cast make legal proceedings compelling, and then show that the law is an ass.

4.0
Vulture

Vulture

press

This film is one of those exhilarating instances when Sorkin finds a context in which all of his well-established impulses that can be so annoying elsewhere...

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

He [Sorkin] can also become fantastically ponderous, bloated with finger-waggingly self-important liberal patriotism. Sadly, that is the tone with this exasperatingly dull, dramatically inert and faintly misjudged re-creation of the “Chicago Seven” trial in the US, which Sorkin has written and directed.

2.0
Slant Magazine

Slant Magazine

press

It pulses with relevancy in a time when debates over authoritarianism, protests, and the necessity of radicalism are convulsing America.

IndieWire

IndieWire

press

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is exactly as advertised — a giant, giddy burst of earnest theatricality, loaded with a formidable ensemble that chews on every inch of the scenery, that overall makes a passionate case for the resilience of its formula more than using it as an excuse.

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

press

Chicago 7 frames the past not just as entertaining prologue but a living document; one we ignore at our own peril.

Slash Film

Slash Film

press

From a movie-making perspective, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is sturdy but not particularly revelatory. But as a delivery system for great performers rattling off great dialogue, it’s almost unbeatable.

Variety

Variety

press

Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 is the rare drama about the 1960s that’s powerful and authentic and moving enough to feel as if it were taking place today.

Aside from a little too much Sorkin cheese and overuse of music to drive story, I found The Chicago 7 incredibly effective, through means of an excellent cast, slick dialogue, and the splicing of film in a way that adds highly meaningful tension, altogether effectively informing and evoking intense emotion. - letterboxd.com/therealclose

5.0