Jan Wahl Movie Review: ‘The Conspirator’

(KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews the new film from Robert Redford starring Robin Wright and James McAvoy.

THE CONSPIRATOR (PG-13)

From The Great Debaters to Made in Dagenham, it’s terrific when a movie drives you to look up the historical truth versus the movie truth. This film sent me right to the historical archives to find out the details, since much of this film is based on trial records. In the wake of the assassination of President Lincoln, seven men and one woman are arrested and put on trial, a military trial for civilians. A young Union war hero defends the lone woman in the possible conspiracy. With strong performances by Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood and Kevin Kline, Director Robert Redford had me at first frame. Then as we go deeper into the trial itself, vivid visuals would have helped us see the big picture, a country still bitterly divided, looking for scapegoats and revenge. The movie should have been great, yet just misses because it maintains a distance to the trial material that undermines its bigger-picture intensity and emotion. Three hats..and a special hats off to Redford, trying to keep movies smart at a time our mainstream Hollywood movies are insistent on dumbing down.
janwahlhats 03 Jan Wahl Movie Review: The Conspirator

SEE RIGHT NOW: BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, THE LINCOLN LAWYER, POTICHE, SOURCE CODE, WIN WIN

DVD/HOME VIDEO: MADE IN DAGENHAM, INSIDE JOB, SIDNEY LUMET: NETWORK, RUNNING ON EMPTY, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, THE VERDICT

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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