J. Edgar

2011

Action / Biography / Crime / Drama / History / Romance

123
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 43%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 45%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 111896

Synopsis


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February 12, 2012 at 04:55 PM

Director

Cast

Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover
Armie Hammer as Clyde Tolson
Adam Driver as Walter Lyle
Naomi Watts as Helen Gandy
720p.BLU
853.78 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 17 min
P/S 10 / 72

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by claudiaeilcinema 2 / 10

Ugly Film About An Ugly Man

What a shocking disappointment. A director of Eastwood's caliber, an actor of DiCaprio reputation, giving us this travesty - no pun intended - of a biopic. Claude Rains and Madamr Constantine in "Notorious" someone made that comparison - I wish it had been that entertaining. This one is dull, dull, dull. Not a real insight into the man or, maybe more importantly, about the times of the man. Little, meaningless sketches about enormous events. I wonder what was the intention behind this venture. The "old" make-up was worthy of a B picture of the 50's. Jaw dropping really. I've always sensed that Eastwood, the director, left the actors to their own devices and, unless the devices belong to Gene Hackman or Sean Penn, the performance a rather poor. Here DiCaprio "recites" his lines with grit but without conviction. I couldn't wait for the film to be over and I waited and waited and waited.

Reviewed by Sindre Kaspersen 7 / 10

"Reverent acting performances..."

American actor, producer, composer and director Clint Eastwood's thirty-third feature film is an American production which was written by screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. It tells the story about J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972), who grew up with his two elder siblings in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Washington. In 1917, after receiving his Master of Laws degree at the George Washington University, he was hired as a clerk by the Justice Departement where he meet Helen W. Gandy (1897-1988) who would become his personal secretary. J. Edgar Hoover was a very private, secretive and ambitious man who was totally dedicated to his job. He lived with his mother Anne Marie and didn't have much of a social life, but in 1924, J. Edgar Hoover became the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and during this period he meet a confidential secretary for the Secretary of War named Clyde Tolson (1900-1975), whom he hired as his vice director.

This biographical period film depicts J. Edgar Hoover's participation in the extensive investigation of the kidnapping of the one-year-old son of aviators Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) and Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001), which took place in 1932, his ongoing fight against crime and communism, his private search for information which he could use to blackmail senator Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) and his unjustified attempts at undermining the reputation of American activist and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968). Precisely and engagingly directed and with a tightly structured narrative, this detailed and descriptive portrayal of a multifaceted man with some very bright and some very dark attributes draws an intriguing study of character with poignant depictions of the main character's relationship with his encouraging mother Anne Marie Scheitlin Hoover (1860-1938), his relationship with his loyal secretary Helen W. Gandy and a poignant though ambiguous depiction of his relationship with his devoted friend Clyde Tolson.

This fast-paced and dialog-driven drama is notable for its austere atmosphere which is reinforced by the prominent use of light and Clint Eastwood's tangible score, and the reverent acting performances by English actress Naomi Watts, English actress Judi Dench, American actor Armie Hammer and especially Leonardo DiCaprio, who delivers a variable and emphatic acting performance in an atypical role where he is transformed by the make-up. A dark and gripping mystery and crime story which is complimented by a low-keyed love story.

Reviewed by Filipe Neto 9 / 10

Enigmatic, ambiguous and fascinating.

Human history has great heroes, great villains and a few people in between. John Edgar Hoover, FBI's father, is one of those obscure and shadowy characters who stands between good and evil. But the most paradoxical is that we know very little about him, despite his towering position and the sheer amount of stories, rumors and theories surrounding him.

Clint Eastwood is directed this movie, and the mere fact of making a film about such a vague and amorphous man is a show of courage. On the other hand, it's clearly necessary to take as facts some of the rumors surrounding him. Otherwise, there would be no material to make the film. For example, it's true that Hoover earned a reputation for being homosexual, but the truth is that, against what the film suggests, this fame has never been proven. The film becomes more accurate when it comes to his career, the way he created and developed the FBI, how he promoted forensic science etc. One detail that particularly delighted me was seeing Hoover dictate his memories in a blistering, exaggerated way. With this, the film reveals more than truth... it reveals us what may have been the essence of the personality of a man who has always sought to control what others thought or knew. If knowledge means power, Hoover always made sure no one knew him, or knew only what he wanted. About the script and the story told I just felt some difficulty with the constant flashbacks and flash-forwards. I feel that this hindered my perception of time and the order of events. But that was a minor problem, at least for me.

Leo DiCaprio brilliantly secured the lead role. He is an excellent actor and, once again, offered us an excellent performance of a very complicated and ambiguous character. I must also point out his excellent characterization and costume design... this allowed him to play an older, fatter, and grumpier Hoover with the same quality he employed in the ambitious, hard-working boy. Naomi Watts and Armie Hammer were very good at supporting characters, even though Hammer was so ostensibly homosexual that I would have preferred to see him adopting a more contained and ambiguous posture in this regard, leaving the audience to think what they wanted. Equally impeccable and wonderful, Judy Dench gives us a great performance in a character that appears few times, but it marks our mind whenever it appears.

For half a century, Hoover was an unassailable man who knew the most sordid secrets of the American elite and did not hesitate to use them to challenge anyone who opposed him. Despite this, he lived his professional and personal life in an extremely discreet way, away from the spotlight, like an office bureaucrat. His life was lived under the motto "knowing is power". That is why he is so vague, Machiavellian and fascinating. And this film, instead of capturing an elusive "truth," perfectly captured the enigmatic and ambiguous side of the man behind the FBI director's desk.

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