The Conspirator

2010

Action / Crime / Drama / History

51
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 55%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 62%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 25645

Synopsis


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April 26, 2018 at 01:01 PM

Director

Cast

Norman Reedus as Lewis Payne
James McAvoy as Frederick Aiken
Robin Wright as Mary Surratt
Alexis Bledel as Sarah Weston
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
751.53 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 2 min
P/S 9 / 106
1.95 GB
1920*800
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
2hr 2 min
P/S 4 / 78

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by grantss 5 / 10

Simply another Redford rant

Like many people in their retirement years, Robert Redford's biggest pastime is writing letters to the editor. Unfortunately, his letters are two hour films. The Conspirator could have been a lot more than Redford ranting about injustice, but, unfortunately, it isn't.

The story is told in a very heavy-handed sort of way, with no subtleties or grey areas. You never feel that this is an objective account of the trial of Mary Surratt. In addition, much of the movie is padding, making it fairly dull.

Also, if you know your Civil War history, as I do, you know how the movie is going to end, meaning that there is no intrigue, and a sense of inevitability about it all.

Decent performances though, especially from James McAvoy.

Reviewed by HotToastyRag 7 / 10

Excellent direction from Robert Redford

The Conspirator is a courtroom drama about those involved in Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Major history buffs might already know the tidbits presented in this story, but I was a political science major in college, and even I was surprised by parts of the plot.

Seven men are on trial, as well as one woman, the mother of one of the co-conspirators. The only man who steps up as a defense lawyer for the accused is the young and inexperienced James McAvoy, and he comes across countless obstacles as he tries to give Robin Wright her right to a fair trial.

If you didn't know Robert Redford directed this movie, you would probably think to yourself, "James McAvoy must really like Robert Redford!" As it is, I'm sure he does like Robert Redford, as does the rest of the all-star cast, since stars famously vie to work for the father of Sundance. If you close your eyes during some of the courtroom speeches, it almost sounds like Redford himself is talking. I think the directorial influence on the leading actor is rather cute, and it's easy to imagine that had this movie been made thirty years earlier, the defense lawyer would probably have been blond.

The Conspirator has beautiful, realistic set and costume design, and the men in the cast—McAvoy, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, and Colm Meaney—seem authentic in their surroundings. My biggest complaint about the film are the ladies. Neither Robin Wright, nor Evan Rachel Wood, and especially not Alexis Bledel, seem like they belonged in the 1860s. Trying to ignore Bledel's contemporary face and voice is impossible, but thankfully she has a very tiny part. Wood also feels very contemporary, the way she moves and the patter of her speech. And even though Wright has a plain face and doesn't sound like a California valley girl, she still seems contemporary. Women were treated differently back then, and a woman her age would have a completely different aura from decades of living in the 1800s. Wright feels like an independent woman who has never been mistreated or disrespected.

That criticism aside, if you like that era of history, this is a very good movie to watch. Robert Redford is an excellent director, and it's very fun to see McAvoy project his essence in the lead role.

Reviewed by zkonedog 3 / 10

Missing One Key Component: Acting

I rented this movie because I enjoy period films about U.S. history, and what better event to be covered than the Lincoln Assassination?! Unfortunately, this courtroom drama fails in a number of aspects, with acting being first and foremost on that list.

For a basic plot summary, "The Conspirator" tells the story of Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), accused of harboring the men who conspired to kill President Lincoln. With all the odds stacked against her, Surratt is given a military trial that she has no hope of winning. The only thing in her corner is lawyer Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy), who is persuaded to fight for her cause.

As a courtroom drama, this film is okay. It touches on a few interesting themes and really shows the mood of the Civil War era. However, the acting is so poor that it never really sucks viewers into the proceedings. Besides Wright as Surratt, the acting performances fail in a variety of ways. McAvoy does not convey "period" whatsoever, the auxiliary cast isn't given much to do, and the laughable casting choices of Justin Long and Alexis Bledel only serves to further exemplify the acting in this effort.

Also, "The Conspirator" does none of the "little things" right, like character depth. A romance angle with McAvoy's character goes nowhere, for instance, while the drama of the film is confined to the courtroom scenes and no others.

Thus, I cannot recommend "The Conspirator" to those looking for anything more than a mediocre, stuffy period piece about a very specific topic. If you only want to see it because it has Lincoln on the cover, go elsewhere for your history fix.

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