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The Conspirator

2011-08-04 17:08
What it's about:

In the wake of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State. The lone woman charged, Mary Surratt), owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks. Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer Frederick Aiken, a 28-year-old Union war hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. Aiken realises that his client may be innocent and that she is being used as bait and a hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt – her own son, John.

As the nation turns against her, Surratt is forced to rely on Aiken to uncover the truth and save her life.

What the critics thought:

"Makes you pause and consider, not the fragility of justice and human rights in extreme circumstances, but the fusty and enfeebled condition to which Robert Redford's filmmaking has sunk."
- Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph

"The Conspirator is never less than thought-provoking and illuminating. It's an answer to those who moan that they don't make movies like they used to."
- Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter

"Heartbreakingly average, director Robert Redford's The Conspirator errs in the way so many films do, especially films about unsung pieces of American history."
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

Her country abandoned her. Her counsel did not.
Read more on:    james mcavoy  |  robert redford  |  movies  |  review

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