In the end, the truest thing that can be said for Chicago 10 is that, though Morgen did just about everything he could to make his movie unwatchable, the story was interesting enough to fight him to a draw.
For those who don't mind their history pre-seasoned with a little phantasmagoria and a lot of sarcasm, Chicago 10 is a hugely entertaining piece of pop fluff, as dynamic and modern as the Beastie Boys cut on the soundtrack.
If presentation of the tumultuous events before, during and after the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago will suffice for a feature-length film, then it's hard to imagine a more ferocious or inventive depiction than Chicago 10.
Chicago 10 not only brings to life one of the sorriest chapters in American cultural and political history, but breathes new life into a film genre that usually has all the imagination and verve of a visit to Madame Tussauds.
In its best moments, and they are considerable, Chicago 10 makes you see 1968, that near-apocalyptic year, with fresh eyes, as an extraordinary turning point in history now at least partly set free from boomer nostalgia and regret.
Brett Morgen's agit-prop documentary augments its excellent assemblage of archival footage with capture-motion animation to rep the courtroom antics, all in the service of an ideologically loaded approach.