J. Edgar (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

J. Edgar (2011)



Critic Consensus: Leonardo DiCaprio gives a predictably powerhouse performance, but J. Edgar stumbles in all other departments with cheesy makeup, poor lighting, confusing narrative, and humdrum storytelling.

Movie Info

J. Edgar explores the public and private life of one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century. As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life. -- (C) Warner Brosmore
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Dustin Lance Black
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 21, 2012
Box Office: $37.3M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Leonardo DiCaprio
as J. Edgar Hoover
Armie Hammer
as Clyde Tolson
Naomi Watts
as Helen Gandy
Josh Lucas
as Charles Lindbergh
Judi Dench
as Annie Hoover
Ed Westwick
as Agent Smith
Damon Herriman
as Bruno Hauptmann
Stephen Root
as Arthur Koehler
Jeffrey Donovan
as Robert Kennedy
Ken Howard
as Harlan Fiske Stone
Josh Hamilton
as Robert Irwin
Geoffrey Pierson
as Mitchell Palmer
Cheryl Lawson
as Palmer's Wife
Gunner Wright
as Dwight Eisenhower
David Cooper
as Franklin Roosevelt
Brady Matthews
as Inspector
Kaitlyn Dever
as Palmer's Daughter
Kelly Lester
as Head Secretary
Jack Donner
as Edgar's Father
Dylan Burns
as Hoover as a Child
Jordan Bridges
as Labor Dept. Lawyer
Jack Axelrod
as Caminetti
Jessica Hecht
as Emma Goldman
Josh Stamberg
as Agent Stokes
Michael James Faradi...
as Bureau Agent (1919)
Christian Clemenson
as Inspector Schell
Billy Smith
as Secret Service Offic...
Michael Rady
as Agent Jones
Scot Carlisle
as Agent Williams
Geoff Stults
as Raymond Caffrey
Sadie Calvano
as Edgar's Niece
Allen Nabors
as Agent Appel
Ryan McPartlin
as Lawrence Richey
William Bebow
as Mr. Walters
Joseph Culliton
as Credit Director
Mike Vaughn
as Balding Agent
Miles Fisher
as Agent Garrison
Dermot Mulroney
as Colonel Schwarzkopf
Zach Grenier
as John Condon
Johnny Cicco
as Young Agent
Denis O'Hare
as Albert Osborne
Kahil Dotay
as Elmer Irey
Lea Coco
as Agent Sisk
Scott C. Roe
as Wiretap Agent
Ernest Harden Jr.
as Hoover's Driver
Roberta Bassin
as Roosevelt's Secretar...
Steve Monroe
as Restaurant Host
Sean Murphy
as Truck Driver
Gary Werntz
as Attorney General
David Clennon
as Senator Friendly
Michael O'Neill
as Senator McKellar
Eric Larkin
as Fred Hunter
Manu Intiraymi
as Alvin Karpis
Eric Frentzel
as William Mahan
Michael Klinger
as Harry Brunette
Evan Charest
as Reporter
Emily Alyn Lind
as Shirley Temple
Kyle Eastwood
as Stork Club Band
Joe Bagg
as Stork Club Band
Kye Palmer
as Stork Club Band
Jason Harnell
as Stork Club Band
Michael J.X. Gladis
as Stork Club Owner
Jamie Labarber
as Ginger Rogers
Lea Thompson
as Lela Rogers
Amanda Schull
as Anita Colby
Craig Zucchero
as Man at the Counter
Greg Hoyt
as Agent One
Jeff Cockey
as Agent Two
Gerald Downey
as FBI Agent
Brennan Coulter
as Newspaper Boy
Jenny Phagan
as Baker's Wife
Tommy Christensen
as Theatre Cashier
Chris Caputo
as Bronx Baker
Austin Basis
as Bank Teller
Adam Driver
as Walter Lyle
Shannon McClain
as African American Wom...
Justin Alston
as African American Man
Ary Katz
as Agent Owens
Duncan Hood
as Radio Announcer
Aaron Lazar
as Prosecutor Wilentz
Ernest Heinz
as Jury Foreman
Teresa Hegji
as Hauptmann's Wife
Thomas Langston
as Young Boy
Robert C. Fleet
as Edgar's Mother's Doc...
Joe Keyes
as Edgar's Brother
Christopher Shyer
as Richard Nixon
Maxine Weldon
as Hoover's Maid
Larkin Campbell
as H.R. Haldemann
Mark Thomason
as Nixon Aide
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for J. Edgar

Critic Reviews for J. Edgar

All Critics (228) | Top Critics (48)

The Hoover material is ugly and very American, and it might have made an authentic monster story. But the picture offered is muddled, cautious, and at cross purposes.

Full Review… | June 20, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

A large, self-important, incident-by-incident biopic crammed with luxuriant period detail, laden with old-age make-up and powered by meticulous but riskless acting.

Full Review… | April 13, 2016
In These Times

It's a deeply silly movie. American history as kitsch, played out like a drag show.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

With noirish lighting and most of the running time spent inside offices or cramped domestic rooms, Eastwood keeps the film claustrophobic, sometimes unpleasantly intimate.

Full Review… | September 26, 2013
Eye for Film

DiCaprio never measures up to the task of creating a plausible interpretation of what enabled Hoover to be both heroic and maniacal.

Full Review… | May 26, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

A lumbering miscalculation...

Full Review… | December 29, 2012
Tribune News Service

Audience Reviews for J. Edgar

A complete disaster that portrays Hoover as a petty, selfish, insecure and intolerant man but we never find out who he was or why we should care at all about him. Besides, the makeup is simply atrocious and the overly desaturated cinematography and dragging pace keep the audience even more emotionally distant.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Great performances by DiCaprio and Armie Hammer. The film is put together well.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

J. Edgar Quotes

J. Edgar Hoover: Funny how even the dearest face will fade away in time, but most clearly I remember your eyes with a sort of teasing smile in them, and the feeling of that soft spot just northeast of the corner of your mouth.
– Submitted by Eric H (4 years ago)
J. Edgar Hoover: Clyde! Don't leave me!
– Submitted by Alejandro O (4 years ago)
J. Edgar Hoover: It's time this generation learns the difference between villan and hero. Even great men can be corrupted.
– Submitted by Brandon M (4 years ago)
Anne Marie Hoover: I'd rather have a dead son than a daffodil.
– Submitted by Lyndon L (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss J. Edgar on our Movie forum!