The Conspirator (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Conspirator (2011)



Critic Consensus: The Conspirator is well cast and tells a worthy story, but many viewers will lack the patience for Redford's deliberate, stagebound approach.

Movie Info

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 (Wright) owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth (Toby Kebbell) and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks. Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer, Frederick Aiken (McAvoy), a 28-year-old Union war-hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. Aiken realizes his client may be innocent and that she is being used as bait and hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her own son, John (Johnny Simmons). As the nation turns against her, Surratt is forced to rely on Aiken to uncover the truth and save her life. -- (C) Official Sitemore
Rating: PG-13 (for some violent content)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: James Solomon, James D. Solomon
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 16, 2011
Box Office: $11.5M
Roadside Attractions - Official Site


James McAvoy
as Frederick Aiken
Tom Wilkinson
as Reverdy Johnson
Evan Rachel Wood
as Anna Surratt
Kevin Kline
as Edwin Stanton
Justin Long
as Nicholas Baker
Danny Huston
as Joseph Holt
Robin Wright
as Mary Surratt
Colm Meaney
as Gen. David Hunter
James Badge Dale
as William Hamilton
Johnny Simmons
as John Surratt
Toby Kebbell
as John Wilkes Booth
Jonathan Groff
as Louis Weichman
Stephen Root
as John Lloyd
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Conspirator

Critic Reviews for The Conspirator

All Critics (168) | Top Critics (45)

Robert Redford teams with The American Film Company for The Conspirator, a project better left to the History Channel than the big screen.

Full Review… | April 21, 2013
We Got This Covered

Wonderfully cast and carefully shot, there's barely a hint of a great filmmaker working with a fraction of his normal budget in this period piece...

Full Review… | January 12, 2013
Tribune News Service

If nothing else, this is certain to have a long life playing in middle school history classes for decades to come.

Full Review… | January 30, 2012

The Conspirator deserves a lot more praise than it got on initial release: yes it is slow in parts and even provocatively tentative, but it is intricately crafted, a wonderful example of precision and attention to detail.

Full Review… | January 2, 2012
What Culture

full review at Movies for the Masses

Full Review… | December 26, 2011
Movies for the Masses

While the film is pretty heavy-handed in framing the story in political terms, it is a compelling historical drama that will be news to many Americans.

Full Review… | November 29, 2011
Laramie Movie Scope

Audience Reviews for The Conspirator


The Conspirator is one of the best true story/historical films I've seen. Nothing needed to have been added or taken from this accurate accounting of events for dramatic purposes. Without exaggeration, this is a legal story like no other; this is much more fascinating than fiction. I thought I knew this story, but I really didn't know the facts at all-just the headlines involving Booth.

Those involved in this project did masterful jobs. Robert Redford crafts a revealing look at the rush to judgement. This tale of scapegoat justice is just as applicable in our time as in 1865. McAvoy and Wilkinson are spectacular, and Robin Wright displays a stoic sort of grace I haven't seen before. I can't imagine another actress capturing this woman's essence any better.

Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer


review coming

Jens S.

Super Reviewer


The film portrays the aftermath of Lincolns murder; the trial of those who were caught in the act. However, the focus here is on the defense of Mary Surratt, the mother of one of the suspects who allegedly escapes the crime scene.successfully, The execution of the movie is quite conventional, but its roller-coaster story makes it watchable enough. Of course, it wont be all the same interesting for those of us who are well versed with history (or, for that matter, any subject as far as I'm concerned). The courtroom dramas are usually known for their fiery dialogues/sequences, but there's hardly any here. All these deficiencies, coupled with average performances, doesn't let the movie rise above mediocrity. All in all, its a passable fare. The conspiracy to kill the President followed by the conspiracy to send a seemingly innocent woman to gallows only goes on to prove how aptly the flick is titled. If only it were equally great in other departments too......... 4.5/10

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

The Conspirator Quotes

– Submitted by Manas P (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Grieg E (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Anna B (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Anna B (4 years ago)

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