Chappaquiddick

Critics Consensus

Chappaquidick can't help leaving some of this true story's most intriguing questions unanswered, but it's bolstered by outstanding work from Jason Clarke in the central role.

81%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 141

68%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,288

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Movie Info

On July 18, 1969, Sen. Ted Kennedy drives his car off of a bridge on Massachusetts' Chappaquiddick Island. The accident results in the death of passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, a 28-year-old campaign strategist who worked for Kennedy. The ongoing investigation into the mysterious and scandalous events forever alters his political legacy -- and ultimately changes the course of presidential history.

Cast & Crew

Jason Clarke
Sen. Ted Kennedy
Kate Mara
Mary Jo Kopechne
Ed Helms
Joe Gargan
Bruce Dern
Joe Kennedy
Jim Gaffigan
Paul Markham
Olivia Thirlby
Rachel Schiff
Clancy Brown
Robert McNamara
Taylor Nichols
Ted Sorensen
Andria Blackman
Joan Kennedy
Tamara Hickey
Marilyn Richards
Taylor Allen
Screenwriter
Andrew Logan
Screenwriter
Chris Fenton
Executive Producer
Daniel Mintz
Executive Producer
Douglas Jones
Executive Producer
Tom Duterme
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Chappaquiddick

Critic Reviews for Chappaquiddick

All Critics (141) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (114) | Rotten (27)

Audience Reviews for Chappaquiddick

  • Apr 04, 2019
    Based on a true story, Chappaquiddick is a powerful political drama. The story follows a weekend party hosted by Senator Ted Kennedy on Chappaquiddick Island during which he got into a car accident that killed a young girl who was riding with him, and the ensuing cover-up and battle within the Kennedy family on how to handle the situation. Starring Jason Clarke, Ed Helms, Kate Mara, and Bruce Dern, the cast is quite impressive and gives some good performances. And surprisingly the film doesn't whitewash the events; showing the political wheeling and dealing behind the scenes. Yet it also shows the moral questioning and personal struggle Ted Kennedy goes through. Additionally, the sets and costumes are really well-done, and feel authentic to the time period. A fascinating biopic, Chappaquiddick is extraordinarily compelling and provocative.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 09, 2018
    The moon looms in so many of the shots here just as it did in the news cycle during that 1969 July when Senator Edward Kennedy drove off a bridge, killing his passenger. His first words after the accident are: "I'm not going to be president." How Chappaquiddick might hold up against history is uncertain, but director John Curran (The Painted Veil) swiftly clarifies what he and the writers believe to be the answers to questions that have no doubt plagued the incident since that fateful night. How did Kennedy end up driving off the bridge? Was he drunk? What were he and Mary Jo Kopechne doing together that night? Was there a third person in the car? Why did he wait so long to report the accident? There is no hesitation to paint Kennedy into an unflattering corner with Ed Helms as conflicted Kennedy cousin Joseph Gargan being a highlight. Gargan's struggles and position within his famous family are what illustrate what it seems Chappaquiddick is truly trying to get at; that the Kennedy's never held themselves to the same laws as those they felt they were meant to serve. That somehow, because they lived a life of service they were exempt from the same standards. It's an interesting if not obvious thesis, but I wish it was explored in a deeper and more moving manner as Curran's film feels very much like a CliffsNotes version of a much bigger story.
    Philip P Super Reviewer

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