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.
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as Frederick Aiken
as Reverdy Johnson
as Anna Surratt
as Edwin Stanton
as Nicholas Baker
as Joseph Holt
as Mary Surratt
as Gen. David Hunter
as William Hamilton
as John Surratt
as John Wilkes Booth
as Louis Weichman
as John Lloyd
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Critic Reviews for The Conspirator
Atmospheric, illuminating and affecting, The Conspirator captivates like an untold story -- one that you can't believe you've never heard until now, and won't soon forget.
Once the ideological cat is out of the bag, the drama is degraded to the level of a historical pageant.
Leaves us feeling as empty as a raided tomb.
A bracing courtroom drama whose every scene seems wreathed in mist, dust motes and cigar smoke, the better to suggest a nation befogged by grief.
There's a stiffness that keeps the story from packing a punch. Still, it's handsomely mounted, and at its best moments has the patina of a Masterpiece Theater production.
The nightmare of Lincoln's assassination, and its immediate aftermath, is effectively delivered, and Wright, shrouded in black, her face a mask of indomitable sorrow, gives great gravity to what might otherwise have been a waxworks historical reenactment.
Audience Reviews for The Conspirator
Destined for American high school level history classrooms, this concerns the rushed trial the assassins of Abraham Lincoln, and asks if some Constitutional guarantees were tossed aside in order to achieve quick vengeance, as well as the execution of the first woman in U.S. history. It's a Robert Redford film and so reeks of quiet grace despite the pace being that of a dying-friend-in-the-hospital visit. The work of all onscreen is exemplary, particularly Robin Wright.
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.
The Conspirator Quotes
|Frederick Aiken:||For the lawyer as well as a soldier, there is an equally imperative command. That duty is to shelter from injustice, the innocent, to protect the weak from oppression and when necessity demands, to rally to the defense of those being wronged...|
|Joseph Holt:||Was this the man? (Grabs a head of one of the Conspirators)|
|Joseph Holt:||Was this the man? [grabs a head of one of the Conspirators]|
|General David Hunter:||No sir.|
|Joseph Holt:||(He stands stunned, then realizing his mistake, he grabs another conspirator.) Was this the man?|
|Joseph Holt:||[he stands stunned, then realizing his mistake, he grabs another conspirator] Was this the man?|
|General David Hunter:||Yes sir.|
|Frederick Aiken:||It's not enough, is it Mr. Holt? It's not enough that you set the rules, you pick the judges. Now you have to turn my witness as well.|