The Conspirator - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Conspirator Reviews

Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Leah Rozen
TheWrap
October 7, 2011
Top Critic
Christine Champ
Film.com
May 6, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
April 29, 2011
Once the ideological cat is out of the bag, the drama is degraded to the level of a historical pageant.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
April 28, 2011
Leaves us feeling as empty as a raided tomb.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
April 22, 2011
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.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
April 17, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
April 15, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
April 15, 2011
James McAvoy, as the Civil War veteran who defends Surratt, has an avid presence, but the movie is stiff-jointed and dull.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
April 15, 2011
A better history lesson than it is a drama.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
April 15, 2011
Once you accustom yourself to this film's unhurried rhythm and old-fashioned Hollywood stolidity, The Conspirator is not without its pleasures -- chief among them Robin Wright's quietly fierce performance.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
April 15, 2011
The Conspirator fairly drips with nobility, timeliness and class. If only it were a bit more fiery.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
April 15, 2011
The Conspirator is a quality drama with a capital Q. We should expect no less from Robert Redford, who takes seriously (at times, earnestly) the duties of director.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 15, 2011
As the film's director, Robert Redford eases with hypnotic skill into this tale of justice in the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln's assassination.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
April 15, 2011
Wright, who has been doing great and largely unrecognized work for years, is terrific as the hard, handsome, difficult defendant, as is James McAvoy as her reluctant defense counsel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
April 15, 2011
With her hair darkened and severely pulled back, her face a mask of stony implacability, Wright delivers a simple, unshowy performance that never begs for the audience's sympathy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
April 15, 2011
Working on an obviously limited budget on locations in Savannah, Ga., Redford does a good job of evoking the era with the help of cinematographer Newton Thomas Siegel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 15, 2011
Instead of entertaining us, director Robert Redford offers us a handsome history lesson that's as dry as a hardtack biscuit.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 15, 2011
You have to give credit to Redford, Wright and McAvoy, and the other filmmakers. Not many films this smart can be made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
April 14, 2011
What it most suggests ... is the sort of classroom film that has kept generations of students off the edge of their seats.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
April 14, 2011
"The Conspirator" is first, last and always a political drama, and, Wright's performance aside, it is the play of events of history that most holds our interest.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
April 14, 2011
Redford persuades us, if not to grieve, to understand other people's grief and to look at the assassination of Abraham Lincoln with fresh eyes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
April 14, 2011
Redford's fictionalized chronicle of Mary Surratt's 1865 trial is high-minded and slow-moving. Some may chafe at his unsubtle sermonizing, but strong central performances will reward the patient.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Michael Granberry
Dallas Morning News
April 14, 2011
Robert Redford's riveting Conspirator examines the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by pursuing an unconventional path.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
April 14, 2011
Heavily reminiscent of Bruce Beresford's Breaker Morant, but producer-director Robert Redford also notes the parallels between the Surratt case and our current military tribunals for terror suspects.
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Justin Chang
Variety
April 14, 2011
While the courtroom proceedings compel attention initially, a certain weariness sets in due to the lack of modulation in the discourse, the obviousness of the storytelling and the absence of any real subtext.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
April 14, 2011
The Conspirator is never less than thought-provoking and illuminating. It's an answer to those who moan that they don't make movies like they used to
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
April 14, 2011
[A] well-meaning, misbegotten movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
April 14, 2011
Let's just be grateful that boring old Professor Redford only afflicts audiences with his good intentions and social consciousness about twice a decade.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 14, 2011
If history lessons could always be as compelling as Robert Redford's "The Conspirator," movie theaters might be full of them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 14, 2011
Redford always gets the best out of actors, and his cast - especially Wright, Wood, Huston, and Tom Wilkinson - is exceptional.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 14, 2011
"The Conspirator'' is an important film, on an important subject, that has had the life beaten out of it by Robert Redford, a man who should know better.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
April 14, 2011
"The Conspirator" is a worthy historical reenactment, but not much of a movie. Eight score and seven minutes feels ever so long.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
April 14, 2011
Heartbreakingly average, director Robert Redford's "The Conspirator" errs in the way so many films do, especially films about unsung pieces of American history.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
April 14, 2011
Robert Redford's depiction of the trial of Mary Surratt is, at heart, sort of a history lesson, a really interesting one.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
April 14, 2011
Fascinating, authentic look at aftermath of Lincoln assassination.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
April 13, 2011
Sitting through this stage-bound, talky, stiffly-acted movie reminded me of having to endure the Hall of Presidents attraction at Walt Disney World.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
April 13, 2011
It's hard not to like McAvoy, with his glancing nervous energy, but The Conspirator rarely permits him to be anything except likable, and the script smooths out any wrinkles in the figure of Aiken.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 13, 2011
It should be tense and thrilling, full of rich, powerful performances; instead, it'll make you feel like you should be taking notes in preparation for a high-school exam.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
April 13, 2011
See it, enjoy a ripping good yarn and learn something.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
April 12, 2011
Barely worth the extra credit, kids.
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James Rocchi
MSN Movies
April 11, 2011
Great moral stands don't make for great drama; good intentions aren't good art.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 11, 2011
Redford does a fine, economical job re-creating the horror of the assassination, the dying president barely glimpsed but the bowls of blood carried from his deathbed all too vivid.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
March 10, 2011
This retelling of a crucial, poorly-remembered chapter of American law and war has enough atmosphere, stalwart acting and suspense to appeal to the mass of moviegoers.
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Globe and Mail
September 14, 2010
This is by no means a great movie, but in telling a gripping and little-known true story with many contemporary resonances it has time(liness) on its side.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4