Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 42
  2. Negative: 4 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Nov 8, 2011
    J. Edgar is a somber, enigmatic, darkly fascinating tale, and how could it be otherwise?
  2. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Nov 9, 2011
    As a period biopic, J. Edgar is masterful. Few films span seven decades this comfortably.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Nov 9, 2011
    DiCaprio may well receive a Best Actor Oscar for his tour de force as the conflicted FBI director -- greatly abetted by Hammer (who played the Winklevoss twins in "The Social Network'') in his first major role as the flamboyant but frustrated Tolson.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 174 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 57
  2. Negative: 11 out of 57
  1. Nov 9, 2011
    Awesome movie! DiCaprio needs to get that Oscar already!!! Ordinary critics didn't understand it because of the many narrative and time shifts but this film is a gem. Full Review »
  2. Nov 18, 2011
    Every second of DiCaprio and Hammer in their rubber old man make-up (complete with terribly cliched old men shaky walks and bad shaky voices) is a blow against an otherwise interesting film. And there are enough seconds to turn the whole film into a joke. Dreadful performances. Eastwood really let this one get away from him. Too bad. Full Review »
  3. Nov 14, 2011
    Well, I cannot think of much positive to say about this film. There was nothing new to be learned, no subplots developed, nothing revealed, and it just seemed like Eastwood was lost. Leonardo was packed under tons of makeup to play the elder Hoover with the film flashing back to key points in the pasts. Yet these key points were nothing we did not already know about and nothing knew was revealed about the. Eastwood focused mainly on his private gay life and partner but should that be the focus of a biography of someone this important in American history. A hugh disappointment to me. Full Review »