User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 170 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 170

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  1. Nov 9, 2011
    10
    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.
  2. Nov 9, 2011
    10
    I must agree with the fact that this movie is absolutely amazing. Leonardo DiCaprio definitely deserves an Academy Award nomination. Still, this movie could be much better than it is.
  3. Nov 9, 2011
    10
    LEO DICAPRIO is a elite actor and this movie is just awesome. I hate when idiots criticize the movies that are wonderful just because they are jelous their pursuit for fame in hollywood led to being a reviewer for a **** magazine or newspaper hahaha losers. =]
  4. Nov 12, 2011
    10
    I'm not much on biopic films but J,Edgar was generally good, Dicaprio plays a convincing role and jumps right into it and at that a definite Oscar nominee and in my opinion deserves it for this. J. Edgar seems to be the darkest Eastwood film since Mystic River but I enjoy that (to a certain degree). Any fan of either Clint Eastwood or Leonardo Dicaprio I insist that you at least give this go, you will like this. Expand
  5. Nov 11, 2011
    9
    If for no other reason, see this for the exceptional performances by DiCaprio (and others) and be reminded that good actors can be- convincingly- the characters that they portray and a good director is judged by their performance. In all regards, this movie deserves a 95 out of 100. It's worth going to the movies, again!
  6. Nov 11, 2011
    9
    A masterful film directed by a more mature Clint Eastwood. The file shows sensitivity and purpose. It has the feel of a documentary yet more informative and personal, and drama. Leonard DiCaprio was brilliant and is sure to receive an Oscar nomination. Watching this 2 hour and 17 minutes film is like watching a freight train moving in first gear -- slow but powerfully steady. If you are looking for action and explosions you will not find it, this film is one hundred percent dialogue. You could hear a pin drop in the theatre. A brilliant docudrama. Collapse
  7. Nov 30, 2011
    10
    J. Edgar" is, as you might expect, the story of J. Edgar Hoover, at one time one of if not the most powerful man in the nation as he formed and led the Federal Bureau of Investigation for at least 48 years. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the world's most famous G Man and Armie Hammer plays his faithful confidant and friend, Clyde Tolson while Naomi Watts portrays the role of Helen Gandy, J. Edgar's ever loyal secretary and girl Friday. The film was written by Dustin Lance Black and produced and directed by Clint Eastwood,. Although interesting from the point of view of the history of the nation's most famous crime fighting organization, I'm sorry to say that the film was much too long. Instead of shortening Hoover's name in the title of the film, the editors should have deleted a lot of unnecessary footage as the movie struggles to find itself and its proper pace. In this case FBI could stand "For Boring Individuals". Even good things should end in a timely manner. This is not the Clint Eastwood we came to know in "The Unforgiven" or his other great films. It was almost as if pride of directorship and artistic endeavor overrode the necessity to make the film work in a tighter vehicle. Perhaps trying to cover such a complicated character over so long a period makes the extraordinary length of the film inevitable but not necessarily pleasant to watch. I give the film a score of 7,5 with the suggestion that a good cup of strong coffee prior to viewing it would be a good idea., Expand
  8. Nov 14, 2011
    9
    Leonardo DiCaprio gives a memorable portrayal as J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI for almost 50 years. He modernized crime fighting, while wielding his power through intimidation and force. During it all, he had a seemingly chaste, but devoted relationship with his aide, Clyde Tolson, What starts as a biopic outlining the highlights of his career, ends up being a tender story of his frustrated love. Since this is a Clint Eastwood film, you can expect efficient storytelling and powerful performances, but this time there's an artistic flair to the period recreations and cinematography. Writer Dustin Lance Black has penned a multi-layered story that adds to the resonance. Even though it's a bit slow and long, this film manages to create a character that's complex and compelling. Expand
  9. Nov 20, 2011
    9
    J. EDGAR is easily one of the best films of 2011 and should receive an Oscar Nomination as Best Picture. I'll be pulling for it to do so. Further, J. EDGAR deserves serious Oscar/award consideration in every category for which it qualifies. Without hesitation, among the major categories, I would nominate Clint Eastwood as Best Director, Leonardo DiCaprio as Best Actor, Dustin Lance Black for Best Writing and Armie Hammer for Best Supporting Actor. Also, I'll be shocked if Sian Grigg doesn't win the Best Makeup Oscar for his transformation of Leonardo DiCaprio into J. Edgar Hoover at many different ages right before our eyes. Generally, I prefer films that tell their story in a linear style but got beyond that this time.
    I'll admit that the pace is measured but that's entirely appropriate for this material. I highly recommend J. EDGAR.
    Expand
  10. Nov 29, 2011
    10
    It really is a shame on how much of an influence some critics have on how much attention a film gets, and how convincing the critic is. Precisely why J. Edgar is among the most under appreciated films ever made. It is a true gem. Critics complain that it is too long, too boring. NOPE. J. Edgar Hoover was not the most entertaining guy, nor the trigger happy blockbuster film hero. The film gives an accurate depiction of his life in politics, as well as his personal life. And people, politics can be a boring topic. You'll survive. Expand
  11. Jan 5, 2012
    10
    And the Oscar goes to .... Leonardo DiCaprio


    With the title I mean DiCaprio obviously win the Oscar. The acting is really good, logically appreciating VO. It is obvious who will win the Oscar for film actually harvest of 2011 is pitiful being generous. But also, in my opinion, DiCaprio is confirmed as the great actor he is. So far could be no doubt among those who considered him the
    best actor of his generation and those who believe it is good because it is always in good movies. His performance in films like The Aviator and Shutter Island, is confirmed in this great work, perhaps the last wonder gave us the greatest of all, Clint Eastwood. I think critics are based DiCaprio as ever in her pretty face in Titanic and do not forget that it was an idol of schoolgirls folders. But those days have long since passed. When people as great as Scorsese, Eastwood, Spielberg, Nolan, Tarantino and Scott, an actor raffle must be for something. Who in Hollywood can boast of our time classic starring as Shutter Island, The Departed, Catch me if you can? Or start at the cinema with wonders like Basketball Diaries and This Boy's Life? And without going into undervalued films like The Beach, Romeo + Juliet or Gangs of NY. Upcoming releases will only continue his legendary career, despite who he weighs. Expand
  12. Jan 18, 2013
    9
    Clint Eastwood returns after a couple of average at best films (Invictus and Hereafter). I´m not into biopics and these American powerful men don´t interest me at all, so I wasn´t expecting much. But when the film starts you can smell this Eastwood´s way of making great cinema. Cinematography is great and Leonardo Dicaprio makes you love and care for the character (despite being an obsessed man who did so many questionable things). The first hour is good... but to my surprise it got better after that when the character´s personal life finally comes to the front, like it should be in an Eastwood´s film. Judi Dench is always great, Naomi Watts is good and... another surprise is how good Armie Hammer is. Wasn´t expecting some of the scenes in the last part coming from a director like Eastwood. I give it a 9/10. An underrated film, with Dicaprio deserving of an oscar nomination which didn´t come (again) and a good way to know something about the US recent history Expand
Metascore
59

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: Nick de Semlyen
    Jan 16, 2012
    60
    A well acted but unfocused study of one of the 20th century's most colourful characters.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Nov 11, 2011
    63
    So while J. Edgar ends up feeling like a mostly complete portrait of the man, and as fascinating a story as it is, it still falls just short of being something entirely memorable.
  3. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Nov 11, 2011
    63
    What a sprawling, befuddling, fascinating, frustrating mess of a movie. Usually the tautest of directors, Clint Eastwood has gone all slack here, allowing his subject to get completely away from him.