The Conspirator

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 43
  2. Negative: 2 out of 43

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User Reviews

  1. Apr 26, 2011
    9
    I saw this film five days ago and I'm still haunted by the quiet power of this engaging film. Redford's careful and patient direction magically allows the film to take its time without ever feeling boring or stale. James McAvoy continues to grow into a passionate lead actor and Robin Wright should immediately jump to the top of a short list for a potential Best Supporting ActressI saw this film five days ago and I'm still haunted by the quiet power of this engaging film. Redford's careful and patient direction magically allows the film to take its time without ever feeling boring or stale. James McAvoy continues to grow into a passionate lead actor and Robin Wright should immediately jump to the top of a short list for a potential Best Supporting Actress nomination for this understated performance. However, the REAL star of this gorgeous looking film is Newton Thomas Sigel for his amazing cinematography which should garner him his first Oscar nomination for his work here.I don't know how he did it, but the muted colors, simulated natural lighting, and fluid camera movement gives the impeccably detailed sets, costumes, and make-up an uncanny look of historical realism that has lingered in my mind for days now. This is one that I look forward to seeing see a second time, and will be buying for my collection once it comes out on Blu-Rayâ Expand
  2. Apr 19, 2011
    9
    Excellent movie! Redford does a good job of presenting the story in a way that captures your interest and uses the Civil War time frame to convey the clear message that when military tribunals are used to trample on basic constitutional rights everyone loses. Robin Wright and James McEvoy did an excellent job. I found the movie thoroughly engrossing and powerful.
  3. Apr 16, 2011
    7
    If you like historical dramas you'll find this one interesting. Redford is showing us how, in 1865, the U.S. let it's legal system get subordinated to emotion and politics. Sound familiar? It's told in a straightforward way, and if you like the story and are interested in the subject you'll find it entertaining. History gets crunched-there were 2 lawyers defending Surrat, not one-and IIf you like historical dramas you'll find this one interesting. Redford is showing us how, in 1865, the U.S. let it's legal system get subordinated to emotion and politics. Sound familiar? It's told in a straightforward way, and if you like the story and are interested in the subject you'll find it entertaining. History gets crunched-there were 2 lawyers defending Surrat, not one-and I feel Stanton gets air time as a way of showing a Cheney like parallel. The pace is slow but the story never lags. My two cents is that Surrat was aware of the assassination (if she was aware of the Lincoln kidnapping attempt it follows she knew plenty) and that she did not deserve to get treated any different than the men. Expand
  4. Oct 19, 2011
    7
    An "I could not care less" storyline associated with Lincoln's assassination, turns out to be a powerful drama with some notable performances from Robin Wright and James McAvoy.
  5. Nov 22, 2011
    8
    Good film - slow burner but I thought that the pacing was spot on for what is an historical period drama. I never even knew about the intrigue behind Lincoln's assassination so this was a learning experience for me. Great to see Robin Wright Penn and Toby Kebbell in a film again - great, undervalued actors of the current film generation.
    Highly recommended.
  6. Apr 21, 2011
    10
    This was one of the few movies I was looking forward to in 2011, and it delivered. Great story, great acting, and top notch directing make this one of the few 'good' movies of 2011. I highly recommend it!
  7. Aug 16, 2011
    8
    This is a quiet film. It doesn't scream. It doesn't base itself on hystrionics. Visually it's as subdued as the script. Redford actually suceeds in underscoring the injustice and the way in which our legal system treats those the constitution is supposed to protect. I don't think this will ever be regarded as a great film but I do think that in the future it will be regarded as one ofThis is a quiet film. It doesn't scream. It doesn't base itself on hystrionics. Visually it's as subdued as the script. Redford actually suceeds in underscoring the injustice and the way in which our legal system treats those the constitution is supposed to protect. I don't think this will ever be regarded as a great film but I do think that in the future it will be regarded as one of those rare moments when one has an experience. There is no way anyone can watch what is revealed and not be surprised by the turn events and the injustice. MacAvoy gives one of the his best performances. Robin Wright is restrained. Kline also turns in a excellent turn. Wilkinson seems to be lost in the shuffle which is rare for him or perhaps it's just that he isn't given much to do. There are lot of thankless roles in this film but it doesn't seem that Redford was as interested in creating memorable characters as he was in creating a memorable case of injustice. The direction is on point. The script seems at times to understate the motivations and the situation. The critics murdered this film and I suspect the public stayed away because of that and because perhaps everyone still wishes to believe that Mary Surratt probably would have pulled the trigger herself if she'd been in Booth's Theater that night. A shame there isn't more to work with in creating this piece. Expand
  8. Apr 25, 2011
    8
    this movie was very well done, it was based on some true events. from the beginning of the movie with the assignation you are glued to the screen. its harder to write reviews on movies that are true stories but this one was good. with movies at the start of the movie you wonder "do i care" the back story of this really makes you care you care about the characters and thats what makes thisthis movie was very well done, it was based on some true events. from the beginning of the movie with the assignation you are glued to the screen. its harder to write reviews on movies that are true stories but this one was good. with movies at the start of the movie you wonder "do i care" the back story of this really makes you care you care about the characters and thats what makes this movie so good. Expand
  9. Jun 1, 2011
    8
    Ken Macri

    Robert Redfordâ
  10. Jun 8, 2011
    7
    It tells the story Mary Surratt very well with dazzling imagery and great dialog. To bad that the story itself at times isn't all the interesting. The film is the best that it could possibly be.
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Apr 29, 2011
    50
    Redford hasn't moved too far here from an earlier political-thriller template: With its skulduggery, late-night meetings and the contemptuous political cabal out to thwart justice, The Conspirator can be thought of as "All the President's Men – The Lincoln Edition."
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Apr 21, 2011
    75
    Redford methodically presents the injustices piled on Surratt and suggests what might have prompted her stoicism. But James D. Solomon's script is often flat, perhaps in a misguided effort to be stately.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Apr 16, 2011
    50
    This methodical courtroom drama is charged with impassioned performances and an unimpeachable liberal message. But its stodgy emphasis on telling over showing will limit its reach to Civil War buffs and self-selecting older viewers.