The Conspirator

The Conspirator

DVD - 2011
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Against the ominous backdrop of post-Civil War Washington, war hero Frederick Aiken reluctantly agrees to defend the lone woman charged in the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, boarding house owner Mary Surratt, before a military tribunal. As the nation turns against her, Surratt is forced to rely on Aiken to uncover the truth and save her life.

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d
daysleeper236
Mar 23, 2017

Very well done with an excellent cast.

s
soundspace
Oct 25, 2016

Somehow I missed this when it came out a few years back.
The film centres around the case against Mary Surratt, the lone woman charged in the assassination of Lincoln.
Despite the film maybe being 20 minutes too long, I thought the acting was solid and I am a huge fan of Robin Wright and James McAvoy. Worth a watch.

n
Nursebob
May 17, 2015

Following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, Northern authorities under the direction of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (Kevin Kline barely recognizable in spectacles and muttonchops) charge seven of Booth’s acquaintances with conspiracy, including Mary Surratt (Robin Wright, brilliant), mother of missing conspirator John Surratt and owner of the boarding house where the men allegedly hatched their plan. Although the evidence against her ranges from purely circumstantial to downright questionable the State, eager to set a stern example by staging a mass execution, insists on trying Mary under a military tribunal thereby bypassing many of her civil rights. Enter Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy sans Scottish brogue), a Union war hero turned lawyer who reluctantly agrees to defend Mary despite his own personal bias against her and the South in general. But as Aiken delves further into Mary’s rather complicated story he begins to doubt her guilt, especially after the government repeatedly stonewalls his attempts to uncover the truth. Is Mary really a cunning conspirator or is the State simply seeking revenge by making her a symbolic scapegoat? Writer James D. Solomon weaves actual transcripts from Surratt’s trial into his script and director Robert Redford poceeds to film it all in shades of sepia and leached pastels against CGI backdrops of old Washington; the result is a painstakingly authentic historical drama which unfolds like a series of antique daguerreotypes. Supported by an impressive cast, McAvoy’s transformation from cynical doubter to zealous advocate contrasts beautifully with Wright’s portrayal of a disgraced widow whose downcast eyes nevertheless harbour an iron resolve (and perhaps a troubling secret or two). With the Constitution of the United States not even a hundred years old and the wounds of America’s bloody Civil War still fresh, "The Conspirator" is a damning exploration of that point where political expediency tries to eclipse the rule of law.

t
TRANNY_CLONES
Jan 01, 2015

Just another courtroom drama film.The only difference with this one is the fact that it wants me to care about the murder of a former so-called USA President that didn't care about my enslaved ancestors aka the real builders of what they call the USA.

g
garycornell
Jun 08, 2014

Robert Redford directed a honest account of the assassination of Lincoln. What really happened is subject to question even today. Here we see that seven men and one woman were charged with conspiring to kill Lincoln. So we have hear say evidence and some of it may not be true. Many of those men and a women plead they were innocent. Robert Redford can be counted on to shed light where there may have been darkness. This is a good night at the movies and a history lesson to boot!

g
geomillar
May 06, 2014

Robert Redford delivers a brilliant historical study on the killers of LINCOLN that makes the film, LINCOLN, look trite.

b
beckythecat1
Mar 03, 2014

interesting history lesson with a few non historical twists. felt like I was watching an HBO special.

bears1985 Feb 15, 2014

Not sure how true it is but it was well produced awesome acting one of the years best!!!! Watch this now

g
Goldfishy
Jan 11, 2014

Great film and well done...I highly recommend it for history buffs...
Especially the documentary part completes it...

r
redworc
Dec 24, 2013

A good movie. I hadn't been aware of the additional intrigues involved in Lincoln's death.

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daysleeper236
Mar 23, 2017

daysleeper236 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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beckythecat1
Mar 03, 2014

beckythecat1 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Miagic
Jun 25, 2012

Miagic thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Captain_America Jan 22, 2012

Captain_America thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Notices

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Captain_America Jan 22, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: intense scenes

Captain_America Jan 22, 2012

Violence: The assassination was violent

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m
Monolith
Jan 03, 2013

Mary Surratt (to Frederick Aiken): "I held him too close... I didn't want John turning out like his father, so I kept him near... And when the war broke out, he wanted to enlist... and I wouldn't let him... My son just needed... to break free... be his own man... And this is the way he did it."

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