The Radical Left

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Frank Langella, Mark Rylance, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Michael Keaton, Ben Shenkman, Alex Sharp, John Carroll Lynch

Pacifists, Hippies and Black Panthers converge on Chicago in the summer of 1968 during the Democratic National Convention and are confronted by the police and naturally riots break out. Are the police to blame? Are the protesters to blame? It is the summer of love, anti-Vietnam protests and significant social upheaval worldwide.

This is the premise of West Wing and The Social Network Oscar winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s new film in which he directed and wrote. The Trail of the Chicago 7 was originally set for a theatrical release in October 2020 but due to the coronavirus pandemic, Paramount sold the rights to the streaming giant Netflix for a cool $56 million dollars. Which explains the reason why this great film can only be found on Netflix when in fact it was best suited to a proper cinematic release.

Especially with Sorkin’s witty dialogue and his fantastic cast that he managed to assemble for The Trial of the Chicago 7.

The cast includes Oscar winners Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) as liberal pacifist and anti-war activist Tom Hayden, Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) as defence attorney William Kunstler, Oscar nominee Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) as the non-nonsense but bigoted judge Julius Hoffman, Emmy winner Jeremy Strong (Succession) as hippie Jerry Rubin and a stand out performance by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as the fast talking defiant hippie leader Abbie Hoffman.

Also in the cast are John Carroll Lynch as David Dellinger, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Panther leader Bobby Seale who also got charged along with the original seven for incitement to start a riot and public disturbance.

While the first half of Aaron Sorkin’s film is confusing and needs to be anchored, the second half is brilliant as he clearly shows you what actually happens even if as a screenwriter he does get historically creative with the real facts.

Speaking of the real facts, as a viewer it is best to look up the actual story of the Trial of the Chicago 7 and the context in which the riot occurred. As Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Abbie Hofmann so eloquently says, “Everyone was in the Haymarket Tavern at the Chicago Hilton like the Sixties never happened until it came crashing through the window.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a great film, very dialogue heavy but it stands together through some superb ensemble acting especially from Mark Rylance, Eddie Redmayne and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the prosecuting attorney Richard Schultz and a fine performance by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Seale who actually lands up getting bound and gagged in an American courtroom.

Nominated for 5 Golden Globes in 2021 including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Song, Best Supporting Actor for Sacha Baron Cohen and Best Screenplay, Catch The Trial of the Chicago 7 now on Netflix. This courtroom drama gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
February 2021
M T W T F S S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
  • ‘Walking With Herb’ Review: Edward James Olmos Lifts Faith-based, Golf-centric Comedy Drama
    Since we’ve already had faith-based features involving football (“Woodlawn,” “Facing the Giants”), baseball (“Where Hope Grows”), basketball (“Slamma Jamma”), boxing (“Carman: The Champion”), competitive skateboarding (“Hardflip”) and even mixed martial arts (“The Fight Within”), it was doubtless inevitable that someone would produce a movie where the Lord works in mysterious ways on the golf course. […]
    Joe Leydon
  • China’s Huayi Bros. Marks Third Year of Losses, Despite Delivering the Highest Grossing Film of 2020
    Huayi Brothers, China’s longest-standing privately-owned film studio, has notched its third consecutive year of losses despite producing the world’s highest grossing film in 2020, its annual report showed. The company’s revenues for 2020 fell by 33% year-on-year to $232 million (RMB1.5 billion) while net losses hit $162 million (RMB1.05 billion). The figures continue a losing […]
    Rebecca Davis
  • Paramount Plus Sets Australia, New Zealand Launch Date
    The Paramount Plus streaming service will be launched in Australia and New Zealand in August. It joins an increasingly crowded marketplace, but claims local traction through ViacomCBS’s ownership of Australian linear channel Channel Ten and a handful of local content commissions. The launch announcement followed publication of ViacomCBS’ latest financial results and the debut of […]
    Patrick Frater
  • ‘Dwarfo-Psychosis’ Wins Big at Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Awards
    Mockumentary short “Dwarfo-psychosis” took home two prizes at tonight’s Easterseals Disability Film Challenge Awards, with director Maria DiDomenico and producer Emily Pascal winning the best director and best film awards, respectively. Written by and starring Steven LaChioma and Pancho Moler, “Dwarfo-psychosis” sees fraternal twins Peter and Pat celebrate turning 40 with a huge reveal. It […]
    Haley Bosselman
  • This Longtime ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Actor Is Leaving the Show
    SPOILERS: Do not read this article if you have not watched the May 6 episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”  Jesse Williams, who has played surgeon Jackson Avery on “Grey’s Anatomy” since the show’s sixth season, will be leaving the ABC medical drama at the end of this season, its 17th. Williams’ final episode, titled “Tradition,” will […]
    Kate Aurthur
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90