The Conspirator

Genre:  Drama
Running Time:  122 min.
Release Date: April 29, 2011 (limited)
DVD: August 16, 2011

Current rating: Rating: 3.22
based on 78 votes and 24 reviews
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Cast: James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Alexis Bledel, Justin Long, Danny Huston, Johnny Simmons, Colm Meaney


Having just returned victorious to Washington D.C. from the closing battles of the Civil War, Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy), a Union war hero and idealistic lawyer, is eager to make his name in politics. A bright-eyed nationalist, he is thrilled when he gets an audience with Lincoln's secretary of war, Edwin Stanton (Kevin Kline), at a high society party. However, the meeting is cut short when a shot fired in Ford's Theatre from the gun of John Wilkes Booth changes everything.

With the nation mobilized to hunt down those responsible for the assassination, the authorities find Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), mother of John Surratt, suspected of collaborating with Booth. A Confederate sympathizer and devoted mother, Mary refuses to reveal the location of her son. Whipped up into an emotional fury, the public calls for her blood. On the insistence of his mentor, former attorney general Reverdy Johnson (Tom Wilkinson), Aiken reluctantly takes up her case and defends this collaborator in front of a military tribunal. If she refuses to give up her son, her penalty will be death. Unwilling to allow her constitutional rights to be violated in the name of a verdict nearly every American demands, the young lawyer must take on the most difficult case of his life.

Director: Robert Redford
Studio: Alliance Films
Producer(s): Robert Redford, Greg Shapiro, Bill Holderman, Brian Falk, Robert Stone
Screenplay: James Solomon
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  • 2 stars "too long and too boring!"
  • 2 stars "I did not find this compelling. Very slow and boring."
  • 3 stars "Good movie!!"