The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7 ★★½

"No we weren't arrested... we were chosen" -Abbie Hofmman,

-2020 Ranked:

This movie is fine but I'm a little disappointed. It just feels like too standard of a replication for me to be interested. For me it lacked passion and much that is unique or special, especially if you are already familiar with the case, as I was. It feels like a pretty good made for TV film not a cinematic experience. This is a great cast but because of the direction I felt like I was watching a community theater production during some of the scenes, specifically the first scene where they are sitting all together in a conference room, feeling each other out.

Cops as an institution are highly problematic and the American justice system is a sham but this film does very little to add texture to those problems. This is my frustration with films like this that scream "Something bad happened" but then don't add much in the way of context or historical relevance. Instead of doing that this film inserts jokey parts... so there's that. And it inserts false parts for dramatic effect. It's not that I find it offensive, just kind of pointless. It feels like it is made for people too lazy to read while only doing so much to raise awareness

That said, there are parts that I enjoyed. The third act is pretty entertaining and felt like a breath of fresh air compared to what I found to be a somewhat painfully standard first hour and a half. The cast, a few scenes aside, work really well together. While I find Sorkin's direction to be boring it is certainly competent. Finally, I do appreciate the snappy nature of the script. It is a very Sorkinesque and engaging at times, his dialogue tends to draw you in. In the end I just wanted this to be better and more important.

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