Based on a true story, the film follows seven people who are on trial for being involved in the 1968 riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. The film opens with an introduction to each of the seven key characters. These introductions allow us to gain understanding as to the motives and reasoning of each lead. I enjoyed that many of these characters are quite different from one another and even work in various fields, but their passion and goals are the same. At first, not all characters are familiar with one another, but little do they all know that that’s about to change.
The majority of the film is set in the courtroom of the trial. We also gain more significant insight into the trial thanks to flashbacks and naturally as the trial moves forward. The film is filled with many dramatic moments, but I was also quite surprised to see a mystery element thrown in too. I wasn’t familiar with the real-life trial, but as I started to watch this film, I found myself invested very quickly. As a courtroom drama, I found this film very engaging. This is mostly due to the film’s well-written dialogue. At no point did the discussions among characters ever feel cheesy and weak. Lines are also delivered with perfect timing. The film’s visuals are also lively and pleasing to see. I enjoyed seeing the real footage from the original trial interspersed in the film, which increases the critical element of drama.
All performances are brilliant. Among the seven men we have actors including Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, John Carrol Lynch and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Playing the film’s lawyers are Mark Rylance and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Considering this is a massive list of cast, I was impressed at how well each character is given adequate screen time. As far as performances, I feel each actor has completely exceeded my expectations and were all rather convincing in their roles, bringing these characters and the dramatic true story to the big screen.
Overall, this film has truly surprised me. It’s quite a dramatic story which held my investment for the entire duration. The movie added an element of mystery which was also a nice touch and completely unpredictable. Performances are a significant knockout, and all cast members blew it out of the park. The story is truly fascinating and somewhat concerning. The trial of the Chicago 7 is easily one of the best films to be released this year!
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Review Written by Peter Walkden