THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 – Rated R – 2 hrs 9 mins.

DIRECTOR/WRITER:  Aaron Sorkin

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

The year is 1968,  as many activist groups, including the Students for a Democratic Society, led by Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), and the Youth International Party (Yippies), led by Abbie Hoffmann (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), along with others, are converging upon the Democratic National Convention, sharing their views and opposition to the Vietnam War. These protests, though peaceful in nature, end up leading to some violent confrontations between these groups, and the local police authorities in Chicago, under the direction of Mayor Richard J. Daley.   When leaders of these Activist groups are later brought up on charges of conspiracy, and Inciting to riot by the Nixon administration, they are in for the fight of their lives. Even more astonishing than these seven being indicted, is that these indictments also include Black Panther Leader Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), who was nowhere near these incidents, and who is finally later released, due to his lack of having representation to facilitate his acquittal.  This “farce of a trail” becomes headline news, as the remaining 7 indicted fight against the injustices shown to Bobby before his release, and the injustices that continue to barrage them daily, at the direction of the grossly incompetent Judge charged with this case, Judge Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella), as even young prosecuting attorney Richard Schultz (Joseph-Gordon Levitt) can attest.  As this travesty of a trail goes on for months, the accused are left with no other choice than to work through this sham of our judicial system, under the direction of their own defense attorney, William Kuntsler (Mark Rylance), as best they can.  Given what they are all facing, Hayden, Hoffman and the rest of those indicted, find themselves continuing to be victimized within our countries own judicial system, leaving them with no other alternative than to stand united in proving their innocence, against the evil that is our own judicial system…

I give Netflix’s THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 a rating of 5 Stars!  Writer/Director Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The American President, Steve Jobs, Molly’s Game) and Netflix Studios have brought together an exceptional group of seasoned Actors for this exquisitely crafted film, thus conveying a very moving, enlightened, and at times very disturbing real-life story, showcasing the lengths that even our Federal government will go to, to stop any opposition of the deep rooted ideals that don’t match those of the man, and the team, that occupies our oval office.  Very prophetic for the times that we once again find ourselves in throughout this Nation, The Trial of the Chicago 7, not only brings to light the travesties and the injustices brought towards these Activists, who were unlawfully persecuted back in 1968, but it also brings to light how much our country has yet to evolve in its views on freedom of speech, racism, and unlawful persecution, in the last 50+ years.  From Redmayne’s mostly demure, but steadfast resolve in bringing our boys home from Vietnam, to Baron Cohen’s hippie point of view in stirring the pot to the bitter end, to Abdul-Mateen’s restraint, even after being victimized inside one of our countries own courtrooms, at the hands of a totally incompetent Judge, which is perfectly portrayed by Langella, in one of his best performances of all time, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is one of those films that will not only pull you in, but won’t let go, leading me to convey that this film is one of the best films I’ve had the opportunity to experience all year! It’s so good, that I’d like to suggest that if you’ve been patiently waiting to venture out to a theater to catch an exceptional film on the big screen, then now is the time to head to the Hi-Pointe Theater in Clayton to view this incredible film.  But if you still aren’t wanting to venture out just yet, as the COVID-19 restrictions continue, then please make a point to catch this film, also released on Netflix, as soon as possible, as regardless of which way you prefer to catch this latest Netflix creation, you will most definitely be glad that you took the time, and the effort, to take this one in!

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